After a lengthy homestand of a whole three games, the Dodgers flew up to the Pacific Northwest for a series against the Mariners. It was a playoff-esque pitching matchup, and it was played close throughout the game. However, the Dodgers took the lead on the unlikely homer and held onto it for a 6-3 victory.
On the mound was sudden staff ace rookie Bobby Miller, and he allowed just one baserunner through each of the first four innings. For three innings that wasn’t a big deal, as it was just a pair of singles and a walk, but the one in the 4th was a Eugenio Suarez homer to draw first blood.
Bust out the binoculars! pic.twitter.com/qtdGrSGBQF— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) September 16, 2023
On the other side, things weren’t looking great against George Kirby early on, as they managed just a pair of walks in the 1st and a single that was erased by a double play in the 3rd.
While Jason Heyward led the 5th off with a single, it looked like another lost inning after two outs followed and Miguel Rojas was at the plate. However, Miggy surprised everybody (including Kirby) by smashing a two-run homer (4th) on a pitch up and out of the zone for a 2-1 lead.
Miggy Ro turns on a fastball up and in and out of the zone for a go-ahead homer. Baseball. pic.twitter.com/sIXX3WXiBB— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) September 16, 2023
Cameras are cutting to the pitch too late, but anyway, J.D. Martinez single to extend the lead further. pic.twitter.com/fKY3hdezRu— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) September 16, 2023
Unfortunately, a lot of those runs came right back. After Miller put up his first clean frame in the 5th, he gave up a single, walk, and uncorked a wild pitch to start the 6th. A Teoscar Hernandez single plated the first run of the frame, and they got another that Miller was happy to give up as it came on a Suarez double play.
That made things 4-3, but after another single, Dave Roberts came to get Miller and end his outing. He’ll likely get better from here, but it seems clear working deep into games shouldn’t be in the cards for the playoffs: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 7 K, 91 Pitches.
While he labored deeper into the outing again, Miller's stuff continued to look sharp while striking out seven. pic.twitter.com/oxkmBKUpS7— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) September 16, 2023
In relief of him was Caleb Ferguson, who made things exciting with another single and a wild pitch to put the go-ahead run in scoring position, but he ended the threat with a strikeout. He continued in the 7th, getting an out but surrendering a double. Brusdar Graterol was then summoned, and he got a pair of outs to ensure the one-run lead stuck.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers were hunting for insurance. With Kirby out, they got nothing in the 7th, but Freddie got hit to start the 8th. He then took matters into his own hands, stealing second and advancing to third on an errant throw. However, back-to-back strikeouts put the rally in jeopardy, which is where J.D. came through again with a single to put the lead up to two at 5-3.
After back-to-back strikeouts and missing a slider by like five feet, J.D. comes through again with a single for insurance. pic.twitter.com/ggHTjwpFo2— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) September 16, 2023
In the setup role was Ryan Brasier in the 8th, who got a pair of groundouts (one a great play by Muncy, to be fair) and then gave up a soft liner single off his glove and away from his fielders. That led to an at-bat with dropped foul balls on tough plays from Heyward and Muncy that resulted in a hit batter, but Brasier rebounded with a strikeout to end the inning.
In the 9th, James Outman provided further insurance by smacking his 20th homer of the year to make it 6-3.
Didn't think this was gone, but Outman hit it harder than I thought. pic.twitter.com/sCkJMqjVX8— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) September 16, 2023
Going for the save, it was Evan Phillips in the 9th, of course. While he allowed a lead-off single, Phillips then got a foul pop, and induced a grounder that almost ended the game on a double play. A single followed to put the tying run at the plate, but Evan secured the win with a strikeout to end it.
That was a lot more exciting at the end than necessary.
|Dodgers||89-57 (6.5 GB)|
|Brewers||83-64 (13 GB)|
|Diamondbacks||77-72 (13.5 GB)|
*Either still playing or will play later.