You don’t usually get a complete win, let alone a blowout win against teams as good as the Rangers. Saturday afternoon, the Dodgers got both and had fun while doing it.
Dane Dunning had not allowed more than four runs in a game all season…until Saturday. The Dodgers put up sixteen runs and it was over after the fourth inning. I could go in on every inning and tell you just how each run scored, but I will leave you with some cool tidbits instead.
Freddie Freeman has stayed as hot as the Texas weather this week, hitting 11-19 with eleven runs scored, three home runs, and seven RBI’s. Not to mention he is slashing an incredible .579/.667/1.316/1.983. If that looks weird, just trust me, it’s very very good. This is also Max Muncy’s first three hit game since May 15th and J.D. Martinez has 24 home runs and 72 RBI’s, which is the most of any player who switched teams in the offseason. This team rakes.
After a home run in the first inning by Marcus Semien, Bobby Miller settled in and had one of his best outings of his young career, going six innings giving up seven hits and allowing only three runs. It was his longest outing since June 10th and the Dodgers needed all of it against a lineup like Texas. After Miller, it was the bullpen and they did their thing once again, allowing no runs over three innings to close the game out and give the Dodgers another series win against a great opponent.
Here are my three takeaways from the game:
J.D. Martinez Is A Quiet Star
As I mentioned earlier, Martinez has the most home runs and RBI’s of any player that switched teams in free agency this offseason. But what has been more of a factor is his calming presence in the middle of that order. J.D. has always been a pure hitter in his career and with himself and David Peralta manning that middle to late part of this lineup, it has made things way easier for the superstars. You can’t really pitch around Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts anymore because guys like Martinez and Peralta are dangerous to approach. It completely changes the dynamic of the offense and a big reason why they are rolling right now.
Bobby Miller Has Settled In
In Miller’s longest outing of his career, there was a more important stat for me to watch for. He did not walk a single batter. Part of the issue for Miller’s struggles had been his command and attacking hitters in the zone. Saturday afternoon he was locked in and looked like the guy we saw from the first two starts of his season. It seems as if the staff is getting it together, and although help is still needed, Miller is a mainstay and an electric arm to have going into the home stretch.
Kershaw On the Mend
Clayton Kershaw will throw another bullpen session on Monday back home at Dodger Stadium and Dave Roberts said after that session, he would be throwing to hitters, according to David Vassegh. Any progression is good progression for the lefty, and the Dodgers need his arm back in the staff. However, I believe that having time off is good for him, although not at the expense of an injury. A fresh Clayton Kershaw down the stretch is still scary for opponent hitters and we will be seeing him back soon.