Dodgers 9, Nationals 4: Mookie Betts drops double dongs, reaches base four times

After seeing their winning streak end, the Dodgers have used the Nationals to rebound in rather brutal fashion. After a 10-1 blowout yesterday, the Dodgers took the Nats to the woodshed again today, exploding for four homers in an 9-4 victory.

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Old friend Josiah Gray started against the Dodgers, who went over to the Nats in the Max Scherzer and Trea Turner trade, along with Keibert Ruiz. Well, things didn’t start the way he wanted with a walk to Freddie Freeman in the 1st immediately cashed in by the guy he was traded for in Trea, smashing a (surprising) two-run oppo shot for his third of the year. He managed to strand two runners to end the frame but it was still 2-0 in the end.

Unfortunately, despite a lot of talk about Walker Buehler‘s adjustments, he continued to look fine but not really like the ace they expect. He actually ended up giving the Nats the lead in the other half of the 1st, with a single and double (from Keibert) setting the table, then a ground out from Juan Soto and back-to-back singles from Nelson Cruz and Josh Bell (with a Chris Taylor error assist) driving in a run each for a 3-2 deficit.

The bats stormed right back against Gray in the 2nd, led by a CT3 single to makeup for his error, a walk to Gavin Lux, and then Mookie Betts pounding a hanging curve for his 11th homer of the year, a three-run shot for a 5-3 lead.

Things didn’t get much better for Gray in the 3rd as the Dodgers continue to pile on. After hitting Justin Turner with a pitch Taylor showed he was starting to find it, popping an oppo homer for his fourth of the year and a 7-3 lead.

After pushing Gray to 80 pitches in three innings, Victor Arano entered to change things up in the 4th, but didn’t change much as Mookie yanked a nearly identical homer down the line in left. It was his 12th of the year for the NL lead and made it 8-3.

After Josh Rogers switched things up with a clean 5th, the 6th was notably back to being messy. Mookie came up with a single, his third hit of the night, and then back-to-back walks from Trea and Will Smith loaded the bases. Max Muncy then contributed with what he’s done best this year, which is walk, driving in a run and making it 9-3.

Surprisingly, the Nats pen kept the Dodgers off the board the rest of the way.

Thankfully, there’s been no update on Buehler until now because he settled into the game. After facing a bit of a threat in the 2nd with a walk and a single, he then had clean frames in the 3rd and 4th. Buehler wiggled out of similar trouble in the 5th due to a walk and a single, and then closed his outing with a clean 6th.

Again, there’s nothing bad about what he’s doing, but it’s just not what he looks like at his best: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 92 Pitches.

In relief of him was David Price in low leverage for the 7th, who gave up three singles to Dee Strange-Gordon, Keibert, and Cruz to cut the lead to 9-4, but nothing overly concerning.

In the 8th, Brusdar Graterol faced the minimum, erasing a walk with a double play. And then he wiggled out of trouble in his second inning, which was a bit of a confusing choice, to end the game.

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The Turner brothers stealing each other’s swag.

The vibes are good.

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The Dodgers improve to 29-13 on the year and temporarily hold a 1-game lead in the NL West over the Padres.

The sweep will be on the line tomorrow in an early game at 10:05 AM HT/1:05 PM PT/4:05 PM ET with Julio Urias facing Erick Fedde.

About Chad Moriyama

"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times