Although the last two series weren't pretty, the Los Angeles Dodgers were able to avoid disasters in both, capturing the finales against the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins. On Thursday night, they rebounded to the tune of a 10-0 win over Miami.
But before we get into that, Dodgers Nation was given a scare following the game. A Marlins writer said Mookie Betts was leaving the ballpark and not putting weight on one of his legs.
Betts left in the eighth inning after fouling a ball off his foot. He received X-rays, which came back negative, but left on crutches in what was seemingly a precautionary measure. But for a moment there, Dodgers fans were losing their minds wondering what had happened.
This is definitely worth monitoring, but for now there's no need to blow it out of proportion because it's understandable why the Dodgers would want to ensure their best player is avoiding every possible unnecessary risk.
Dodgers News: Freddie Freeman's history, Ryan Pepiot's huge outing gives LA hope
As for the victory, everyone had a blast in this one. Each starter recorded a hit except Austin Barnes. Four players had two or more hits. And Freddie Freeman's lone base knock was a record-tying double. Next up? The actual record and then the extra-base hits mark.
Freeman recorded his 52nd double of the season, which tied the Dodgers franchise record. The NL record is 64, which gives Freeman around a month to clock 13 more in order to join the all-time books.
That gave Freeman 79 extra-base hits on the year. The Los Angeles record is 84 and the franchise record is 94. With 23 games remaining, Freeman needs 16 extra-base hits to break both marks, but he should at least get the LA record (he needs six for that).
Though a few tough series against the Padres and Mariners remain, Freeman will at least be able to tee off against the Nationals, Tigers, Rockies and Giants before the year ends.
The good news is that the Dodgers' offense isn't the problem. Freeman and the lineup should keep humming along if everyone's able to stay healthy.
It's the pitching, which has taken countless hits, most recently in wake of Julio Urías' arrest, Clayton Kershaw's lingering shoulder injury, Lance Lynn's two straight meltdowns, and Tony Gonsolin's Tommy John surgery.
On Thursday, the Dodgers recalled Ryan Pepiot to take over Urías' spot on the active roster, and the right-hander delivered a gem and his best outing of the 2023 season. He blanked the Marlins over seven innings and allowed just one hit while striking out three. He needed only 84 pitches to do it.
Pepiot now has a 0.86 ERA on the season, allowing just two earned runs in his 21 innings. Last year, it appeared as if Pepiot might emerge as a reliable back-end starter, but injuries kept him off the field until August and delayed his chance to make an impression and build off of his 2022.
But on Thursday night he seized the opportunity with the pitching staff down bad, perhaps giving the Dodgers a reliable postseason arm as their options quickly dwindle with less than a month before October action begins. He's got a long way to go before that's even a consideration (he's probably a bulk bullpen option at the moment), but any positive development with the pitching staff is something fans are going to follow as closely as possible.