Dodgers narrowly escape with win to sweep Nationals

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Yamamoto dominates on the mound and Betts and Freeman have big days at the plate

WASHINGTON — In a complete flip from the prior game, the Dodgers pulled out a 2-1 victory over the Washington Nationals, 2-1, on Thursday and complete a three-game sweep at Nationals Park. 

Yoshinobu Yamamoto (2-1) continued his great stretch, throwing six innings with seven strikeouts while allowing four hits and no runs. Washington’s Mackenzie Gore (2-2) took the loss despite throwing six innings and giving up one run.

There wasn’t much offense to go around for either team, however the Dodgers (16-11) out-hit the Nationals 9-7 with three players producing multi-hit games. 

Here are three takeaways:

In Yamamoto’s last five starts, he has a 2.00 ERA over 27 innings and an 11.7 K/9 ratio. 

After a rough start to his season, his ERA is now down to 3.54 overall. While his starts have been separated due to his schedule in Japan, Yamamoto has looked better with each start.

Betts went 2 for 3 and is now hitting an incredible .374 with a 1.113 OPS, and should be at the top of the NL MVP rankings as of now. Not just that, but Mookie’s ability to play multiple positions (despite some struggles at shortstop) has allowed the Dodgers positional flexibility. 

As for Freeman, his day at the plate (2 for 3 with the game-winning RBI) has now raised his average back to .303. After the worst slump of his Dodgers tenure, Freeman again looks like the MVP candidate from last season.

Buehler made what could have been his last rehab start and it did not go as planned. Buehler faced 21 hitters, allowing five runs in four innings. There is a bit of concern with Buehler after his disappointing starts while rehabbing. 

He is now 0-2 with a 4.86 ERA during his time in the minor leagues, and it remains to be seen if they will let him gain some good momentum before recalling him. 

The Dodgers’ road trip continues with a weekend series at Toronto. Right-hander Gavin Stone (1-1, 6.00 ERA) will start the 4:07 p.m. Friday game against Blue Jays right-hander Chris Bassitt (2-3, 3.90) for the Blue Jays.