Nothing seems to be coming easy early in the Dodgers‘ 2018 season. It currently feels like the team is stuck in a two steps forward, one step back rut. After a nice little two game winning streak where it felt like maybe things were turning around, the Dodgers got drubbed by the Oakland A’s Wednesday night, 16-6.
It figures that as soon as the offense finally seems as though it might be clicking, the pitching falls apart. The disastrous start by Alex Wood can easily be written off by him not being fully recovered from a bout of food poisoning he endured over the weekend in San Francisco. Once he recovers, he’s going to be fine.
Some relief pitchers may not be able to say the same. Wilmer Font was phenomenal in an extra innings battle when he needed to be, going four scoreless innings before giving up the winning run. Otherwise, he has not done the job. Wednesday against the A’s, he gave up six hits and six runs. If Font can’t get it together, he could find himself off the team, as he is out of options.
“Right now, he’s having a hard time getting ahead of hitters and being consistent in the strike zone” Dave Roberts told reporters after the game.
Alexander is probably not in danger of losing his job, but it could be very rough for awhile until he gets his confidence in his sinker back.
A very uneven schedule to start the season can’t be helping all the Dodgers’ woes. One can help but wonder if today, on yet another off day, if roster changes could be coming. As we talked about Monday, there are fans clamoring for Andrew Toles to be brought up from Oklahoma City. He has been on a hit streak, and is currently slashing .391/.440/.565/.1.005 with four doubles and a stolen base. Conversely, Joc Pederson is still at a .143/.217/.238/.455 pace and the lowest average of anyone on the team. If Toles keeps raking like he is, there seems no justification for keeping him in Triple-A over Pederson.
As far as relievers go, I would like to see Adam Libertore brought up from Triple-A. He has only allowed three hits in 3.1 innings with seven strikeouts. When Libertore is on he has proven himself to be a really good relief pitcher.
I’m still not panicking, but I do think something needs to be done to switch things up. The offense has started to hit better, but the whole team needs to catch fire. Heading into a weekend series with the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are playing very well, it’s imperative to not lose two or three games against them and dig a bigger hole in the NL West.