LOS ANGELES — After two dud starts from Lance Lynn and Julio Urías earlier in the series, Bobby Miller pitched a one-run seven-inning gem on Sunday for the Dodgers (84-52). Miller’s efficiency and a couple of timely hits allowed the Dodgers to salvage a 3-1 win in the finale over the Atlanta Braves (90-46) and avoid the four-game sweep at home.
The Dodgers were abysmal during this series with RISP, but they were able to go 2-for-10 with RISP in the series finale to squeak out the win the last game of the series and prevent the sweep.
Will Smith collected the first base hit of the game against Charlie Morton with two outs in the first inning, but the Dodgers couldn’t muster much else. It’s still a good sign for Smith, who seems to be heating back up a bit.
Leading off in the second, Jason Heyward dropped a single in front of Ronald Acuña Jr. in right field. Morton picked him off which spurred the third replay challenge in less than two innings. These constant challenges on easy outs botched by the umpiring squad is not too good for the old pace of play issue.
Speaking of umpires, Freddie Freeman nearly got tossed from the game in the bottom of the third on an atrocious sequence by the home plate ump Shane Livensparger, where he gave Morton off the plate down and in and on the edge up and away.
Meanwhile, other than a Matt Olson solo home run later into his outing, Miller was dominant against the best lineup in the league. The rookie right-hander only allowed one run on three hits with five strikeouts and a walk in seven innings of work.
After the game, Miller told the media he didn’t feel like he had his best stuff, but he still wanted to pitch deep in the game. His efficiency is very important to him, and this was a key factor to the Dodgers’ Sunday victory.
The Dodgers finally scored actual runs in the bottom half of the fifth. James Outman drew a key leadoff walk, and Miguel Rojas crushed an RBI double to deep center field to bring Outman sliding home. The Dodgers added a second run thanks to an RBI single that plopped barely over Orlando Arcia‘s head and into left field. 2-0.
While the Dodgers scored two precious runs in the fifth, the inning ended with an injury to Max Muncy. It looked like he might have hurt himself on his swing. Kiké Hernández replaced him at third base.
Meanwhile, in support of Miller, Heyward flashed the leather with a sliding catch in left field to rob Acuña Jr. to end the top of the sixth.
Speaking of Miller, he was fantastic. He’ll definitely be a contender to pitch against the Braves in the postseason should the Dodgers end up facing them in October. Roberts was not ready to commit to that yet when he was asked after the game, but he recognized Miller’s contributions to the team as an effective pitcher this season.
Bobby Miller highlights. pic.twitter.com/DxbR7HAIup— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) September 3, 2023
After six shutout, the Braves finally got to Miller in the seventh. Olson hit No. 44 to cut the lead in half. It was a very precarious situation for the next two frames, but Shelby Miller backed up his fellow Miller and pitched a scoreless eighth.
The Dodgers tacked on an insurance run with two outs in the eighth thanks to a James Outman RBI single to make it 3-1 Dodgers.
Brusdar Graterol got the ball for the ninth and recorded the save with a scoreless ninth. The Bazooka struck out Ozuna to seal the win and the end of the series.
The Dodgers get a much-needed break on Monday before heading off for another East Coast road trip. They’ll take on the Miami Marlins for three games starting Tuesday at 3:40 p.m. PST on SportsNet LA. Clayton Kershaw (12-4, 2.48 ERA, 1.3 HR/9) is slated to face Jesus Luzardo (9-8, 3.62 ERA, 10.5 K/9) in the series opener.