LOS ANGELES — After a well deserved off day, the Dodgers are back in the win column for the ninth straight time and the 13th time out of 14 games in August. Bobby Miller settled down to pitch an absolute gem and the offense used a healthy J.D. Martinez to down the Brewers.
The story of the night was Bobby Miller, as he had a rough start to the game but settled in to have one of his best starts as a Major Leaguer. He went six innings, giving up a single hit and four strikeouts while only throwing only 74 pitches. The most impressive part about his start was the fact that he ended his outing retiring his last 18 hitters, showing his dominance through his electric fastball and wipe-out breaking ball. This kid is a stud…
For the offense it looked bleak for a good part of this game, as the Dodgers only had one hit through five innings against the crafty Adrian Houser. Then came the sixth inning, where the Dodgers exploded for five runs to take the lead and put themselves ahead for good. J.D. Martinez (who made his first start since August 6th) started the scoring in the inning off with a double that scored Will Smith and the floodgates opened after that. Kiké Hernandez, Miguel Rojas, and Mookie Betts all singled to bring home the rest of the five runs in that inning and ultimately win the game for the Dodgers 6-2.
Here are my three takeaways:
A Ryan Yarbrough and Bobby Miller Piggyback Will Be Used In The Playoffs
It feels like the Dodgers are experimenting with many things at this point of the season. With a lead in the division as big as they have, now is the time to start finding things to use in the postseason. Tuesday night, the Dodgers went with a Miller-Yarbrough combination in the form of a piggyback scenario and it worked phenomenally.
I believe that is one of the main reasons for Dave Roberts pulling Miller so early, especially after he retired his last 18 hitters in a row. Yarbrough came on and finished the game earning his first career save by throwing three innings of one run baseball to hold the Brewers after Miller came out. This combo will be seen more down the stretch and could be lethal in the playoffs.
J.D. Martinez Is Back
I know the Dodgers have been playing excellent baseball in the midst of losing J.D. Martinez for a few weeks, but he is an essential part of this offense. Martinez made his return to the lineup for the first time in seven games and looked just as good as he did before the injury. He went 1-4 with an RBI double and looked healthy running the bases as well, which is a great sign for an older player coming off of a soft tissue injury. Having J.D. back in the lineup creates more flexibility, takes more pressure off of the superstars in front of him, and adds a power threat to the middle of the lineup as well. He is crucial to this team’s success.
The Dodgers Have A Chance To Catch Atlanta
Wasn’t this supposed to be a down year? Wasn’t this supposed to be a re-tooling year for the Dodgers? Weren’t the Dodgers only supposed to win 85 games? These were all real questions before the year started and the last one by myself. I legitimately thought it would be a struggle for this team to win the National League West and be a solidified contender. Boy was I wrong, as this team has the second best record in the entirety of the National League, a 13-1 record in August which ranks first among all teams, and they are doing it with a healthy mix of veterans and young talent. Well, healthy as in “a plethora” of veterans and young talent, as this team has had many players go down with various injuries, both minor and major, throughout the year so far.
Now, the Dodgers are only 4 ½ games back of the Atlanta Braves for the best record in the entire MLB and clinching home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and World Series. As Willie Mays Hayes said in Major League, “Not bad for a has been and a couple never-will-be’s.”
The Dodgers will send ol’ reliable Clayton Kershaw to the mound to face Wade Miley of the Brewers Wednesday night. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM PST.