A wet start to both the game and the series in Atlanta, as the Dodgers were greeted with a 40-minute rain delay.
It's raining. pic.twitter.com/9QdM5MfTrZ— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) May 22, 2023
Things eventually cleared up, and while that didn’t seem like a blessing early, the Dodgers rallied for a comeback against the Braves and end their short two game skid with an 8-6 victory.
Gavin Stone‘s night started in basically the worst way possible, both for himself and for the current situation of the Dodgers, in general. He was greeted by a “double” that James Outman completely misread in center, and a one-out single by Sean Murphy blooped in front of Outman for the game’s first run. Stone then issued a walk to put a pair on, and Eddie Rosario continued to terrorize the Dodgers with a three-run homer to right to make it 4-0. While no more runs scored, Stone also allowed a walk and single after that and had to throw 34 pitches to get out of the 1st.
EDDIE FOR THREE ⚡️@Delta | #ForTheA pic.twitter.com/Gc1oYYJsOY— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) May 23, 2023
The only consolation to that start was the Dodgers started to get to Charlie Morton. He had a clean 1st, but J.D. Martinez started chipping away at the lead in the 2nd by smashing his 7th dinger of the year to make it 4-1.
May 23, 2023
After going down in order in the 3rd, Freddie Freeman led the 4th off with a double, Will Smith got robbed by Ronald Acuna Jr. in right to advanced him a base, then Freeman scored on a Max Muncy groundout. They weren’t done, and the Dodgers rarely are with two outs, as J.D. singled and David Peralta followed with a triple down the line in right to make it 4-3. A walk followed that, but Morton stopped the rally there.
*It was a triple.— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) May 23, 2023
That was a foretelling what was to come in the 5th, as Miguel Rojas singled, Mookie Betts walked, and Freddie yoinked his 9th homer of the year down the line in right for a three-run shot, and all of a sudden the Dodgers were up 6-4.
K (but happy this time). pic.twitter.com/tvGW8o7xkP— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) May 23, 2023
To Stone’s credit, he bounced back in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings, throwing just 37 pitches over that span and facing the minimum thanks to having a walk erased by a double play in the 3rd and a single erased by one in the 4th.
Wow, a shortstop. pic.twitter.com/j08gZ151ug— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) May 23, 2023
Unfortunately, as soon as he got the lead, he started the 5th with eight consecutive balls to walk a pair and led to his outing ending. That was made worse by Acuna stealing third on the walk due to the Dodgrs not paying attention.
4 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 BB, 1 K, 79 Pitches
Keep your ? on @RonaldAcunaJr24 at all times! pic.twitter.com/gsa2zvHLq9— MLB (@MLB) May 23, 2023
Surprisingly, Dave Roberts went with Evan Phillips as the first guy out of the pen to navigate the trouble. He gave up a groundout that scored a run charged to Stone, then a double that put the go-ahead run in scoring position, but managed to escape the trouble from there.
To their credit, the Dodgers came right back to add insurance against the Braves pen in the 6th. Again with two outs, Rojas doubled to left and was scored by a Mookie single to put the lead back up to 7-5.
I think this is the first time showing this camera angle during the pitch has ever paid off. pic.twitter.com/FqqTNPmdNv— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) May 23, 2023
The Dodgers added more to the ledger in the 7th with the second homer of the night for J.D., his 8th of the year. Of course, it could’ve been a two-run shot if Muncy hadn’t erased his own single with a caught stealing on the very previous pitch. Either way, it was 8-5.
Just Dingers is becoming a valid nickname. pic.twitter.com/2O49xYxHDB— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) May 23, 2023
The bats managed just a walk (8th) and a single (9th) the rest of the way, and they could not add on further.
The 6th for the Dodgers belonged to Caleb Ferguson, who faced the minimum after a single was erased by a double play. Yency Almonte was curiously given the heart of the Braves order in the 7th, and he got them in 1-2-3 fashion despite his recent struggles.
The 8th was more problematic, as Phil Bickford got two outs and allowed a single, which led to him being removed for some reason. Brusdar Graterol entered and immediately allowed a double to score a run before getting out of the frame.
Graterol started the 9th with a 3-0 count, but battled back for a strikeout, then got a soft grounder and a check swing grounder to close the Braves out.
A surprisingly pleasant start.
Will Smith and Marcell Ozuna got into an argument after Ozuna hit him with his backswing, something he does quiet frequently.
Bullpens empty after Marcell Ozuna's backswing strikes Will Smith— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) May 23, 2023
"That's like the fifth time you've done it" pic.twitter.com/kt7hq31Sji
Marcell Ozuna got Will Smith with a backswing last year, too pic.twitter.com/8hk48dliYV— Daniel Brim (@DanielBrim) May 23, 2023
Will Smith explained some of his frustration about Marcell Ozuna catching him on his backswing, saying, "there comes a point where I need to say something there."— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) May 23, 2023
Said Ozuna didn't apologize, but didn't want to get into all that was said between them. pic.twitter.com/uGbisYtBln
I dunno, I thought it was understandable, especially with his concussion this year. You can swing how you like, but at some point if you keep hitting players with your bat, they’re gonna say something.
Like I get it's "part of his swing" but if you do that constantly, people are gonna get mad about it eventually.— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) May 23, 2023
|Diamondbacks||28-20 (1.5 GB)|
*Either still playing or will play later.
The two teams will do it again tomorrow on TBS, hopefully without the rain delay at 1:20 PM HT/4:20 PM PT/7:20 PM ET. Bobby Miller will be making his major league debut against Spencer Strider. Hard to a imagine a harder landing spot, but it is what it is.