Dodgers 5, Braves 1: Shohei Ohtani goes deep twice, supports James Paxton’s best start as a Dodger

After yesterday’s blowout victory, the Dodgers played another tight one against the Braves to close things out. Fortunately, they again came out on the right side of it as James Paxton shockingly turned in his best start of the season and Shohei Ohtani went yard twice more in a 5-1 victory.

That’s a series sweep over one of MLB’s best teams, four in a row, and 11 wins in their last 13. Feeling it.


While Paxton has seen good results so far this year, he’s also been lucky as the process of getting to those results has been relatively disastrous. Today, he made strides thanks to showcasing much improved command against an aggressive Braves lineup.

After surrendering just a questionable walk in the 1st, he got the side in order in the 2nd, and faced the minimum in the 3rd after a single was erased by a double play. He got a clean 4th and worked around a lead-off single in the 5th, before finally issuing another walk in the 6th but keeping the 0 on the board.

Part of that success was also getting defensive help.

Speaking of which, Teoscar Hernandez gunned down Matt Olson on a ball off the wall to start the 7th, which ended up saving a run after Marcell Ozuna homered over his head next (after he assaulted Austin Barnes with his bat).

After a single and another out, Paxton was out of the game due to matchup reasons, and that ended up being the only run he gave up: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K, 84 Pitches.

The reason that was the only run he gave up was Joe Kelly having an adventurous, but ultimately successful at-bat that resulted in a strikeout to end any hopes of a rally. When he exited, he did so with a 4-1 lead.

On the other end was Max Fried, who along with the umpire was another reason this game went so quickly. Luckily the Dodgers have Ohtani, as he got three of the four hits against him. That includes following a Mookie Betts lead-off walk in the 1st with his ninth homer of the year for an immediate 2-0 lead.

Uh … from then until the 6th inning, the Dodgers didn’t get a runner in scoring position against Fried. He hit a batter, gave up a single, and walked a guy, but that was it.

Fortunately Ohtani still existed, and after he singled in the 6th, Teoscar Hernandez stepped up a bit later and smashed his eighth homer of the season to double the lead at the time to 4-0.

Fried didn’t give up that much traffic, but the guys who did anything caused damage at least. Thankfully, he was done after seven innings, and A.J. Minter entered. He was immediately greeted by Ohtani, who got the run Paxton gave up back, hitting the first pitch he saw from him for his 10th homer of the year to tie for the MLB lead. 5-1.

On the other end, Blake Treinen made his glorious return, and they’ll need him for the pen. He thankfully looked sharp, unleashing a devilish curve for a strikeout and getting a clean frame.

Michael Grove was tasked the close out the game in the 9th, and he did so on just 11 pitches, striking out a pair to close out the sweeeeeeeep.


Orel Hershiser is recruiting Fried. Thank you for your service.

Miguel Rojas, infield coach.


23-13, a 104-win pace.

Tomorrow, the Dodgers will welcome in the hapless Marlins for a series, which means they’ll probably lose that one somehow. Anyway, it starts at 4:10 PM HT/7:10 PM PT/10:10 PM ET with Walker Buehler making his season debut and return from injury against Roddery Munoz.

About Chad Moriyama

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