Braves’ rookie pitcher Dylan Dodd struggled Wednesday afternoon against maybe the greatest team of all time, as the Braves fell 9-0.
Pretty much anyone who can spell baseball agrees the Dominican Republic is the odds-on favorite to win the 2023 World Baseball Classic, and they showed their strength Wednesday, admittedly against mostly bench players and minor leaguers for Atlanta.
Dodd looked good early on. After giving up a lead-off single to Mariners star Julio Rodriguez, Dodd struck out Red Sox’s star Rafael Devers, got Padres’ star Manny Machado to fly out, and Mariners’ outfielder Teoscar Hernandez to groundout, ending a scoreless first inning.
In his second inning of work, Dodd put up a 1-2-3 frame, getting Robinson Cano to ground out, Gary Sanchez to fly out, and Eloy Jimenez down on swinging strikes.
It was the third inning where things came off the rails. After a lead-off walk to Brewers shortstop Willy Adames and double by Astros shortstop Jeremy Pena, these are the guys at the bottom of this lineup, Dodd got a sacrifice fly out from Rodriguez and a pop out from Devers and looked though he may escape with only one run scoring. But following a Manny Machado walk, Dodd gave up an RBI single to Hernandez followed by a 3-run home run from former baseball player Robinson Cano. Dodd then gave up another walk to Gary Sanchez and that was it for his outing. He finished with a line of 2.2 innings pitched, 4 hits, 5 earned runs, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts and 1 HR. He’ll have much better days, and was only one out away from a completely respectable 3 innings pitched and 1 earned run.
Closer Raisel Iglesias and primary set-up man AJ Minter both completed an inning of work after Dodd exited. Iglesias walk two and struck out two in a scoreless 4th inning and Minter struck out three and allowed two hits and a scoreless 5th inning.
Joe Jimenez appeared for the just the second time this spring in the 6th inning and certainly looked rusty. The first three hitters he faced went homer-single-homer to push the lead to 8-0. After the rough start, Jimenez would walk one and strikeout one before manger Brian Snitker decided his day was done. Minor leaguer Alan Rangel came in and allowed three consecutive singles to bring the deficit to 9-0, where it would ultimately stay.
Obviously when you get shutout, there's not a whole lot to talk about on the offensive side of the ball. Forrest Wall continued his nice spring with a couple more hits, as did Eli White with another double.
Marcell Ozuna started in LF and went 0-3 while Travis d’Arnaud started at C and went 0-2.
Braves are scheduled to play team Puerto Rico Thursday afternoon at CoolToday Park in North Port. Max Fried is scheduled to start, with a 1:05 pm ET game-time.