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
96, 98, 97. pic.twitter.com/7mqmQywZOs
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 7, 2019
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.