LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers have won a series in June. After dropping series’ to the Yankees, Reds, and Phillies, the boys in blue found a way to take two of three from the Chicago White Sox and hopefully work their way out of this tough stretch that has taken place this month. Chris Taylor delivered in the 6th and Freddie Freeman walked it off in the 11th.
Here are three takeaways from the win:
CT3’s big swing
It was the night of the long-ball at Chavez Ravine on Thursday. Chicago slugged four solo home runs, two in the first inning and two in the fourth inning to take a 4-0 lead. Just as they were on Wednesday night, the Dodgers were shut out through five innings.
Despite a tough year at the plate, the one thing Chris Taylor is doing is hitting home runs. He’s currently hitting .209, on pace to be his lowest average in a full-season with the Dodgers. After hovering around .260 for four straight seasons (2018-2021), this is the second consecutive season that Taylor’s average has taken a massive dip. That being said, he’s already surpassed his home run total from last season and perhaps his biggest of the year came last night.
Trailing 4-0, Taylor smacked a two-out fastball over the wall in left-field, a game tying grand-slam that could not have come at a better time. If he can’t get on base consistently, hitting home runs is going to be what keeps CT3 in the lineup.
Starting rotation questions
Michael Grove may not be the answer to the Dodgers’ rotation problems. The young right-hander made his seven appearance of the year last night, and things aren’t getting better. Grove has given up at least four earned runs in three consecutive starts and has an ERA of 8.10.
Just as I said with Gavin Stone, give it time. Young pitchers struggle out of the gate. It’s normal, Bobby Miller is an exception. Like Stone, this may be a case of a guy who just isn’t ready for the big leagues yet. Let him work out the kinks at AAA.
If Grove isn’t the answer, maybe Emmet Sheehan is. If you haven’t heard that name before, it’s because he’s been pitching for Double-A and just became only the second player that Andrew Friedman has ever promoted before making a AAA appearance. He’s been very impressive and will make his major league debut tonight against the San Francisco Giants.
What’s going on with James Outman?
After bursting onto the scene and being the National League Rookie of the Year favorite for the first month and a half of the year, James Outman has cooled off. Really, really cooled off.
Over the last month of the season dating back to May 15, Outman is 9-63 (.143), has struck out 32 times and left the yard once. Over that same span, he has seen his OPS drop from .903 to .763. Frankly, this happens from time to time. Young guys come out of the gate incredibly hot and as time goes on, the league starts to figure them out.
Whether it’s a hole in their swing or a certain pitch they struggles with, eventually opposing clubs find a way to get a guy, like Outman, out once there is a certain amount of statistical information and data for clubs to work with. Now it’s time for Outman to adjust back, and I have no doubt that he will. He may not return to being one of the league leaders in OPS, I think expecting him to would be setting yourself up to be disappointed, but he’ll turn this around.
As previously mentioned, Emmet Sheehan makes his MLB debut tonight as the Dodgers host the Giants. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PST.