Dodgers Bullpen Shines, but Offense Stumbles Again in 2023 NLDS Game 2

Bobby Miller's rough start tested the bullpen's mettle, but the Dodgers' offense needs to wake up to avoid another playoff disappointment.

In a pivotal Game 2 of the 2023 NLDS, Dodgers rookie sensation Bobby Miller faced a rocky start, surrendering three runs and failing to make it past the second inning. Manager Dave Roberts made a bold decision by pulling Miller from the game after just 52 pitches, a move that would prove beneficial for the Dodgers in the end.

Key Takeaways:

  • Bobby Miller’s early struggles put pressure on the Dodgers’ bullpen.
  • Brusdar Graterol and Ryan Brasier delivered solid performances, helping to keep the game close.
  • The Dodgers’ offense continued to struggle, with key players like Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman underperforming.

Despite Miller’s early exit, Brusdar Graterol stepped up to the plate and delivered six efficient outs in seven batters on just 23 pitches, showcasing one of his best outings of the season. Ryan Brasier, known for his consistency throughout the year, followed suit, going two-plus innings with just one run surrendered on a solo shot by Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

Joe Kelly then took the mound in a high-leverage situation, providing a steady hand and retiring five batters during his 32-pitch outing. Closer Evan Phillips finished the job, skillfully navigating through traffic on the bases to limit the opposing team to just one run contributed by the Dodgers’ bullpen.

While the bullpen’s performance was commendable, the Dodgers’ offensive struggles continued for the second consecutive game. Superstars Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, who were NL MVP candidates during the regular season, are now a combined 1-13 with just one single and three walks to their name in the 2023 postseason.

The lone bright spot in Dave Roberts’ lineup was J.D. Martinez, who homered in the fourth inning to put the Dodgers on the scoreboard after a strong outing by Zac Gallen. However, one more run would be all that LA could muster, leaving them at risk of another playoff exit to an NL West opponent for the second year in a row.

“The bullpen was fantastic. Those guys gave us a chance to stay in the ball game and to win the baseball game. I can’t say enough about what they did. I think they’re in a good spot. We have the off day. The series sets up well in the sense of off days. They’ll all be available for Game 3.”

As impressive as Roberts’ bullpen was in Game 2, the team’s offense needs to wake up with their postseason hopes on the line. Unless the Dodgers can find a way to ignite their bats, they may find themselves packing their bags for the offseason sooner than they had hoped.

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Gary Lee

Gary Lee, a mainstay at LA Sports Report, is not just a sports writer; he's a veritable institution in the realm of sports journalism. With an extensive and illustrious career that boasts stints with notable platforms like Sports Illustrated, Gary has consistently showcased an uncanny knack for capturing the essence of the game, regardless of the sport. His prowess isn't limited to the written word alone; Gary's vast experience extends to creating and curating sports websites, providing fans with in-depth analysis, up-to-date news, and captivating stories. For readers keen on insights into the Clippers, Dodgers, Galaxy, Kings, LAFC, Lakers, Rams, UCLA, and USC, Gary is your go-to guy.
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