Miller shines as Dodgers win 3-1 to avoid sweep

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
The Dodgers did a good job keeping a stacked Braves lineup in check and earned a nice win.

LOS ANGELES — Bobby Miller took the mound for the Dodgers as they battled against the Braves one final time in the series. He faced the pressure of helping the team avoid getting swept and came through big time. Miller allowed the Braves to score just once during his outing and gave Los Angeles the breathing room that they needed to scrape by with a 3-1 victory and move forward with some momentum. Despite an overall tough series, they ended things on the right note and did not completely roll over.

Here are three takeaways from the win:

Bobby Miller shuts down the Braves in win No. 9

Since his callup to the major leagues, Bobby Miller has been one of the most important pieces in the Dodger pitching staff. Throughout their many health issues, he has remained consistent and performed well when Los Angeles has needed him. Sunday’s game was more of the same, as he made one of the MLB’s best lineups look miniscule. Despite allowing Matt Olson to hit his 44th home run (tied for the league lead), the rest of his outing was smooth. He pitched through the first 7 innings of the game while striking out 5 and allowing just 3 base hits.

His 9-3 record on the season is a representation of what Dodger games have looked like during his starts, and prove his ability to take over games. After allowing 4 ER in each of his two previous starts, the game was a big improvement for him and helped to lower his ERA to 3.80. With a month left before Los Angeles begins their postseason run, Miller will look to get hot and be a driving force in the playoffs to help the team win some crucial games.

Outman and Betts secure August awards

In a star-studded series that contained the 3 leading candidates for NL MVP, Mookie Betts had himself a nice final game. He went 3-4 including an RBI single in the 5th inning that would make it 2-0 Dodgers, but also took home another impressive accolade to further solidify his 2023 season as one of the best of his career. Betts was named the National League Player of the Month after putting up a ridiculous .455 batting average, 1.335 OPS, 11 home runs, and 30 RBI. His success has been absolutely crucial for the team this season and if the Dodgers plan on bringing home a World Series trophy this season, Betts will definitely be right in the middle of it.

As for rookie James Outman, he joined Betts as an August award-winner by taking home the honors for the National League Rookie of the Month. Outman hit .277 with an OPS of .890, 23 hits, and 15 RBI. His bat and impressive defense from the outfield have made him another key piece in the Los Angeles lineup. Outman’s name should be in the mix for NL Rookie of the Year, although he has tough competition such as Kodai Senga and Corbin Carroll alongside him in those rankings. Outman walked twice on Sunday while also hitting an RBI single in the 8th inning to pad the Dodger lead. Los Angeles will be very happy to have him going forward as he looks to be a big part of the lineup in October.

Dodgers manage to contain Ronald Acuna Jr.

In the first 3 games of the series, Braves superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. managed to hit for a combined 6-13 with 6 RBI as the Braves took all 3 games. His impact could not be understated, as he also managed to become the first-ever player to join the 30-60 club earlier in the series. It’s no secret that he accounts for a huge amount of Atlanta’s success, and the Dodgers were the latest team to find that out first-hand. However, Bobby Miller and the bullpen managed to crack the code on Sunday as Acuna Jr. went 0-4 and had his first hitless game since August 27th. By being able to limit his impact, Los Angeles won their first game of the series and avoided dropping 4 in a row to Atlanta. As it’s only a matter of time before both of these teams lock down their respective divisions, it seems quite possible that we could have a postseason bout in the cards. If the Dodgers want to win that series, they will once again have to try and limit Acuna’s success to have any chance.

With an off day tomorrow, Los Angeles will have some rest before beginning a series on Tuesday against the Miami Marlins. The series will give the Dodgers a chance to get back on track and start another streak of series wins.

First pitch on Tuesday is scheduled for 3:40 p.m. PT.