Dodgers Score Feel Good Win Over Braves, Without Hitting a Home Run

The Dodgers did not have a happy flight home after their terrible loss on Sunday in San Diego. However they did score a feel good win over the Braves on Monday night thanks to the fantastic pitching from Walker Buehler and some timely hitting in a 5-3 win in the series opener against Atlanta at Chavez Ravine. Buehler was pitching so well at first, until he became vulnerable in the later innings.

Buehler had allowed just two singles through the first five frames and had struck out eight Braves. But a towering two-run home run from Freddie Freeman that landed on top of the hitters tarp in center field in the sixth inning got the Braves back in the game and the Dodger lead cut to 5-2. Buehler gave up a lead-off home run to Nick Markakis in the top of the seventh and that made the score 5-3.

Meanwhile the Dodger bats did their job against opposing starter Kevin Gausman, and they did it without hitting a home run. The Dodgers plated one run in the first, second innings and then two more runs in the third. Cody Bellinger ended up at second after a bunt single and a throwing error from Gausman. After a single from Justin Turner and a ground out from Corey Seager gave them a 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the second a walk to Alex Verdugo, a single from Austin Barnes and a passed ball from Atlanta catcher Brian McCann put the Dodgers ahead 2-0.

Braves     3 5 1

Dodgers  5 8 0

WP-Buehler-4-0

LP-Gausman-1-3

SV-Urias-1

HR-Freeman-7-Markakis-4

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

The Dodger’s position player roster is very strong this year and their productive hitting continued in the third. Justin Turner doubled to center, and walks to Max Muncy and Seager loaded the bases. Chris Taylor’s (He’s finally starting to hit) single scored the third run and a sacrifice fly from Verdugo gave the Dodgers a nice comfortable 4-0 lead. It was Taylor again who added an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth to extend the Dodger lead to 5-0. All seemed well.

But Buehler began to waiver in the sixth and seventh innings. Despite the two long balls, Buehler still finished with seven innings, three runs on five hits with eight strikeouts. He walked none and even though he still seems to be finding his groove early in the season he’s still really good. He was reaching 100 on the radar gun as late as the seventh inning. He’s now 4-0 through the first month of the season.

The bullpen actually came through in the last two innings. The good Pedro Baez showed up pitching a scoreless top of the eighth inning striking out Josh Donaldson to end the inning. Then Julio Urias came in to record his first save in the top of the ninth. He got Freeman to line out to Bellinger. Ronald Acuna Jr. struck out and Markakis grounded out to end the game. Hyun-jin Ryu takes the mound on Saturday against Max Fried at 7:10 PM PST.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic Cheap MLB Tickets

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17 thoughts on “Dodgers Score Feel Good Win Over Braves, Without Hitting a Home Run

  1. Well it wasn’t really a quality start, but at least Buehler managed 7 innings with 8 K’s. Walker served up two scrumptious cookies in the 6th & 7th, but the offense was able to finally notch some early runs in support of Buehler.

    CT3 remains hot! Just in time as Pederson has gone ice cold. Offense was able to tally enough runs to win, but still was a weary 3-10 RISP with 9 LOB, and 9 KO’s.

    Baez and Urias slam the door shut. Both tossing perfect frames, while Kenley was spared so he could lick his wounds from last night. Baez looks like pitcher now instead of a thrower. Urias looked great as a closer…. a perfect option to relieve Jansen of embarrassment. Maybe Jansen will be the option now, and Urias can take over the premier closer role.

    The Dodgers look far more superior than other teams, especially in the NL, but they always seem the leave the door cracked open just enough for the opposition to steal a win. And the starters can barely get to the 5th inning. The key to the post season and World Series will again be their ability to capitalize on scoring opportunities and to ease the burden on the bullpen. If they don’t, they again will be left at the alter.

    1. Absolutely correct BlueFan. As you are aware, I have been advocating that the Dodgers needed to start figuring out something besides Dr. GasKanley as their closer if the post season means anything. The Dodgers are actually strong enough to start looking for another guy, maybe we will see a little more of Urias on the stage in preparation for the post season. I don’t know if Urias is the guy for sure but I am sure that Dr. Gaskanley is not the guy. Gaskanley is going to have to be one of the cast of characters in our PPP middle relief core. Maybe with less usage Dr. Gaskanley will return to more effective outings and serve up less abortions, errr dingers and blown opportunities.

      Friends don’t let friends wear Dodger Goggles.

      1. I’m feeling (incredibly) like Houston Mitchell is right. Jansen has gone from a transcendently talented closer to just a very good one. After all, he DID save the games the two previous nights. Doc shouldn’t have used him the 3rd time. Speaking of 3rd Times, the Braves got to Buehler once they faced him the 3rd time. Gotta keep an eye on that and see if it’s a thing with him. Granted, he’s still maturing into our potential ace, but batters rarely got to Kershaw the 3rd time when he was in his prime.

