Dodgers 4, Braves 1: Freeman’s emotional return, Urias leads the way to 4th straight, Hudson injury a big blow

Coming off their sweep of the Reds, the Dodgers have now won four games in a row after taking the series opener against the Braves, 4-1.

Not only was it a rematch of the NLCS in both 2020 and 2021, but it was also the return of Freddie Freeman to Atlanta, where he received his 2021 World Series ring in an emotional ceremony.

Even his first at-bat was an event.

Glad he got his ovation that he deserved.

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Aside from all that Ian Anderson started the game for the Braves and got off to basically the worst beginning possible. Trea Turner beat out an infield single, Freeman walked, and Will Smith smashed a single for plate Trea before an out was recorded.

Max Muncy then walked to load the bases with nobody out, but the Dodgers could only get one more across on a Justin Turner sacrifice fly.

The Dodgers would miss another chance in the 2nd after two singles, but Anderson would then seemingly settle in and get the next eight batters in a row.

That ended quickly in the 5th, as Trea ripped his 10th homer of the year for a 3-0 lead.

Anderson was then knocked out after a Freeman walk, a Will Smith double, and a Max Muncy walk to load the bases.

And yet, the Dodgers could only get a single run in off Collin McHugh, and they were lucky to get that on a JT ground out that could’ve been a double play. They would also go on to strand two singles in the 6th, and McHugh also got the 7th in 1-2-3 fashion.

Really that was the end of the road for the offense, who didn’t get anything in the final two frames off Dylan Lee (four outs) or Darren O’Day (two outs) either.

On the other side of all this going on was Julio Urias, who continues to get stronger and stronger as the season progresses. In a lot of ways, considering his fastball’s performance and the lineup he was facing, it may have been his best outing.

Urias didn’t get a clean inning in the first three frames, though not all through his own fault. A walk in the 1st was erased on a stolen base attempt, a double in the 2nd was stranded, and his own error in the 3rd was worked around thanks at least partially to a great play.

That was part of 10 in a row set down at one point by Urias after the aforementioned error, a streak which he carried into the 6th. That’s when trouble started with one out.

Ronald Acuna Jr. rolled a ball to third for an infield single and Dansby Swanson popped a ball into shallow right that barely evaded a Trayce Thompson diving attempt to corner the runners.

After a walk to Austin Riley to load the bases, Julio then got Matt Olson to fly out for a sacrifice fly and then struck out Marcell Ozuna for an emphatic escape to end his outing.

Urias has given up only four earned runs in four June starts: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 9 K, 94 Pitches.

For the Dodgers pen, Evan Phillips took over and cruised through a 10-pitch inning in the 7th. Daniel Hudson then entered and got an out, but then gave up a weak roller in front of the plate to Acuna, and as he went to go field it, his knee appeared to buckle and he had to leave with an injury.

That’s terrible for Hudson and also terrible for a pen that gets even shallower, so I just hope it’s not as bad as it looks.

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Update

It is.

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Anyway, that was an infield single and Brusdar Graterol was forced to answer, but he surrendered another single followed to corner the runners. However, he then dramatically rolled a pair on a grounder to prevent any runs from crossing.

That left a three-run lead for Craig Kimbrel in the 9th, who started bizarrely with an Olson grounder down the line that seemed foul but was ruled fair for a single.

Thankfully that didn’t seem to rattle him, as he got a pop out, strikeout, and fly out to end it.

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44-25 on the year now and a 1.5 game lead of the Padres in the NL West, who are playing now.

Tomorrow will be on FOX at 1:15 PM HT/4:15 PM PT/7:15 PM ET with Mitch White replacing the injured Andrew Heaney against Max Fried. Yikes.

About Chad Moriyama

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