The Los Angeles Dodgers had what could very well be their best win of the season so far on Sunday night.
After splitting the first two games of the series in Atlanta against the Braves, the Dodgers were held scoreless and were down to their last out, facing their former closer Kenley Jansen. With runners on second and third, Trayce Thompson plunked a single just beyond the reach of Braves first baseman Matt Olson, trying the game.
In the top of the tenth, Freddie Freeman doubled in ghost runner Trea Turner for the lead. Then Dodgers closer Craig Kimbrel promptly gave up that lead in the bottom of the 10th, allowing the Braves to tie it once again. But in the top of the 11th, the Dodgers plated two runners, and Brusdar Graterol, who was supposed to be not available out of the pen, came in and sat the Braves down in order to secure the win.
It was an excellent team win. Tony Gonsolin once again had a dominant outing, going 5.2 inning allowing only one earned run and striking out five. Chris Taylor came off the bench in the seventh inning and went 3-3, scoring twice and gathering an RBI. Thompson was on base three times, and tied the game. Freddie Freeman, who seemed overwhelmed most of the series, came through when the Dodgers needed him to most. While Max Muncy went 0-5 at the plate, he had some incredible defensive plays to save some runs. And not to be lost in the offense talk, Reyes Moronta had two absolutely dominant innings, shutting down the Braves in the eighth and ninth innings, striking out three.
The Braves are 19-5 in the month of June, and the Dodgers handed them two of those losses. They rose to the occasion when they had to, and looked a bit more like the talented team that they are.
In addition, over the last 10 games, the Dodgers are 7-3, while the rest of the NL West went 4-6 over that time span.
If there was one issue to focus on from the series, it would be the bullpen. The Dodgers suffered a huge blow when Daniel Hudson tore his ACL coming off the mound awkwardly on Friday evening. It is doubtful that he will be able to return this season. Kimbrel still looks shaky as the closer. And while Graterol shut down the Braves Sunday night, he allowed the two winning runs to score on Saturday night. The bullpen has been used a lot over the last six games, and the Dodgers still have 14 straight games ahead of them, including three games in Colorado.
In other injury news, the Dodgers will be without Mookie Betts longer than previously thought. Manager Dave Roberts said over the weekend that the original two weeks timeline is “not proving to be reasonable”. Betts was granted permission to attend a wedding over the weekend, and will not travel with the team to Colorado. He will be with the team again this coming weekend in L.A. but is not yet doing any baseball related activities.
The Dodgers also lost starter Andrew Heaney again. The starter is on the IL for the second time this season, still dealing with his left shoulder injury. Heaney missed two months the first time, but the Dodgers do not think that this stint will be as long. Roberts indicated at this point they think it will only be a couple starts missed.
The Dodgers now begin a three game series against the Colorado Rockies. Probable starters are Monday, Tyler Anderson and Chad Kuhl; Tuesday, Clayton Kershaw and Kyle Freeland; Wednesday, Julio Urías and German Marquez.