It was an opening weekend for the record books. The Dodgers hit 14 home runs, scored 42 runs total, mounted a beautiful comeback on Sunday, and overall went 3-1 against the Arizona Diamondbacks to open the 2019 season.
There was a little bit of everything, from a Los Angeles catcher pitching to actual situational hitting with runners in scoring position. While the Dodgers still stranded way too many runners on the base paths, they got some key hits in spots they didn’t always before, especially in Sunday’s comeback.
A.J. Pollock has introduced himself to Dodger fans in grand fashion, having some of those key hits including a ‘lucky’ double that tied Sunday’s game. He saw the misplay of the ball by Adam Jones, and he ended up sliding into third, where he was promptly sacrificed home by Max Muncy. Pollock has a homer, six RBI, and a 1.206 OPS. He’s also commented multiple times on the Dodger fans’ energy and attendance. I think he likes it in Los Angeles.
Another player that seems happy to be a Dodger is Russell Martin. He was downright giddy after throwing a 1-2-3 inning to close out Saturday night’s blowout, and why shouldn’t he be? When things are good, things are good.
There are problems with the bullpen, an evergreen concern. Joe Kelly has yet to look sharp, and Pedro Baez is his normal roller-coaster self. Walker Buehler needs more time to get back to his dominant self for more than three innings. But overall, the pitching staff looks good.
The Boys in Blue look to take that momentum and offensive firepower into the next series with their heated rivals San Francisco Giants. The Giants went 1-3 against the San Diego Padres, scoring only five runs, including getting shut out on Opening Day.
An interesting note on the San Diego pitching staff, courtesy of Jon Morosi:
While the Giants don’t have the lethal lineup they once did, something to keep an eye on as the year goes on.
Pitching matchups for the upcoming series include Julio Urías’s 2019 debut tonight against Drew Pomeranz making his Giants debut. Tuesday’s game will be Madison Bumgarner against Hyun-Jin Ryu. Bumgarner went 7.0 innings on Opening Day, allowing only five hits and two runs. Ross Stripling will take the mound Wednesday night against Derek Holland, who went 4.0 innings on Friday allowing four hits and three earned runs.
Both Evan Longoria and Buster Posey were out of Sunday’s lineup for some rest, but are to be back out for Monday’s game. Longoria leads all of the Giants’ offensive categories, and is the only player with a home run so far.
There’s sure to be some typical Giants crazy magic, but the Dodgers are well poised to keep this offensive juggernaut going. And, looking ahead, the Dodgers play in Colorado this coming weekend. Will early season home run records be falling? Stay tuned.