LOS ANGELES – The Dodgers had another one of those “complete” games I have talked about in the past, with the offense crushing the baseball and the pitching staff locking it down, courtesy of Clayton Kershaw.
With Will Smith out of the lineup, the 1-4 hitters for the Dodgers were arranged a bit differently in this one. Max Muncy slotted into the third spot and J.D. Martinez hit cleanup, and it didn’t even matter, as those same hitters went 8-17 with all of the RBI the Dodgers had. With this type of offense being generated from four of the Dodgers top hitters, it may be worth a look to use this lineup down the line.
In what could’ve been Clayton Kershaw’s last regular season home start, he proved once again why he will go down in Dodger history. With a bad shoulder for a majority of the second half of the season, Kershaw has toughed it out and thrown consistently but with more rest for over a month.
Saturday night, he threw five innings, striking out five and only allowing two hits against a Giants team that he has dominated throughout his whole career. Although his velocity was down and has been down for a while, Kershaw navigated the strike zone and used his off-speed to throw the San Francisco lineup off. He is the ultimate competitor and I hope to see him throw deep into the postseason.
The Dodgers are now 95-59 and have 7 games remaining in the regular season.
Here are my three takeaways:
Mookie Tallies Another Record
A day after Freddie Freeman set a major league record with a 200/20/20 season, Betts set the record for most runs driven in from the leadoff spot with 105. A staple at the top of the lineup, Mookie has almost 40 home runs, a 1.004 OPS, and played in multiple positions throughout the year. Not to mention, he is going to be a top 3 candidate for the National League MVP alongside his running mate Freddie Freeman.
J.D. Martinez Having A Ridiculous Stretch
Martinez has a slashline of .380/.431/.780/1.211, 6 HR, 19 RBI in 14 games this month. Since he returned, Martinez has been one of the best hitters in this Dodgers lineup, and shown to be an excellent supplemental piece to the superstars in front of him. Also, Martinez is a proven playoff performer, so Dodger fans should be excited about this momentum going into October.
Jason Heyward Wins Roy Campanella Award
An absolute steal of a signing this past offseason was Jason Heyward, who has completely turned around his career with the Dodgers. After a revitalizing season on the field, Heyward has shown to be a vital clubhouse voice and a leader amongst this 2023 group. Now, he earned the award that “exemplifies the spirit and leadership” of the late Hall of Fame catcher Roy Campanella. I think every Dodger fan is proud of Heyward and is excited to see how he performs in October, considering he is already a World Series champion
Lance Lynn takes the mound for the Dodgers while the Giants will send Ryan Walker to toe the rubber. First pitch is set for 4:10 PM PST Sunday.