After dropping five of their last six games and two series in a row, the Dodgers came back strong behind yet another rookie starter. Ryan Pepiot went seven shutout and was bidding for a perfect game before it was broken up with two outs in the 7th. He was backed by crooked numbers in the 5th, 6th, and 8th that led to a 10-0 win over the Marlins.
Pepiot has been excellent since he returned to the majors, and with the way things are going the Dodgers are definitely going to need him to continue that.
There’s not much to say about his outing other than he was excellent. While not generating many whiffs, he has come back as a strike thrower and his stuff is good enough to thrive in the zone, inducing a lot of weak contact and ground balls to get through easy innings.
Of course, if you’re allowing a lot of contact, you need some help on defense, and he got that. Great plays by the likes of Miguel Rojas and definitely Amed Rosario kept the perfect game intact multiple times.
Amed Rosario is certainly comfortable at second base, at least. pic.twitter.com/1EuDR1tTQX— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) September 7, 2023
Amed Rosario at second base again. pic.twitter.com/HVkj7eDcqA— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) September 8, 2023
Unfortunately, with two outs in the 7th, Josh Bell reached out an touched a 2-2 change down and out of the zone to sneak it through the infield for a single. That was all they got, but it certainly ruined the possibility of immortality.
7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 84 Pitches
On the other side, lefty Braxton Garrett gave the Dodgers a chance to test out their new platoon lineup again, and despite a slow start, they eventually acquitted themselves.
After wasting a lead-off walk in the 1st, there was a clean 2nd, but Rojas led the 3rd off with a triple to put Garrett in immediate trouble. After an out, he then hit Mookie Betts, who stole second, and then walked Freddie Freeman to load the bases. Will Smith then ambushed the first pitch he saw for a single to drive in a run.
Unfortunately, back-to-back strikeouts ended that major threat.
In the 4th, the Dodgers rallied again, as a one-out walk and single was followed by a wild pickoff attempt to put a pair on. However, Braxton then induced a groundout with a drawn-in infield for an out, which ended his day, and a strikeout provided relief indeed as it stranded another two runs.
At that point, things were rather frustrating, but the Dodgers finally started to break through in the 5th. Of course they did it with two outs as well, which is tradition by now. A Rosario infield single kicked things off, and he was followed by a Max Muncy walk, a Chris Taylor RBI single, and an Enrique Hernandez RBI double that could’ve been two if not for an unlucky bounce. Regardless, they couldn’t get more, and it was 3-0.
The Two-Out Dodgers come through again, plating two behind Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez. pic.twitter.com/FhXxRPR1Dp— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) September 8, 2023
The 6th is what really blew the game open. A one-out walk from Mookie was followed by a bizarre play where Freddie doubled on an impossible pitch, the ball boy casually picked it up and threw it into the stands, and Mookie was given home.
Lots going on here.— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) September 8, 2023
1) How does Freddie hit this pitch? 2) The ball boy missing an obvious ball in play. 3) The umpires deciding to give the Dodgers a run on the play. pic.twitter.com/wuKFxPjVuo
They replaced the ball boy.— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) September 8, 2023
That was followed by another weird play, where Will scalded a ball to third, which looked caught but was then dropped, and an errant throw was made to first. That was an infield single for Will and left the runners on second and third. Amed took advantage of that with a single to drive in a pair.
Amed Rosario comes up with his second hit of the game to drive in a pair. pic.twitter.com/yVkKhmsH1M— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) September 8, 2023
Rosario was caught stealing second, which seemed to kill off the rally, but Muncy got hit by a pitch and then scored on a Taylor double to push the lead to 7-0.
Not including today (2-4, 2B), CT3 has an .859 OPS over the last 30 days and .923 over the last 15. https://t.co/IE6edQ2vMa— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) September 8, 2023
After a scoreless 7th that included a pair of singles but also included a double play, the 8th led to another crooked number. Singles by Smith and Muncy were followed by CT3 smashing his 15th homer to the deepest part of the park for three runs and a 10-0 lead.
10 spot. pic.twitter.com/2d3xij4gzF— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) September 8, 2023
That was it for the bats, but that was obviously enough.
To finish the shutout off, Caleb Ferguson entered in the 8th and gave up just a bad luck single that hit the bag, but rebounded to strikeout a pair.
Evan Phillips apparently also needed work, and he entered to complete the shutout in the 9th, which he did in 1-2-3 fashion.
|Dodgers||85-54 (5.5 GB)|
|Diamondbacks||72-68 (13.5 GB)*|
*Either still playing or will play later.
The Dodgers will now travel to the nation’s capitol for a series against the Nationals that will start at 1:05 PM HT/4:05 PM PT/7:05 PM ET. It’ll be another rookie in Emmet Sheehan against former Padres starter MacKenzie Gore.