Five Things to Watch for Leading up to Dodger’s Opening Day


Dbacks   6 8 1

Dodgers 2 3 0




The Dodgers played their final game at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. Most of the regulars didn’t play and were already on a plane back to Los Angeles. Only Dee Gordon, James Loney, and Mark Ellis were among the regulars that stayed to play a few innings before they were taken out of the game to leave for their early flight to Los Angeles.

It wasn’t much of a game to watch. The Dodgers lost to the Dbacks 6-2. The game featured another bad Chad Billingsley start, and the Dodgers could only muster up two runs off three hits. Bills lasted just three innings, allowing four runs off six hits, one walk, and three whiffs. He made 70 pitches in his last start before the regular season. He makes his season debut on Friday night in San Diego. The opposing starting pitcher Daniel Hudson pitched well. He went five innings, holding the Dodgers to just one run on one hit through his five innings of work. He walked only one, whiffed five Dodgers and picked up the win.

On the offensive side for Arizona, they scored three runs in the second inning, then one run in the third and one run in the fifth and sixth. Paul Goldschmidt singled, and with one out Ryan Budde homered puting the Dbacks up by a score of 2-1. They would add one more run that inning. Hudson moved the runner over to second base with a sacrifice after John McDonald singled. Ryan Roberts would double him in for the third run. Chris Young homered in the third, and Justin Upton’s RBI triple in the sixth made it 5-1 Dbacks. John McDonald added another run when he homered in the 6th off of rookie Allen Webster.

The Dodgers scored their first run off a Mark Ellis walk and a James Loney RBI double. The Dodgers wound’t do anything offensively until adding a meaningless run in the bottom of the 9th off a Tim Federowicz RBI single. The Dodgers fall to 14-13 in Cactus League play, and they head back to Los Angeles to begin the freeway series against the Angels starting tomorrow night in Anaheim. With opening day just a few days away, here are five things to watch for leading up to Thursday’s opener in San Diego….

  1. The Dodgers cut Trent Oeltjen, sending him back to the Minor League Camp. There are 36 players remaining in Dodger camp. Look for the Dodgers to make the last of their cuts in the next couple of days. Who will grab the last bench spot? Josh Fields? Justin Sellers? Luis Cruz? This should be answered very soon, as the last round of cuts are made. We will keep an eye out for this.
  2. Chad Billingsley’s suckfest.-Bills has had a horrible spring, and after watching him flounder again for another start is making me worry about him. What worries me is not the results, spring results don’t mean anything, but it’s the fact that he looks the same every time he pitches. He makes a ton of pitches, falls behind to hitters, can’t put hitters away when he does get ahead, and way too many full counts. I am beginning to think he may have a hidden injury, The Dodgers should get him checked out. I suppose we will just have to see how he pitches on Friday night and hope for the best. It is something to keep an eye out for. *Update* Bills has said that he is having command problems with his cutter and is thinking about scrapping it. We will continue to keep you informed on this story. Bills has used his cutter as one of his primary pitches.
  3. Will Josh Lindblom make the team? It is looking more and more likely that Lindblom will be added as an eighth reliever until either Ted Lily comes back from the DL, or they need a fifth starter. That date is April 14th. According to his twitter, Lindblom has already made the flight to Los Angeles. Poor guy having to look at all those Giants fans.
  4. Clayton Kershaw had some slight inconsistencies with his slider
  5. Nathan Eovaldi has won the annual Jim Mulvey award for the top rookie in spring camp. Jim and Dearie Mulvey were part time owners of the Dodgers from 1938-1975. Eovaldi finished with a 1.72 ERA this spring, and has held opponents to a .233 batting average against. Past winners of the award have included Ted Sizemore in 1969, Steve Yeager in 1972, Fernando Valenzuela in 1981, Orel Hershiser in 1983, Mike Piazza in 1993, and Josh Lindblom in 2010. Nathan Eovaldi is scheduled to pitch on Wednesday afternoon against the Angels at Dodger Stadium.

The games start for real on Thursday. Only three days from now we will hear the five most beautiful words ever spoken….IT’S TIME FOR DODGER BASEBALL! Go Blue!