Sound the alarm! Max Muncy has NO chance of bouncing back for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2023. It's all over. Opening Day sealed the deal. Sorry, folks. The 161 remaining games simply won't matter or play a role.
Welcome to Opening Day Overreactions! In mocking the baseball community, we'll pretend like this is a doomsday scenario ... while also closely monitoring Muncy's status this month, since his start to the new season is incredibly crucial after his down 2022.
Because Game 1 was a really bad start for the slugger. He went 0-for-5 with five strikeouts -- three against starter Zac Gallen and two against the bullpen. No matter how you divvy up the Ks ... it's bad.
On Thursday, Muncy became one of TWO players in the history of baseball to strike out five times on Opening Day. He also became only the fifth Dodger in franchise history to strike out five times in a single game (the first since Andruw Jones in 2008, and Jones was already washed at that point in his career).
The other player in history to do it on Opening Day (in 1996), Ron Karkovice, was a career .221 hitter who finished with an 81 OPS+ when he retired after the 1997.
Dodgers' Max Muncy strikes out five times on Opening Day in horrific showing
Now, the strikeouts might be a concern. Muncy whiffed 16 times in 46 at-bats this spring. But the overall performance? He should be fine, based on what we saw at the tail end of last season and during Spring Training (outside of the Ks).
After struggling mightily from March-July, Muncy hit 12 doubles, 12 home runs and drove in 37 runs across his final two months (53 games) of the 2022 campaign. Then he was arguably the team's best hitter over the last month of preseason action, batting .304 with a 1.005 OPS, three homers and eight RBI in 19 games.
In short, we know the real Max Muncy is in there. And we weren't expecting to see fireworks on Day 1 ... even though this is technically the worst possible start to a season any hitter could have.
But we're all about looking at the bright side and trying to find a silver lining when these types of things happen. And this 2023 Dodgers team needs that exact kind of energy.
So, in light of that ... Muncy didn't even have the worst night at Dodger Stadium on Thursday! The guy who got form tackled into oblivion by a security guard while trying to propose to his girlfriend did. That failed attempt will haunt that man forever, while Muncy's five strikeouts will (hopefully) be a blip on the 2023 radar.