When Andrew Heaney made his successful Dodger debut last Tuesday, it was fair to wonder how he would do now that his new slider was no longer a secret to the MLB world. After today’s start, you can put that worry aside for now.
Heaney continued the Dodgers strong starting pitching as he and the Dodgers beat the Reds 9-1 on Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium. The win gave the Dodgers their first four-game home sweep of the Reds since April 17, 1975, 47 years to today. It also extended the Dodgers winning streak to six games.
Heaney pitched six scoreless innings and gave up just one hit. He walked three and struck out 11. If it wasn’t for Clayton Kershaw’s perfect seven inning start, Heaney would be the logical choice for Dodger pitcher of the week.
However early on, Reds Opening Day starter Tyler Mahle matched zeros with Heaney as the game was still scoreless going to the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Dodgers got started when Freddie Freeman singled to center to start the attack. After Trea Turner walked, Max Muncy doubled down the right field line to score both Freeman and Turner.
Justin Turner got an infield single and Will Smith doubled in Trea Turner to add to the lead. After a ground out, Chris Taylor doubled through the drawn-in infield to push the Dodgers to a 5-0 lead. Gavin Lux would walk and then Taylor and Lux executed a double steal.
Mookie Betts struck out but then Freeman singled the final two runs of the inning. That sent Tyler Mahle to the dugout and reliever Luis Cessa into the game to get the final out.
Freeman eventually recorded four hits and drove in three runs, the Dodgers went 8-for-15 with runners in scoring position on Sunday.
With the large lead, the only drama left in the game was whether or not Trea Turner would extend his 27-game hitting streak. The Dodgers were able to get him one more plate appearance in the eighth inning. Turner lined out to short to end the streak and put that storyline to bed.
After Heaney finished his six innings, Alex Vesia and Justin Bruihl combined to finish off the game, allowing just one run while striking out four.
WP — Andrew Heaney (1-0): 6 IP, 1 hit, 3 walks, 11 strikeouts
LP — Tyler Mahle (1-1): 3⅔ IP, 7 hits, 7 runs, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts
The Dodgers will face the defending World Series champions Atlanta Braves with Clayton Kershaw making his 2022 Dodger Stadium debut against Huascar Ynoa. This series also will feature two players facing their former teams.
Freddie Freeman will face the Atlanta Braves for the first time in his career. I’d think he’d get his World Series ring when the Dodgers visit Atlanta later this season but that could happen this week.
And while there is no doubt that Freeman will be in the lineup tomorrow, the Dodgers might hope to that they don’t face Dodger franchise all-time leader in saves Kenley Jansen on the field this week. In any case, a video tribute to Jansen seems like a no doubter.
Jansen signed a one-year deal with Atlanta and has recorded two saves prior to their Sunday Night Baseball Game.