The Dodgers picked themselves up by the bootstraps after a frustrating series in Philadelphia and treated themselves to a good old fashion beatdown of the Braves in the opening game of the Atlanta series. The Dodgers bashed the Braves 8-2 and increased their NL West lead over the Dbacks back to 1.5 games. To say the Dodgers opened up a can of whoop a$$ on the Atlanta squad would be an understatement. Dodger starter Rich Hill was the MVP of the game as he twirled a masterful seven shutout innings allowing just three hits, striking out eight and walking one. Hill not only did it on the mound he also contributed with the bat, knocking in a run with an RBI single.
The game was scoreless through the first four frames as the Dodgers couldn’t figure out opposing starter Anibal Sanchez. The offense came to life late in the game scoring eight runs in the final four innings. The boys in blue scored two in the fifth, one in the sixth, three in the seventh and two in the eighth. The Atlanta defense helped out by committing three errors and seven of the eight were earned runs.
The fifth inning signaled the beginning of the disaster for the Braves with a lead-off walk to Matt Kemp. Bellinger’s ground ball single to former Dodger Charlie Culberson resulted in Culby rushing the throw and airmailing the ball into the Atlanta dugout for the first error of the night. After a Chris Taylor grounder, Alex Verdugo’s bloop single over the drawn in infield brings home the second run.
Dodgers 8 12 1
Braves 2 7 3
In the top of the sixth, Manny Machado finally hit his first home run as a Dodger, a laser beam over the left center field wall. In the top of the seventh an Ozzie Albies throwing error put Verdugo at second and he came around to score on Hill’s RBI single. That made the score 4-0 Dodgers. The Dodgers kept piling it on. Joc Pederson doubled and later in the frame Yasmani Grandal’s single plated two to give the Dodgers a 6-0 advantage. Joc later added a two-run single in the eighth inning and the Dodgers went up by an 8-0 score.
The real story of the game was Hill’s dominant pitching. When Hill is healthy and spinning that curveball he can be really tough to hit. The Braves were flummoxed all night by his expert level of curveballing. I don’t know if Curveballing is a word but it’s something that Hill is quite adept at.
With the win the Dodgers improve to 57-46 and 4-3 on this current trip. The series continues tomorrow as Clayton Kershaw takes the mound for the Dodgers. The Barves, I mean the Braves send right hander Mike Foltynewicz to the bump who has a name that I can’t pronounce or spell. First pitch is scheduled for 4:35 PM PST.