The Marlins? The Miami Marlins?!?!? Are you kidding me??? A team that has no superstars or anything going for them since Derek Jeter gutted the team. This was one big slap in the face to the Dodgers.
I know I can’t be the only one that is angry about losing to a team that has no star power and no chance of making the playoffs for another fifteen years. Winning one out of the three games is not the outcome that Dodger fans had hoped for. This series was supposed to be a pick me up and the series where the offense should go trigger happy with runs. Unfortunately it was the opposite way around. The Marlins scored multiple runs in each game and even forced Clayton Kershaw off the mound in the series finale.
Side note: Clayton Kershaw is not leaving the Dodgers after this season, people who say this are ridiculous. Kershaw has had tremendous success with the Dodgers and there would be no point to leave the team that was one win away from the World Series. Many people say he’s going to go back to Texas and play for the Rangers but that’s not very likely. Why leave a World Series team and go play for a team that is still rebuilding and not going to benefit your career? It boggles my mind when people say he’s going to leave because there’s no offense when he pitches.
Now that brings me to my first topic: run support. Clayton Kershaw is notorious for never having good run support in games. It’s very rare that the Dodgers score more than four runs in a game when he pitches but when they do, Kershaw’s numbers and win-loss ratio are staggering. However, I don’t think this is a reason that he’d leave the team. Kershaw has been one of, if not the greatest pitcher of this era and he’d certainly like to keep that going for himself. Although this season has been one of his worst yet so far, I’m still optimistic that Kersh will end the season with a winning record and a good ERA.
Anyways, lets talk about this dreadful series against the Marlins.
Monday night was a special night for the Dodgers and for fans because top prospect Walker Buehler was making his first career Major League start. Buehler worked out of a bases loaded jam in the first inning and was pretty solid after that. Of course, Buehler was on a pitch count, he only stayed in for five innings. However, in those five innings he struck out five but gave up three walks. The only downside to the young pitchers throwing high nineties and a hundred miles an hour is that their accuracy can be off. This was the case for Buehler. While watching the game you could see Dodgers pitching coach, Rick Honeycutt, and Clayton Kershaw sitting in the dugout watching Buehler do his thing. I think it’s great that Buehler will have someone like Kershaw to show him some things and help him out in his career.
Buehler left the game after the fifth inning and had a 1-0 lead courtesy of a Kiké Hernandez Home Run. By the way, Kiké is a very talented player and although it would suck to lose a fan favorite, he could be a starting shortstop or second baseman for any other team that needs him. Back to the game, heading into the eighth inning, JT Chargois gave up an RBI single to Brian Anderson to tie the game at 1-1. Shortly after the top half of the inning, Cody Bellinger scored Chris Taylor with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth. Now 2-1, Jansen was off limits for the night as Dave Roberts wanted to give him the night off, instead Josh Fields came in to get the save. Fields got the first two batters to ground out then pop out, then Miguel Rojas singled. Fortunately, JT Realmuto flew out to Chris Taylor in center field.
The Dodger started off the series with a win and hopefully that was going to be the theme for the rest of the series.
Tuesday night’s game was started by Kenta Maeda who pitched excellent for six innings. Maeda gave up four hits, one earned run and seven strikeouts along with just one walk. While Maeda was pitching great, the Dodgers managed to score first in this game to take a 1-0 lead off of a Austin Barnes RBI double that drove in Matt Kemp. Unfortunately that lead would disappear in the top of the third inning when Maeda gave up a solo Home Run to JT Realmuto. Still tied at one run a piece, Chase Utley drew a walk in the bottom of the seventh with bases loaded to score Joc Pederson. And once again, that lead would almost instantly disappear. In the top of the eighth inning, Starlin Castro doubled off of Tony Cingrani to score Derek Dietrich. Finally, with the game still tied in the top of the ninth, everyone’s favorite pitcher, Pedro Baez blew the tie game. Cameron Maybin doubled to score Brian Anderson.
Without hesitation, the trash talking immediately started on Instagram over Baez’s performance. I get it, he’s not the guy you want on the mound when the game is close or the game is in jeopardy. However, he is slightly better than he was last season. Not saying I like him, but you got to look at some sort of positive detail.
Finally, we get to the last game of the series and Kershaw Day! Sadly, this game wasn’t a happy one. Kershaw didn’t have his stuff and the offense showed up late to the party. This may be one of the worst games that Clayton Kershaw has pitched in his career. The Marlins absolutely worked him and forced him out of the game as quick as they could. Kershaw surrendered six walks and struck out seven batters. To top it off, he gave up a 3-Run Home Run to former Dodger, Miguel Rojas. Rojas, by the way, made a game saving play during Clayton Kershaw’s No Hitter in 2014 against the Rockies.
Since there was hardly any offense for the first five innings, it was hard to see Kershaw getting the win in this game. He left after the fifth inning and the Dodgers still hadn’t scored any runs yet. In the top of the sixth inning, red hot JT Realmuto hit another Home Run off of recently recalled Daniel Hudson. Now 4-0, the Dodgers would have to answer back somehow. In the bottom of the fifth, Joc Pederson singled to score Corey Seager. The Dodgers are finally on the board! The Marlins would get that run back in the top of the eighth inning when JT Realmuto hit ANOTHER Home Run, this time off of Scott Alexander. In hindsight, don’t pitch to the guy that has already hit a couple of Home Runs against you this series, what a crazy thought right?
As I said before, it wasn’t until late in the game when the Dodgers decided to score some runs. Matt Kemp blasted a 2-Run Home Run in the bottom of the eighth, his fourth Home Run of the year. Then in the top of the ninth inning, when it looked like the Dodgers had slowed down the Marlins, Chase Utley commits an error that allowed two runners to score. The score now 8-3. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Kyle Farmer grounded out but drove in a run, making it 8-4. Were the Dodgers making a comeback at the last minute? Well, Yasmani Grandal sent a ball into the pavilion for a 2-Run Home Run, scoring Corey Seager. Unfortunately, the comeback would stop there and the Dodgers would lose the finale, 8-6.
I’m not sure what the solution is, I don’t have answers, but this should have been a easy series to win for the Dodgers. Adding to that, I don’t know what happens in the clubhouse or during player meetings but I feel like Kershaw should maybe hold the offense accountable for certain situations and not take the blame for everything. This has always been his mentality but it doesn’t seem to work that well for him. Of course the offense can’t always be held accountable but in certain situations, Kershaw should speak up.
In case you’re going down a dark hole of despair after watching the Dodgers lose to the Marlins, take a look at the bright side. This is only the first month of the season, the Dodgers are missing a few players and they’re playing the Giants this weekend. Things will get better for the team, stick with it and be glad you did at the end of the season. The biggest highlight this week is that Justin Turner is finally swinging a bat! The All-Star third baseman posted a video on his Instagram today of himself swinging the bat at Camelback Ranch in Glendal, Arizona. The return is coming, be prepared for one of the best hitters in the game!
This weekend the Dodgers take on the San Francisco Giants for four games. Hyun-Jin Ryu will pitch tonight, Walker Buehler will most likely start game one of the doubleheader tomorrow and Alex Wood will start the second game of the doubleheader. Which means Kenta Maeda will pitch on Sunday. Let’s go Dodgers!
I’d like to add another thing, I will be attending the Angels VS Yankee game tonight in hopes of seeing Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton going deep! Of course, seeing Albert Pujols and Mike Trout go deep would be just as fun!