Baseball is an unpredictable game. But every very now and then, the stars align perfectly and a game goes exactly how you would expect it to go, beautiful randomness of the game be damned.
Drew Smyly, who has been plagued by home runs all season, ran into a Dodgers lineup that — you guessed it — hits a lot of home runs. Smyly was chased during the 5th inning after surrendering four homers early, and the Braves’ bats were unable catch up in time in a 5-3 loss.
Smyly gave up a no-doubter to Max Muncy in the first inning. Will Smith launched one down the line to make it 2-0 in the second. Mookie Betts led off the third with a homer, and Corey Seager followed a few batters later with a two-run shot of his own to make the score 5-0. Smyly had no chance as he routinely left pitches right in the middle of the zone all night.
The Braves chipped away in the middle innings against Julio Urìas and the Dodger bullpen as Jorge Soler (21), Freddie Freeman (28) and Adam Duvall (29) all left the yard to cut the deficit to 5-3. That was all the lineup would muster, though, as the back end of the Los Angeles bullpen was too tough to overcome.
The Braves’ bullpen pitched well in relief of Smyly and kept the game close as Jesse Chavez, Chris Martin and Luke Jackson all worked clean innings.
The top of the ninth quickly got interesting as Travis d’Arnaud and Dansby Swanson hit back-to-back singles to bring the go-ahead run to the plate, but Adam Duvall struck out and Stephen Vogt flew out to end the night.
Game two of the series will feature Charlie Morton against Walker Buehler in what should be a tremendous game. First pitch is set for 10:10 p.m. ET.