Are the Dodgers Finally Starting to Turn a Corner?

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It may not have necessarily been pretty, but the Dodgers took two of three from the Washington Nationals over the weekend. Los Angeles has now won six of their last seven games, and have achieved a .500 record for the first time this season.

Something that unfortunately stays the same in Dodger-land seems to be the inability to drive runners in scoring position home. In Friday night’s game against Max Scherzer, they didn’t have a problem getting hits against him—Chris Taylor led off the game with a triple. Corey Seager was then hit by a pitch, but the Dodgers failed to score. Two on, no outs, runner on third, and they failed to score. You can chalk it up to the fact they were facing one of the best pitchers in the game right now. But Scherzer looked human on Friday, and they failed to at least scratch a run across. Looking far down the road, in the playoffs you can’t let that happen.

But it got a little better after that. The Dodgers blanked the Nats on Saturday against Stephen Strasburg—another great outing by Hyun-Jin Ryu—and finally mounted a late inning comeback Sunday night to grab the series win.

In the comeback, although the bats were quiet in the beginning, they worked and scraped the runs across, and did it by fundamentals, running first to third on a single, and getting the run across with a sacrifice fly. Of course, a huge double by Cody Bellinger helped too, as well as Kenley Jansen mostly looking like his old self again.

The Dodgers are looking to keep things rolling against the Miami Marlins who come into Chavez Ravine for a three game series starting Monday evening. And awaiting them on the mound is the next big pitcher in the Dodgers organization, righty Walker Buehler. Since Rich Hill is on the 10-day DL with finger inflammation, Buehler was brought up to make his first major league start. Buehler was the Dodgers first round draft pick in 2015, is number one of the Dodgers’ prospects, and number 12 overall on MLB Pipeline’s prospect list.

He will be sporting No. 21, most recently worn by Trayce Thompson, and before that, by some guy named Zack Greinke. Buehler will most likely pitch again in a double-header against the San Francisco Giants on Saturday before heading back down to Oklahoma City. Before the season started, Dave Roberts said that the club was looking to send out Buehler 140-150 innings combined between Triple-A and the majors.

Coming into the series with the Dodgers, the Marlins are working through their rebuilding process. They currently are 5-16, and in a four game losing streak. Catcher J.T. Realmuto is the hottest hitter on the team, slashing .417/.500/.667/1.167, although he’s only played in four games. Other notables are Justin Bour, who has four homers, and Starlin Castro who has been very consistent to start the season.

Buehler will be facing off against Jarlin Garca, who has only allowed six hits, two earned runs, 11 walks, and 13 strikeouts through an even 21 innings. He has not allowed runs in his last two outings, against both the New York Mets and New York Yankees.

The Dodgers look to keep their winning ways going against their Marlins, and hopefully into San Francisco and beyond.

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