After the back-and-forth game yesterday, the Dodgers took an early lead today and didn’t let up, smashing the Rangers in a 16-3 victory. Maybe this is the home field of the Dodgers after all.
The bats piled up 18 hits with eight for extra bases along with seven walks, pushing the Dodgers to 10-2 in their last 12 games and they’ve now won their last five series.
Bobby Miller‘s quest to find the dominance he had soon after his debut got off to a rough start today when Marcus Semien greeted him with a lead-off homer on the second pitch he threw. That said, Miller did rebound quickly by retiring the next three batters, including two strikeouts, but it was 1-0 to the Rangers early.
For the Rangers, Dane Dunning was on the mound, and his stuff hasn’t been impressive while his peripherals indicate he’s been extremely lucky. While he faced the minimum in the 1st after erasing a single with a double play, the 2nd was much more problematic.
Max Muncy led off the frame with a clean single to right and advanced to second on an error, then J.D. Martinez followed by walking, and David Peralta capitalized with a double to drive in a run and tie the game.
Peralta doubles and trades in the Choo Choo for Freddie's Body Wave Thing (what are we calling it?). pic.twitter.com/h6HhQocgJm— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 22, 2023
A Jason Heyward walk followed to load the bases, and James Outman came up with a single down the line in right for a lead, but he was limited to just the single because of a combination of the read on the bases and getting unlucky with the bounce off the fence.
That was significant because Miguel Rojas grounded into a double play following it, and while it was 3-1, that sorta killed the rally.
This was only a single for James Outman somehow, but it gives the Dodgers the lead. pic.twitter.com/7IszKa5Tz8— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 22, 2023
The 3rd didn’t get any better for Dunning, as he gave up back-to-back homers to Freddie Freeman (19) and then Muncy (23) to increase the lead to 5-1.
Freddie is going nuts. pic.twitter.com/e6wyhynYOR— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 22, 2023
2020 playoffs Max Muncy has been awakened in Texas. pic.twitter.com/dRuDZcRVjY— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 22, 2023
That was it for Dunning, who was not only ineffective but ran up a high pitch count. Fortunately, the Dodgers didn’t stop there, as the put up another two-out rally in the 4th.
After a one-out Rojas walk, with two down Freddie came up again and yoinked a homer just fair down the line in right for his 20th homer to push the lead to 7-1.
Freddie smashes a no-doubter for his second of the game and his 20th of the year. His OPS is now .993 on the year. pic.twitter.com/2W2vlh8euo— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 22, 2023
Back-to-back walks to Will Smith and Muncy followed that, and J.D. capitalized by smashing his 24th dinger of the year for a 10-1 lead and seemed rather demoralizing.
J.D. Martinez's fault. pic.twitter.com/mya99mlnFb— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 22, 2023
Oh right, while all this was going on, Miller was still on the mound and having a bit of an adventure himself. After an infield single in the 2nd, he botched a potential double play on a missed catch, then gave up another single to get into trouble, but then induced a double play to escape. After the rare clean inning in the 3rd, he hit a batter with one out in the 4th and then gave up a double, but managed to work out of that mess as well.
Unfortunately, his scoreless frame streak ended in the 5th, as he couldn’t get the final out of the inning. A lead-off single was followed by two outs, but another single put a pair on, and both then scored on a “triple” by Nathaniel Lowe that was comically misplayed by Peralta to make it 10-3.
He did manage to not give up anything further in the 5th, and then worked an easy 6th to complete his outing in a comfortable win.
Results weren’t probably exactly what he wanted, but he looked as good as he has since his quick start: 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 85 Pitches.
Bobby Miller's six strikeouts for the win (probably). pic.twitter.com/s5XtdT8wqd— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 22, 2023
The bats of the Dodgers did go silent for a few innings, or at least as quiet as they were today. They managed two singles in the 5th and a double in the 6th, but the Rangers pen got a clean 7th.
The 8th did not go as smoothly for them, as back-to-back singles for Freeman and Smith started things, then Muncy doubled off the wall in left for a run and made the Rangers waive the white flag by putting position player Brad Miller in to pitch.
Muncy doubles for his third hit of the day for more late insurance. pic.twitter.com/FRDZdy1LEr— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 22, 2023
A J.D. sacrifice fly followed and added another run, then Peralta snuck a single through to make it 13-3 before the carnage ended.
Peralta's single is his fourth hit of the day and puts the Dodgers up by a Little League mercy rule margin. pic.twitter.com/DPEAYyI6w7— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 22, 2023
It counts the same in the scorebook. Deserved after yesterday. pic.twitter.com/JXmB6YQOuL— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 22, 2023
On the flip side, for the Dodgers pen it was Yency Almonte in the 7th in relief of Miller, and he got a comfortable clean frame. He handed the baton to Phil Bickford in the 8th, who got a scoreless inning while giving up just a single. I had hoped that would be the end for him and the Dodgers would bring in a position player, but unfortunately Bickford was back out for the 9th and gave up a walk and single with two outs before wrapping things up nicely.
The origin story of the Dodgers’ new celly.
It's canon now. pic.twitter.com/b72RTtWDVK— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 22, 2023
Dancing might be the only thing Freddie’s bad at.
Freddie Freeman doing it all. pic.twitter.com/gKcGNnUH79— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 22, 2023
The dugout was loose…
The dugout is loose. pic.twitter.com/40D1yUw7Rl— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 22, 2023
…and so was the bullpen (or at least Brusdar Graterol was).
J.D. Martinez got Brusdar Graterol in on The Wiggle in the pen. pic.twitter.com/NYNdvkEBJE— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 22, 2023
|Giants||54-44 (3.5 GB)*|
|Diamondbacks||54-45 (4 GB)|
*Either still playing or will play later.
The series concludes tomorrow as the Dodgers go for the sweep of the Rangers at the ungodly hour of 8:35 AM HT/11:35 AM PT/2:35 PM ET, and it’ll be another rookie on the mound in Emmet Sheehan (4.91 ERA/3.51 xERA/5.57 DRA) facing off against veteran Martin Perez (4.84/5.59/6.70).