Max Muncy shakes life into sleepy offense as Dodgers steal home series from Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals v Los Angeles Dodgers
St. Louis Cardinals v Los Angeles Dodgers / Katharine Lotze/GettyImages

Even Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol acknowledged a universal truth during a mid-game interview in the last of a four-game set against the Dodgers. You can never count LA out.

Newly minted 2024 rotation member Gavin Stone got the ball to start, and he held down the fort in his first appearance since being officially promoted following Emmet Sheehan's transfer to the 15- (now 60-) day IL. By the time he was taken out in the sixth, only two runs had scored for the Cardinals on Paul Goldschmidt and Brendan Donovan singles in the third and fifth.

A truly weird top of the sixth followed under Alex Vesia's watch, and two more runs scored when, with two outs and two strikes on, a fastball got away from Vesia and hit Donovan to drive in the third run. The next batter, once again Goldschmidt, forced in another run on catcher's interference by Austin Barnes.

On the Dodgers' end, the bats were silent until the bottom of the sixth. Not one LA hitter had managed to get a hit down until that inning, when Shohei Ohtani hit a ground-rule double and Teoscar Hernández came up to drive him home. One James Outman ground out to score Hernández and a Hernández solo home run in the eighth later, and the Dodgers had cut the Cardinals lead to one.

Then, after coming in to replace Kiké Hernández, Max Muncy stepped up to the plate to blast one straight to the moon. Chris Taylor, who had walked and stolen second base, also scored, putting the Dodgers up 5-4.

After subbing in, Max Muncy blasts his first home of the season to give Dodgers a late-game lead and steal a win from the Cardinals

The middle of the Dodgers order did most of the heavy lifting in Sunday's game, with Nos. 4, 5, and 6 batters (Teoscar) Hernández, Taylor, (Kiké) Hernández, and Muncy responsible for six of the Dodgers' eight hits and four of their five runs on the day. Aside from Ohtani's double, the Big Three were quiet after Mookie Betts became the second of two players to get more than nine hits and RBI, more than six walks, more than four home runs, and have a batting average of over .600 in any four games of a season. (The other is Babe Ruth).

This kind of productivity from even the players who might not be household names goes to show just how much depth the Dodgers have at their disposal. (We should also note that James Outman, batting seventh, was responsible for another RBI, and Barnes, batting ninth, also got a hit). The Big Three can have their off days, but the other six will be right there to pick them up.

You can never count the Dodgers out.