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Dodgers Defeat Braves 5-3 To Begin Homestand Behind Dominant Buehler

The Los Angeles Dodgers started off a nine-game home stand in style at Chavez Ravine with a solid 5-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

Indeed, all of us received the best Walker Buehler we have seen in the 2019 season. This was a great start for Buehler by all accounts – and something to build off of as he regains 2018 form. Let’s take a look at how the Dodgers improved to 23-14 on the season. Moreover, the Dodgers improved to 13-4 this season at their home park, the best mark in the sport.

The Offense

On Monday night, the Dodgers kind of scored ugly. First, it was Cody Bellinger laying down a bunt base-hit. Bellinger then advanced to second base on a throwing error. From there, Corey Seager would drive in Bellinger from the clean-up spot following a single from Justin Turner. This gave the Dodgers an early 1-0 jumpstart in the first.

In the second, Alex Verdugo scored on a passed ball. This was designed to be a squeeze play with Buehler hitting, but the Dodgers succeeded by a different avenue.

Los Angeles added 2 more in the third inning – with a base hit from Chris Taylor and a sac fly from Verdugo. Equally important, Taylor wasn’t done; and in the middle of his hot stretch he continued his clutch hitting that has now reached a four-game span.

Taylor doubled home the final and fifth Dodgers run in the fifth inning which made it 5-0.

In total, the Dodgers had nine hits on the night. One could say it’s odd that they didn’t homer in their home park. On the other hand, it’s nice to see the team play some small ball and manufacture runs in this style game. As a whole, Kevin Gausman did not seem to fool the Los Angeles hitters enough, and their patient approach had him chewed up and out of the game before he completed his fifth frame.

The Pitching

Walker Buehler gets major props for his performance tonight. Early in the game, he lived on the black of home plate. While pumping 98 and 99 mile per hour gas past Atlanta hitters, Buehler compiled 8 strikeouts and no walks over 7 innings.

However, he wasn’t fully unscathed. Initially, it looked like Atlanta hitters would not stand a chance. Finally, in the sixth inning with a 5-0 lead; Freddie Freeman homered to center to make it 5-2. Then, an inning later Nick Markakis visited the same area for the game’s final total.

In all, Buehler threw 100 pitches, 74 for strikes, and allowed just 5 hits. If there was a difference between this Buehler of May 6th and 2018 Buehler, I could not tell the difference.

Pedro Baez continued to settle into the set-up role with a perfect 8th inning, recording a strikeout. Now, his season ERA sits at 3.32 for the year.

And look who came in for the save in the ninth inning!

Indeed, Julio Urias entered in the ninth to get 3e outs and protect a 2 run lead. Urias filled in for Kenley Jansen who was unavailable tonight due to workload. The highlight of the outing for Urias? That would be mowing down Ronald Acuna Jr. in a full count with a 96 MPH fastball for his second out.

To be sure, there could be some chatter about Urias serving in this role moving forward.

Final Word

The Dodgers took care of business over a quality opponent on Monday night. Now, the take home message is a conversation about Urias; and the Dodgers may have one of their rotation horses back for good in Buehler. Buehler improved to a spotless 4-0 on the season, but this was the first time he’s looked any semblance of dominant this year. Taylor, Turner, and Seager carried the load offensively in what served as an excellent team win.

[button link=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/dodgers-series-preview-nlds-rematch-against-the-braves/2019/05/06/” type=”big” color=”red”] Dodgers Series Preview: NLDS Rematch Against the Braves[/button]

Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

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  1. Ownage………………The Braves are 6-19 in their last 25 games at Dodger Stadium, dating back to 2013. That includes four postseason losses……..

  2. CT3 finally hitting………….Pedro Baez finally pitching……….Buehler being the phenom we expect……..Turner hitting again……..and “Dave” finally reading my posts (Grin!) and figuring out that Urias can fill that late inning hole he has in the bullpen instead of Kelly……..things just looked better last night.

  3. Using Urias in late innings is a good move. It limits his innings and utilizes his talent. He seems to have the chops to pitch in save/pressure situations.

  4. Dodger fans, do you think Julio Urias can can be our future closer a la Josh Hader of the Brewers? Or do you prefer Urias as front-line starter, team him up with Buehler so our future #1 and #2(Buehler,Urias or vice-versa). IMO I was thinking the Dodgers future aces, but after MLB-Network went to the finish of the Dodgers-Braves game and watched Urias close-out the game, I have second thoughts. I know Urias closed because Jansen was unavailable after pitching 3-consecutive games. Small sample(Pump the brakes) but man Urias looked good.

  5. Kudos to Buehler and Urias. As a matter of fact, I would have no hesitancy of moving Urias into the starting rotation, and limiting his pitch and/or innings count. I did not expect much from Hill and he justified my lack of confidence in him; , and Maeda is not the same pitcher he was last year. Go Blue!!!!

    • BLUE LOU! I concur but Urias for now anyway can serve well as an optional closer for the one that has become a favorite to those who desire to hit HR’s. Both Hill and Maeda appear to have difficulty with keeping the ball in the yard, as does CK right now also. But the platooning to an utmost degree will continue , it’s just the way they run things. Joc has all but disappeared offensively and I would bet every fan here and elsewhere knows exactly why.

      • AZUL, the last sentence of your above post says it all. Big Red had three dingers last night!!!! I knew sooner or later he would break loose and the home run number would rise. Regarding Joc, its anyone’s guess what the team will do with him. Maybe PD Jr. knows, but he is not talking!!!!!!! Go Blue!!!!

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