Braves 8, Dodgers 7: Well, that was exciting, huh?

In what started out looking like a blowout win for the Braves after they jumped out to an early lead, the gritty, underdog, scrappy (etc) Dodgers clawed back into it and made it dramatic late. However, one last rally in the 9th fell short of completing the task, and the Dodgers took an 8-7 loss to start the four-game set.

That ends their four-game winning streak, and puts their series streak on the line tomorrow.


While the Dodgers got four runs and a win earlier this year against Spencer Strider, only two of those were earned and he struck out 11 in six innings, so it figured to be another test for the offense.

The Dodgers got started immediately today behind a Mookie Betts walk and Freddie Freeman single that cornered the runners. After a strikeout, Max Muncy hit a ball hard to the right side that seemed destined for a single, but Nicky Lopez made a diving stop for an out. Though it did score a run, that helped Strider escape the inning down just 1-0.

While I’m not going to look too much into the results of this series, it does serve as a good test for guys like Lance Lynn to see how he might fare in the playoffs against teams that will have a lot of pop.

It, uh, didn’t go well.

After a 24-pitch inning in the 1st that saw Ronald Acuna Jr. single but nothing else, Lynn then had a nightmare of a 2nd. A single started things, and after an out, Lynn hit a batter, gave up an infield single, and walked in a run via the #9 hitter Lopez to tie things up. Going back to Acuna, well he absolutely shit on a pitch for a grand slam to make it 5-1.

Austin Riley followed with a homer of his own later to push the lead to 6-1, and the game was effectively over.

Or so it seemed.

Lynn did settle in for a bit, getting clean frames in the 3rd and 4th, but the 5th started with a Michael Harris II homer to push the score to 7-1, and after a single and a walk while just getting one out, his night was done.

Not good, to say the least: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 104 Pitches.

In relief of him was Alex Vesia, who threw one pitch and got a double play to escape the 5th.


Meanwhile, Strider was cruising and got 12 in a row at one point. Fortunately, that ended to start the bottom of the 5th when Jason Heyward singled. After a James Outman walk, two outs followed that put the rally on the brink, but of course it was Mookie hitting his 37th homer of the year over Acuna’s glove to cut the lead to 7-4.

Vesia came back out for the 6th and got two quick outs, then seemed to get a third. However, a Muncy error led to the inning being extended, and after an intentional walk to Acuna, Harris singled to bring home a run and put the Braves in front by an 8-4 score. That would prove important.

Fortunately, Strider’s night ended after a 6th in which the Dodgers stranded a lead-off single.

Fortunate because Anybody-But-Strider gave up homers to Michael Busch (2nd) and then Mookie (38th) again to cut the Braves lead to 8-6.

That paid off again in the 8th, when Muncy redeemed his error with a solo shot (32nd) to make it 8-7.

More drama followed after a walk and a single, but a pair of strikeouts ended a potential game-winning rally.


Meanwhile, as the comeback was on, so was the Dodgers pen. Following Vesia was another lefty in Victor Gonzalez, who was impressive in the 7th, getting a pair of groundouts and a strikeout. The 8th then belonged to Shelby Miller, coming back off the IL, and he looked sharp in a 1-2-3 frame of his own.

After about a week off, Brusdar Graterol entered for the 9th. While Acuna led off with another hit and also stole second, Graterol worked around it to keep the game at 8-7 going into the bottom half.

It was the top of the order for the Dodgers’ last licks, and Mookie started by hitting a ball to right again … just short of the track for an out. Freddie walked and Will Smith followed with a single to set the table, but while Muncy got ahead 3-1, he got out in front of a change and flew out to right. Enrique Hernandez followed with a strikeout, and that was it.


Dodgers83-50 (5 GB)
Giants70-64 (13.5 GB)

*Either still playing or will play later.

The two teams will do it again tomorrow at the same time of 4:10 PM HT/7:10 PM PT/10:10 PM ET. It’ll be a matchup of lefties in Julio Urias and Max Fried.

About Chad Moriyama

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