After a disappointing loss last night, the Dodgers are back in the win column in convincing fashion. Lance Lynn was once again rock solid and Freddie Freeman yet again left a big mark on the outcome of this game.
Lance Lynn has a 2.77 ERA in Dodger blue and so far has been pitching some heavy innings in comparison to the rest of the staff. Again, he pitched through six innings and held the still potent Padres lineup to a single run to give the Dodger offense plenty of breathing room to put up runs.
After the great start by Lynn, the Dodger bullpen held San Diego to just one run over three innings, with the lone run coming via a home run off of Ryan Brasier. Even Yency Almonte came in and delivered a scoreless ninth inning after a disaster of a performance the night before.
The offense one again provided more than enough run support for the staff, with Kiké Hernandez and Freddie Freeman each providing three hits. The Dodgers had eleven hits Sunday afternoon and provided quite the punch to go along with the excellent pitching by the staff, led by Freddie Freeman’s three RBI’s and two-run home run. Not to mention, the Dodgers hit three home runs in total with Mookie Betts and Amed Rosario joining in on the fun as well.
The Dodgers are now 64-46 and lead the National League West by 4 games due to two straight losses by the Giants and six straight losses by the Diamondbacks.
Here are my three takeaways:
The Superstar Duo Are Both MVP Candidates
Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman are the first pair of Dodgers teammates to have 60 extra-base hits through 110 team games since 1929. Records that are over 90 years old are usually pretty special and this one is no outlier, as the teammates have both put themselves into the National League MVP conversation, both in their own way. With Betts, it is his ability to dynamically play multiple positions, whether it be the outfield or infield. That is not to dismiss the fact that he has 30 home runs this year and will probably get near or pass his career high of 35 from last year.
With Freddie, it is not only his stunning hitting that I have been raving about all year long, but his solid defense over at first base as well. It may be a surprise that Freddie Freeman only has one gold glove, but he is certainly putting himself in the conversation to add to that this year as well. Dodger fans are lucky to have these two stars.
Lance Lynn Has Been A Relief To The Staff
I was very critical of the fact that Lance Lynn was not a big deadline pickup like the Dodgers seemingly needed, but he has provided some great innings to give relief to the banged up staff. Lynn went six more innings Sunday night and has a 2.77 ERA in 13 innings pitched in a Dodger uniform, which is a far cry from his 6.47 ERA with the White Sox this year. He and Joe Kelly didn’t cost as many prospects as originally thought, and even though the Dodgers parted with Nick Nastrini, Lynn has been excellent so far. I expect the “Dodgers Pitching Lab” led by Mark Prior to continue to improve his numbers.
Iron Sharpens Iron
Hear me out, the fact that the Dodgers are closer to many teams in the standings this year as opposed to last year is a good thing in the long run. A part of the problem with last year’s disappointing result was the fact that they got complacent after being uo by so many games in the National League West last year. Of course, there were other issues, but the Dodgers ended up losing in the first round to this same Padres team in shocking fashion.
This year, there needs to be more hunger and drive in order to win this division. Although the Giants and Diamondbacks have scuffled as of late, the National League is going to be very hard to get through in 2023. The Cubs have been scorching hot, the Braves have the best record in baseball, and the Giants, Padres, Marlins, Phillies, and Reds are all hot on the heels of each other in their respective division races and wild card contention. There needs to be a sense of urgency from the Dodgers and I believe it will better them when games matter the most in October.
The Dodgers wrap up this series looking for a series win as Tony Gonsolin takes the mound for the Dodgers against Seth Lugo for the Padres. First pitch is set for 1:10 p.m. PT.