First things first, the Dodgers have gotten off to a bad start and they can’t find any rhythm whatsoever. With multiple off days and a rainout last week, the team is all over the place. Once the team starts to play more and more, they will eventually get into a good rhythm that they’re used to. I personally feel like the pitchers suffer more from having too many off days because of their set routines. Nonetheless, this shouldn’t be an excuse for the team to be struggling.
The Dodgers managed to split the series with the Oakland Athletics during the current five game homestand. I was fortunate enough to see the Dodgers win on Tuesday night and then I was fortunate to not see the complete decimation on Wednesday night. Tuesday night was highlighted by Seager, Taylor and Ryu. The game on Wednesday was highlighted by no one and quickly got out of hand after the sixth inning when the A’s scored nine runs.
Tuesday night was the second game I had gone to this season, the first being Opening Day. With uncertainty, I was worried that starter, Hyun-Jin Ryu, would start the game being wild and sporadic but luckily he was in top form. After having seven days of rest, Ryu fired six innings of shutout baseball and struck out eight batters. The pitchers that followed were: Tony Cingrani, Ross Stripling and Kenley Jansen. Hyun-Jin Ryu picked up his first win of the season and Kenley Jansen picked up his second save of the year.
Coming into Tuesday nights game, the Dodgers had only hit four Home Run’s this season. On Tuesday night, they hit three! Chris Taylor and Corey Seager led off the game with back-to-back Home Runs. Both were the first Home Run’s of the season for each player. I have to say this, Corey Seager didn’t just hit a Home Run, he demolished the ball. To this day, I have never personally seen a Home Run hit farther at Dodger Stadium. The ball was blasted about fifteen or twenty rows up the right field pavilion, the distance on the ball was 440 feet. In addition to these two Home Run’s, Matt Kemp hit his own Home Run for his first of the year. This was Matt Kemp’s first Home Run in a Dodgers uniform since 2014. So far, Matt Kemp and Yasmani Grandal have been the hottest hitters for the Dodgers, both are hitting above .300 for their batting average.
Wednesday night’s game really has no highlights at all unless I talk about the Oakland A’s. The game got out of hand in a couple of instances. Alex Wood gave up seven earned runs and couldn’t make it out of the fourth inning. After that the game continued to go downhill. Just when you thought the Dodgers were going to get close to scoring more runs or mounting a comeback, the bullpen would allow more and more runs. If the 7-2 score wasn’t enough to make you want to leave the game, wait till you hear what happened after the sixth inning. Scott Alexander, Josh Fields and Wilmer Font pitched a collective four innings and gave up a total nine earned runs. Eight of the runs were charged to Alexander and Font, so I guess you can take the heat off of Josh Fields. I believe this was the first run that was allowed by Fields this season.
With as judgmental as us Dodger fans are, it is nice to see that manager Dave Roberts didn’t use Cingrani, Jansen or Stripling. Who are possibly the best arms out of the relievers and you can throw Josh Fields in there too. At least Roberts didn’t insert Jansen into a situation that wouldn’t be a save situation and hurt his record or stats this season. Speaking of messing up stats, poor Wilmer Font. He has been called on to pitch in tough situations and things don’t go his way. He allowed six runs in two innings last night. Although I don’t think this will be his final record or his final stats, I think Font will be used in less important situations during the season. Stripling, Fields and Jansen are who I would call on to get important outs.
The Dodgers offense wasn’t too dead on Wednesday night but it was still nonexistent compared to the amount of runs the Oakland A’s posted. Kiké Hernandez and Yasmani Grandal both homered, the second of the season for Grandal and the first for Hernandez. Seager, Utley, Grandal and Forsythe all managed to pickup RBI’s in some way or another. Most were on ground outs or a sacrifice fly and the other was on a single by Grandal. The positive of this game is that the offense actually scored multiple runs and scored throughout the game instead of during one or two innings. They will need to keep up the offense if they hope to beat the Diamondbacks this weekend.
This weekend will conclude the Dodgers five game home stand and they will face the Arizona Diamondbacks for the second time this season. The starters for the Dodgers this weekend will be Kenta Maeda, who is making his first start since being put in the bullpen last week, Rich Hill and Clayton Kershaw. Clayton Kershaw is searching for his first win of the season and Rich Hill is looking to bounce back from his last start against the San Francisco Giants. If the offense is there, the Dodgers will win. There should be no excuse for them not to win with their three best pitchers going.