Dodgers Win Opening Game in Atlanta Backed By Hill’s Dominant Outing

The first place Dodgers faced off against the red-hot Braves in Atlanta for game one Thursday night. Two established veterans took the mound, with Rich Hill going for Los Angeles and Anibal Sanchez for Atlanta.

The Defense

For Rich Hill, it was easily his best outing of the year. He tossed seven scoreless frames and allowed just three hits to a Braves team that has been dominant. Hill also struck out eight batters and allowed just one free pass in the process. Everything seems to be working for Rich in the month of July. He has tossed a combined 26 innings across four starts and one relief appearance. In that time, he has racked up 31 strikeouts and accumulated a low 2.42 earned run average.

Daniel Hudson followed up Hill in relief and left a little to be desired on the mound. Hudson gave up a two-run shot to Acuña in the 8th inning. That boosted his season earned run average to 4.42, not exactly what you need late in the game. Pedro Baez followed Hudson to close the game, and he got through the inning with relative ease. It was his second appearance since his return from the disabled list.

The Offense

The offense had no problem in this one, but there was one clear highlight. Manny Machado finally went deep for Los Angeles. It took seven games for him to find his power stroke, launching his 25th home run of the year into the left-field stands. Machado is now slashing 311/385/566 on the year between Baltimore and Los Angeles.

Everyone else seemed to have a decent day at the dish, including Rich Hill. He has a rbi single in this one. Alex Verdugo had a couple of singles, going 2 for 4 on the game. Joc Pederson also went 2 for 4 with a double. The Dodgers offense has put up 41 runs in just 7 games played since the All-Star break. That is good for nearly 6 runs per game.

Looking Ahead

Clayton Kershaw will take the mound on Friday night, facing off against Mike Foltynewicz. Folty has had himself a heck of a year, pitching to a 2.85 era in his 19 starts. He got roughed up in his last start though, allowing four earned runs across 5.2 innings pitched in Washington. Kershaw is coming off an unfortunate game in Milwaukee, where he allowed just one earned run but lost the game. He had allowed three additional unearned runs.

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  1. Question: Is this “launch angle” approach hurting Dodgers such as Taylor, Bellinger, Hernandez, etc.? Obviously, if you square the ball, it will take-off, but if you miss, pop-ups or strike-outs occur?