        1. Roberts is well aware of the TTOP. Sometimes, IMO, he is too dogmatic with it.

          AND…

          Welcome Dan! We need more voices here. Sadly, we are down to five or six I think.

  2. I think we have to switch it up and give multiple guys looks in the ninth innings. Floro, Urias and Stripling all deserve some looks here and there during the regular season. I don’t trust Baez and Yimi Garcia. Jansen should not be overused and definitely not 3 times against the same team. And I’d put Kelly on the IL at the first hint of discomfort and try out one of our kids. I feel like we could have taken the last two had we pitched Urias in San Diego and let Jansen get this one at home.

    1. Kenley was a favorite of mine for years, but since his surgery he has flopped like a fish out of water on the mound. He did lose something like 25 lbs, so he could be overthrowing, trying to regain the MPH he lost with the weight loss. Now unfortunately, he is as you say, just another overrated OK reliever. Starting pitching too, is a bit overrated. IMO, starters have to go at least 6, maybe 7. Third time around seems to be MLB norm. They are extremely vulnerable by the 4th inning. Pitchers need to be more creative, and not so predictable.

      Relievers should be used smarter. If a reliever is cruising along, leave him in for a couple innings. Dependance on matchups and predictions, just wastes arms. Not every close game in the ninth is a “Kenley Moment”. Change it up, give the batters a different look. Right now, batters do not fear Kenley anymore. Just the opposite…. they are licking their chops waiting for their chance, because they know his weaknesses, those being poor defense, inability to hold runners on, hanging slider, or cutter that does not cut.

      Bottom line, Dodgers are just too predictable, with its’ pitching, as well as its’ lefty/righty lineups.

      1. That last sentence is so true as it appears. But hitters are licking their chops for other pitchers on this staff as well, as Dodger pitching so far this year has allowed 49 HR’s and only 4 teams in the NL at last count, have allowed more.

  3. This is the way Friedman does things. The owners are good with it. He loves flexibility and his rosters reflect that. Anyone who expects Jansen to be the Jansen of 3 years ago is not being realistic. Jansen is still one of the better closers in the game. His stats say so. He is not going to be perfect every game. Be realistic. The Dodgers beat Hader twice in a row on late HR’s. Nobody is perfect. Jansen has been excellent. 12 saves, 2 wins, and only 2 blown saves and they won one of those. He got himself into trouble Sunday and still was one out from getting out of it. He made a bad pitch. It happens. Has happened a lot more to Kelly this year than Jansen.

  4. True in the fact that Freidman and Roberts do things the way they do. And to add to what BlueFan said, the offense in the manner players are used is predictable as well, whenever a LHP starts…

  5. The bullpen will be an issue all year and in the playoffs. We can count on Friedman finding 1-2 more decent options through dumpster-diving and trades. Hopefully the rest of the team can pick up the slack.

    This is the reality. Dumping arms in the bullpen is foolish, because there is no one else to take their places. Any improvement will have to come from a better approach to pitcher management. My main focus being the middle innings. Too many times I see a pitcher on the ropes with no one warming up in the bullpen. When we played the Giants, I saw their pitchers on the ropes with someone warming up and almost ready. That made me jealous that Bochy is the hated ones’ dugout. (Also baffled that SABR nerds are running him out of the game)

    If the bullpen management gets just a little better, it will look like a whole new team. Most of those guys have cannons and will look much better when used correctly.

    1. Got that right. He never lifted a finger in the 9th when Kenley was obviously in big trouble.

    2. You are right Mexivin,

      If those starting pitchers could man up and get at least 6 or 7 solid innings, that would make bullpen management a lot easier. The opposition has the Dodger starters figured out too quickly, too many games are a struggle because the Dodger pitchers always spot the opposition two or three early runs (many on dingers) which not only puts the Dodger offense on its’ heels, it also forces the starter expend too many bullets early in the game. As the Dodger offense struggles and sputters in the early innings, by the time the 4th or 5th inning comes around, the starters have already thrown about 60-70 pitches… they are losing and they are pooped mentally and physically, forcing DR to yank them early. Very rarely can these starters throw 100+ pitches before they are headed to the shower.

  6. Well there is no doubt who is the Ace of this staff at this point in time. It is Ryu. He threw a gem last night and did something it has been a long time since we have witnessed. A complete game shutout. Turner is turning it on. 3 homers and 6 ribbies. Belli still has not homered this month but he did get 2 hits. Some fancy fielding helped out. Dodgers released Smoker and Carerra from AAA OKC.

    1. Thanks Michael, for at least mentioning Ryu’s “Gem”.

      Seems all these folks want to talk about are ridiculous stuff, and overlook “Real” relevant accomplishments.

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