What a way to end a 10-1 home stand. Julio Urías did not have his A game, and did not get any help from his LFer., but they found a way to grind out a big win. Gavin Lux may in fact become an All Star, but not in LF. We have been told how tough it is to play a day game in the OF at Dodger Stadium, but Gavin Lux will tell you he should have caught that ball hit by Ian Happ. If he catches that ball, maybe he does not let the ball hit by Nico Hoerner drop in front of him. Snake bit? Loss of confidence? Sure, but he is a ML player who should make those plays, and he knows it.
But it was Julio that gave up the Granny to P. J. Higgins. He had multiple 2 strike counts on batters in the first, but could not get the 3rd one. Both HBPs, the Hoerner single, the Higgins Granny, the Bote walk were all with 2 strikes. The first inning has always been a problem for Julio. This game was no different, but with the LF miscues, this start was one to forget. He came back out in the 2nd, and retired the side in order with 2 Ks. Both Doc and Freddie Freeman thought the 2nd inning by Julio was huge.
Down 5-0, it would have been easy for the team to dial one in. They were already 9-1 on the homestand. They had a 7 game lead on SD and a 2.5 game lead over NYM for the best record in the NL. LAD comes back with 3 in the first, and there is a ballgame going on. The team got a sac fly from Max Muncy for run #3, just his 2nd of the year. But kudos to Max for the sac fly and the double later in the game.
A 3-run HR off of Phil Bickford put the Cubs back up by 5 after 2.5 innings. However, the Dodgers hung six on the Cubs in the bottom of the 3rd. to take a 9-8 lead, a lead they never relinquished.
Freddie jacked up his AS resume with a 4-5 day including his 11th HR, including legging out an infield hit. His hardest hit ball was an out. Lux reached base 4 times with 2 hits and 2 walks. Does Freddie replace Bryce Harper? The Nationals Josh Bell will have an argument, but the game is in LA. What does that mean? I think a better argument could be made that Bell should have been the Nationals representative instead of Juan Soto. But Josh Bell does not have the rep as does Soto. Just my opinion.
Helmetless Freddie Freeman is a mad man on the basepaths 😂
Freddie knew he was safe #Dodgers
— Doug McKain (@DMAC_LA) July 10, 2022
Max has had an awful year, but he is not quitting. There are 77 qualified hitters in the NL. On the list for each of the batting metrics, Max is:
- BA – 77
- OBP – 54
- SLG – 76
- OPS – 73
And yet the Dodgers are on a 106-107 win season pace. What happens if Max goes home for the AS break and turns his season around, starting with the Giants after the ASG.
What did not go unnoticed by the announcers or the players after the game was the 2B defense of Gavin Lux. He is a 2B, and as I said yesterday, if it costs Max Muncy ABs, so be it. Gavin Lux is now #7 in BA in the NL. After this homestand, the Dodgers have 3 players in the top 10 BA (Gavin, Trea Turner, and Freddie).
Outside of Sunday’s game, the starting pitching was brilliant over the 11 game stand. The bullpen, except for Craig Kimbrel’s blown save, and Sunday’s game, the bullpen was also brilliant. One encouraging sight was seeing Brusdar Graterol come into the game, 3 days after leaving with side soreness, that turned out to be cramps. He entered the game with runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs, stranded both runners, and pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning thanks to a pair of excellent defensive plays: one by Gavin Lux and one by JT. He got his 3rd save of the year, all within the last 3 weeks. The last two in the last 5 days.
Justin Turner has found his swagger again. He was hitting .206 on June 17. A little over 3 weeks later, his BA is now at .250. For the month of July, JT is hitting .438/.472/.625/1.097.
It is easy to look at the blown loss with SD and say the Dodgers should have been 11-0 on their homestand. But with the number of come back wins in the last 7 wins (6), losing the one was a little easier to swallow, except it was against SD. I accept a 10-1 record as outstanding.
With the way this team is grinding out victories, and with the number of come from behind victories (25), they are reminding me of the 2017 team. The confidence has to be soaring in that clubhouse. They do not expect to lose, and they find ways of making it happen.
The Dodgers swept the Cubs, while the Giants and Padres split 4 games. LAD picked up 2 games on both teams. They now lead SD by 8.0 games, SFG by 12.5, and they have stretched their NL lead over NYM by 3.5 games.