LOS ANGELES – The offensive onslaught continued Wednesday night as the Dodgers dominated the Diamondbacks not only in this game, but throughout the whole series to earn a sweep. Betts and Freeman both had multiple hit games to lead the offense and Ryan Pepiot cruised over five innings.
The offense gets it flowers first this time around, and they deserve it. Led by the core stars of this lineup, the Dodgers continued to mash Arizona pitching. Freddie Freeman launched a 440 foot home run to deep right field to put them up 2-0 and they did not look back from there. Jason Heyward stayed hot and followed it up with a blast of his own to right field the at-bat after he just missed one earlier to put the Dodgers up 4-0. Max Muncy then added a double to make it 6-0 and extended his extra-base hit streak to eight games, making him the third Dodger player in team history to have nine of such streaks. This team absolutely punished Diamondback pitching throughout the series, and while the staff did their job as well, it was the offense that helped create cushion.
Usually we see a combination of bullpen arms when Ryan Pepiot pitches, but in this game the Dodgers used him as a piggyback with Ryan Yarbrough and it paid dividends. Pepiot shut the Diamondbacks out over five innings, allowing only two hits and striking out three. Yarbrough came in right after and continued to carve the Arizona lineup, using his breaking ball to get chases and changes of arm angle to fool Diamondback hitters. This pitching combination could be used down the stretch and in the playoffs if Pepiot continues to look this good…
The Dodgers have won 24 of 28 games in August, are now 83-49 and 14 ½ games up on the 2nd place Giants in the National League West.
Here are my three takeaways:
Ryan Pepiot Continues To Shine
Through three games, Ryan Pepiot has allowed only two runs in 14 innings, good for a 1.29 ERA. For a guy that was injured for a majority of this year and struggled in 2022, this is excellent news for the depth of the pitching staff. Pepiot might even win that fifth spot in the starting rotation if he keeps producing like this and could see himself make the playoff roster as well if Walker Buehler can’t make it back in time.
Freddie Freeman One Double Away
Freddie hit his 51st double Wednesday night, one away from tying Johnny Frederick’s franchise record. He is now on pace for a ridiculous 62 doubles this year and could add five more home runs onto his total over the last month to make it 30. I know Mookie Betts and Ronald Acuña are the talk of the town in terms of the National League MVP race, but Freeman is making it well known that he is still in that conversation. Now, he gets to go up against his former team in one of the most anticipated series of the year.
The Powerhouse Matchup is Here
The Atlanta Braves are finally matching up to play the Dodgers in what is shaping up to be one of the most hyped up series of 2023. The Braves come in boasting the best record in baseball at 87-45 and hold a four game lead on the Dodgers for best overall record and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Lucky for the Dodgers, this is a four game series that starts Thursday, so a sweep (although not likely) would tie the Dodgers for the best record in all of baseball.
There will be heavyweight pitching matchups, Freddie Freeman versus his former club and the battle of the National League MVP candidates. You are going to want to make your way to Dodger Stadium or tune in this weekend…