LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers came through with two clutch wins on Saturday to take the series against a feisty Miami Marlins team that had been hot coming in. After a blowout loss in the opener, the Dodgers recovered on Saturday to grind through two tough wins to take 2 out of 3 games over the weekend.
In game 1 Eury Perez, the Marlins electric young arm, absolutely dominated the Dodger lineup, striking out 10 over just 6 innings of work. On the other hand, the Dodgers used a bullpen day to get through the Marlins lineup and did so in particularly good fashion. The Dodger offense was dormant until the 8th, where they came through with 3 runs to take the lead back. Austin Barnes squeezed home the tying run on a bunt, and then Mookie Betts hit a clutch two-run single to put the Dodgers up 3-1 for good in a gritty win.
In game 2, it was all about Mookie Betts. Betts launched 2 home runs in the night game on Lebron James bobblehead night with “The King” himself in attendance. Betts now has 34 home runs on the year and both in Saturday’s night game were clutch to keep the Dodgers ahead. Julio Urias was dominant again, throwing 7 innings and giving up only 5 hits and 1 run with 5 strikeouts. After Urias, Ryan Brasier and Brusdar Graterol came in to hold the Marlins and close out the win, with Graterol getting the save on a sensational play by Kiké Hernandez to end the Marlins threat in the 9th.
The Dodgers are now 76-47 and are now a whopping 12 games up in the National League West due to the Giants going on a 3 game losing streak.
Here are my three takeaways:
Mookie Betts Should Be The 3rd MVP Candidate
Of the 3 MVP finalists, Mookie Betts should easily be 1 of those 3. He has been on an absolute tear as of late and in my opinion, has been better than the incredible Freddie Freeman as well. Betts has played multiple positions at a very high level, as well as having 34 home runs, a 6.4 fWAR (1st in the National League), and a .595 SLG % (3rd in the National League). These numbers are flying a little bit under the radar considering he is having one of the best years of his career and carrying the Dodgers to wins in some games that Freeman has not produced. Over the weekend, Mookie proved why he should be considered for the MVP, carrying the Dodger offense to two wins.
Dodger Pitching Was Excellent
The pitching staff only allowed two runs in total during the doubleheader, and despite some traffic on the basepaths throughout the two games, the arms navigated through it with some conviction. It was excellent to see Ryan Pepiot return to the big league club and produce, while also seeing Julio Urias continue to get back to his old ways and move in the right direction. The bullpen arms also did a great job of holding down the fort while the offense was quiet throughout both games, with Evan Phillips and Brusdar Graterol sharing closer duties to get the job done.
Dodgers Win on Lebron James Bobblehead Night
Right after a Mookie Betts home run in the night game, he saluted up to Lebron James, who was sitting in a suite with his family to take in the game on his bobblehead night. James, dressed in Dodger gear, then tipped his cap to his fellow Los Angeles superstar to acknowledge. For what was a special night for Betts, it was even more special for a guy like Lebron James, who had his first promotion at a Dodger game since coming to the Lakers. This city churns out greatness, and while fans got to receive a pretty cool piece of merchandise, the city of Los Angeles continues to be spoiled with receiving amazing performances from the superstars in each league like Mookie and Lebron.
The Dodgers have an off day Monday before hitting the road against the Guardians. Bobby Miller takes the mound against familiar face Noah Syndergaard for Cleveland. First pitch is set for 4:10 p.m. PT Tuesday.