Rookie pitchers have won 10 games and rookie hitters have hit 20 home runs. The Los Angeles Dodgers, the perennial favorites, are on their way to the top of the National League (NL) West.
The Dodgers won a 6-3 road game against the Seattle Mariners on April 16. At 89-57 (.610 winning percentage) and in first place in the NL West, the Dodgers have reduced their magic number to two. They are on pace to win their second straight division title and 10th in the last 11 years, dating back to 2013.
Starting pitcher Bobby Miller, 24, earned his 10th win in his rookie year, and outfielder James Outman, 26, hit over 20 home runs in his first full-time season.
Miller pitched 5⅔ innings of six-hit ball (one homer) with two walks and seven strikeouts to pick up his 10th win of the season along with his third straight victory. In addition to his four-seam fastball (27), which topped out at 100.4 mph (161.6 km/h) and averaged 99.1 mph (159.5 km/h), he also had a changeup (22), curve (19), sinker (16), and slider (6). His changeup, curve, and other pitches worked as well as his fastball.
Miller, a right-handed prospect who was selected with the 29th overall pick in the first round of the 2020 draft, was called up on May 24 to make his big league debut. He was called up seven weeks after Opening Day and settled in quickly, winning three straight from the start and reaching the 10-win plateau in 19 games. His ERA is in the high four-run range (4.02), but his numbers are better than his record. In 107 1/3 innings, he has struck out 99 batters and walked just 30. He doesn’t have the “ballistic” tendencies that are common among fireballers. He’s cool and aggressive.
The Dodgers lost Walker Buehler, who had Tommy John surgery last August, as well as Dustin May and Tony Gonsoli to elbow injuries. Julio Urias is on administrative leave due to domestic violence charges and is effectively a “lost cause,” while Clayton Kershaw’s shoulder is a concern. It’s looking increasingly likely that Miller will be the postseason’s No. 1 starter. After the game in Seattle, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts expressed his confidence in Miller, saying, “I think he’s going to start Game 1 or 2 of the division series.”
With Miller on the mound, the Dodgers have the outfield. With the score 5-3 in the ninth inning, he took a 93.7 mph (150.8 km/h) four-seam fastball low and away from right-hander Trent Thornton and crushed a line drive over the center field fence. The ball was hit 105.1 mph (169.1 km/h) and traveled 410 feet (125.0 m). The game-winning solo shot was Outman’s 20th home run of the season.
It was the 10th 20-homer season for a Dodgers rookie and the first in six years since Cody Bellinger (Chicago Cubs) in 2017. Last year, the Dodgers gave up too much when they released Bellinger as a non-tender, as the center fielder was ready to make his big league debut. Bellinger has resurfaced for the Cubs this year, but Outman has also established himself as the primary center fielder, batting .248 (107-for-432) with 20 home runs, 65 RBIs, 15 doubles and a .789 OPS in 137 games.스포츠토토
The Dodgers are anchored by veterans in their 30s – Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Max Muncy, J.D. Martinez, Chris Taylor, Jason Heyward, Kershaw, Lance Lynn and Ryan Braazer – but Miller and Outman provide a youthful balance at the top of the order. The Dodgers’ era is not coming to an end anytime soon, as they continue to develop young players at the plate. It will be interesting to see if Miller and Outman continue their meteoric rise in fall baseball.