Teoscar Hernandez jolts Dodgers to convincing win, 6-3

Jonathan Hui-USA TODAY Sports
Bobby Miller dominates Cardinals, while offense takes care of business early to cruise to win

LOS ANGELES – One day it’s the big three in the lineup, the next night it is the underrated signing of the offseason for the Dodgers. On Friday, Teoscar Hernandez had a statement game to propel the Dodgers to a solid win against the Cardinals, blasting two home runs to open the game up. 

Bobby Miller made his first start of the season, and had his best performance of his young career, throwing six innings, giving up only two hits, and striking out an impressive eleven Cardinals. While St. Louis did get within three, Evan Phillips shut the door in the ninth without allowing a hit to secure the victory. 

The Dodgers are now 3-1, tied atop the National League West.

Here are my three takeaways:

The Dodgers had a magnificent offseason as everyone knows by now, but one of the more underrated signings was of Teoscar Hernandez. The power hitting left fielder was rumored to be going to a slew of teams with interest, but ultimately decided for a high AAV (average annual value) and short term deal. 

The Dodgers have been looking for a major power threat in the outfield since the departure of Cody Bellinger and Yasiel Puig, especially in left field. 

Hernandez had a double in the home opener, but on Friday, crushed two home runs, one of the three-run variety to put the Dodgers up for good. Having that kind of threat behind an already dangerous top four in the offensive lineup just goes to show how serious this team is about scoring runs and scoring them in bunches.  

I know how great Bobby Miller was in 2023, but a few bad starts left his numbers inflated, and his postseason shortcomings lingered through the offseason. Now, it seems he has heard the criticism and has come out blazing. He absolutely cruised through the Cardinals lineup with ease, using his fastball, which got up to 100 MPH, and wipeout sweeper to stymie the opposing bats. 

With only one walk, he commanded the zone like a veteran, and I couldn’t help but see a young Walker Buehler as he came off the mound fired up after his final hitter. If Miller can keep this type of production up while remaining healthy, the Dodgers could have two number one type pitchers at the top of the rotation in Miller and Glasnow.  

Dave Roberts said on Friday that Walker Buehler would finally start his rehab assignment in Triple-A Oklahoma City. He will throw about four to five innings and make around four rehab starts before re-evaluating how he feels. There is a great chance we could see Walker Buehler with the big league club for the first time since 2022 in late April or early May. 

With the already excellent top end of the Dodgers rotation, adding Buehler even for a half season at only four innings each would be an incredible addition. From all of his bullpens and work in the Spring, it seems that he won’t hit triple digits again, but his breaking stuff and command are still elite and should be more than enough to be a second starter on any team, but will probably slot into the fourth spot in this rotation. 

With weather pending, Yoshinobu Yamamoto is scheduled to take the mound in his home debut on Saturday against former Dodger Lance Lynn. First pitch is set for 6:10 PM PST.