The first week of the 2016 baseball season is now in the books. If you missed anything here is how the Dodgers performed.
Dodgers kicked off the 2016 season last Monday on April 4th down in San Diego. Here is a look at the good, the bad and the future for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers first three games of the season were filled with offense and great pitching. Clayton Kershaw started game one against the San Diego Padres and helped lead the team to a 15-0 victory. The Opening Day victory was a complete team win. Justin Turner, Trayce Thompson, Adrian Gonzalez, Corey Seager, Yasiel Puig, Chase Utley and Joc Pederson all had extra base hits throughout the game. A.J. Ellis and Gonzalez led the team in RBI’s with three each. All went well, Kershaw pitched masterfully and from the top of the lineup to the bottom, the bats were hot. The momentum only continued throughout the series with the Padres.
Dodgers again got the W in game two as they handed the ball to Scott Kazmir. Kazmir lived up to his expectations for his first start. He threw six solid innings, struckout five and only gave up one hit, an infield single, in his six innings. Dodgers’ offense slowed down in comparison to Monday night, however they again got the win by scoring three runs and not allowing the Padres to score any. A 3-0 victory in game two again showed that the starting rotation was carrying their weight and with some hot bats behind them, the Dodgers were looking great.
Game three was Kenta Maeda‘s MLB debut game and boy he did not disappoint! Maeda threw six innings and 84 pitches while only allowing five hits and striking out four. Maeda not only shined on the mound but also with the bat! In his second AB, he came up to the plate, swung hard and sent a ball over the fence at Petco Park. In his first game, Maeda struckout his first major league batter (Wil Myers) and hit his first homerun of his major league career, which happened to be the first homerun hit by a Dodger in 2016. Some back to back singles and doubles drove in runs for the Dodgers and for the third time in three days they found themselves beating the Padres 7-0.
Some more good news is that Puig seems to be seeing the baseball much better than he has been in the past few seasons. He seems to have found his rhythm and every time he has made contact with the ball it has been a hard hit. He also seems to have snapped out of his struggles last season. Gonzalez is still Mr. Reliable for the team and has continued his offensive success from last season into 2016 thus far. Utley has also made some great defensive plays and stepped up offensively. Seager is still the “doubles machine” he was in the minors as he makes his adjustments in his first major league season. Best news is, Dodger bats are hot!
Dodger fans could not have asked for a better first series. A sweep over the Padres that was filled with offense and great pitching. The Dodgers held the Padres to no runs in those three games. Off to San Francisco, where sadly the momentum shifted.
The whole four game series with the Giants was very frustrating for the Dodgers. The Dodgers fell short in the first game and lost to the Giants 6-12, their first loss of the season. Obviously no one was expecting the Dodgers to go undefeated, but a loss to the Giants is always hard to handle.
Game two was especially heartbreaking. The Dodgers lost to the Giants 2-3. Ross Stripling made his first start since 2014 due to having Tommy John surgery. Stripling was phenomenal. He pitched seven and 1/3 innings and was in the middle of throwing a no-hitter. Dave Roberts made his first very questionable move of 2016. He pulled Stripling after he gave up a walk in the seventh with the no-no still intact. Chris Hatcher came in a gave up a home run to the first batter he faced, Trevor Brown. The Dodgers would go into extras and lose as Brandon Crawford hit a walk off home run. Again, what started out to be a great game turned into a heart-wrenching one as the Dodgers could not hold the lead.
Game three was a little more optimistic as the Dodgers won in walk-off fashion off of Seager and Charlie Culberson‘s doubles. Dodgers again struggled in the game, but this time with the home plate ump who made quite a few questionable calls on Clayton Kershaw’s pitches.
Game four the Dodgers again felt the agony of losing to their rivals by a score of 9-6.
J.P. Howell who posted just a 1.43 ERA last season, has yet to get an out this season. After coming off of his best numbers of his career in 2015, Howell has not yet looked like himself in the first seven games of 2016. The Dodgers catchers have struggled a bit too in these first two series, however with Yasmani Grandal on the road to recovery and joining the team again soon, some more stability will be added behind the plate.
After starting off the season 3-0 the Dodgers record now sits at 4-3. They are currently in the second spot in the standings, just one game back from the Giants. It is early into the season but Dodger fans have already seen the team be fantastic in one series and just heartbreaking in the other.
The Dodgers still have more players on the DL than on the field during games. However some good news is that Micah Johnson was optioned back to Triple A this afternoon which would imply that Howie Kendrick‘s rehab starts were successful and he is ready to join the team again. Tomorrow the Dodgers kick off a three game series with another division rival, the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks struggled in their first homestand where they lost both series with the Colorado Rockies and the Chicago Cubs. They will be heading to Dodger Stadium to face the boys in blue with a record of just 2-5. Hopefully the Dodgers can pick up a few wins here before facing the Giants again this weekend.