On Monday night, the Los Angeles Dodgers rocked Eduardo Rodriguez and forced him to leave the game with back spasms in a win over the Detroit Tigers. It was some light revenge for the left-hander's trade deadline nonsense where he nixed a deal to LA and screwed up their plans.
On Tuesday night, the Tigers were six outs away from a victory, but the Dodgers scored in the bottom of the eighth and ninth to take home the walk-off victory. We'll get to that in a moment, though, because there are a few more important topics to talk about (a win over the Tigers isn't all that notable, is it?).
Helping the Dodgers to their 3-2 victory was reliever Brusdar Graterol, who took over after Ryan Pepiot's impressive six innings of one-run ball (five hits, a walk and four strikeouts). Graterol pitched a scoreless eighth inning, tossing just 13 pitches (nine of which were strikes).
It sounds like a regular appearance against one of the worst offenses in the league, but Graterol's mother was in attendance at Dodger Stadium to watch her son do his job to the fullest. It was her first time seeing him pitch in MLB, as the two have been living apart for seven years. She has been in Venezuela and unfortunately missed Brusdar's MLB debut, wedding, and the birth of his first child.
But the wait was worth it and now mom will be staying in Los Angeles through the conclusion of the World Series. She'll be able to catch up on much of the lost time as her son endures a career season with the Dodgers.
Dodgers News: Emotional Brusdar Graterol moment, JD Martinez surge, walk-off win
Beautiful. That is all.
On the offensive side, JD Martinez has been obliterating the baseball since coming off the IL on Sept. 8. The veteran has missed more than 40 games this year due to injuries, but he's still managed to hit 29 homers and drive in 92 runs across 102 games in yet another All-Star season.
He has 15 hits (four HR) and 14 RBI over his last 10 games. His presence will be paramount in the postseason as he's also just as impressive when the stakes are elevated. He has a .303 average and .987 OPS in 30 career playoff games and this time he won't be killing the Dodgers in the World Series like he did as a member of the Red Sox in 2018.
It's also been nice seeing him destroy his former team. He's 5-for-6 with three HR and 6 RBI against the Tigers on Monday and Tuesday. Keep it rolling Wednesday.
Martinez manufactured one of the runs on Tuesday night with a solo shot and Max Muncy walked it off in the bottom of the ninth with a single that drove home Mookie Betts.
But we can't lose arguably the most encouraging development from Tuesday. Pepiot's six innings after he followed opener Caleb Ferguson marked another successful audition for the right-hander. Though he got knocked around a bit by the Padres in his last outing on Sept. 13, Pepiot has largely been a force over his 33 innings in 2023 (he spent most of the year injured).
He has a 1.91 ERA, 3.71 FIP and .070 WHIP in six games (three starts) dating back to Aug. 19. We'll ask this again: could he be a key member of the pitching staff in October? The Dodgers remain decimated on the pitching front and still don't know what they'll be getting out of Clayton Kershaw. Though Pepiot's sample size is small, he was on track to fight for a back-end rotation spot in spring training after he debuted with the team in 2022. He's now picking up where he left off and has been the beneficiary of injuries. If the Dodgers can find themselves another capable starter or even a bulk bullpen option, the postseason task may not seem as daunting.
Pepiot will have a couple more chances to force Dave Roberts' hand and Dodgers fans are rooting for him to pull it off.