Dodgers Hope Offensive Momentum Carries into San Francisco Series

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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.

 

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49 thoughts on “Dodgers Hope Offensive Momentum Carries into San Francisco Series

  1. Offense can only get better if Muncy can begin to hit and Taylor finds some kind of consistency. Seager showing some rust and Turner seems to be finding his comfort zone. The rest seem to be hitting on all cylinders….Pollock looks real good.

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    1. Get better? That would be awesome, but I think it’s more likely guys will get hot and cold off and on all year. All or nothing comes and goes. Sometimes we’ll bunch it up, other times we’ll spread it out. +20 run differential after 4 is on pace for a run differential of +800, which would, you know…. be a record…..

      Pollock does look good but he also looks a bit thick for a centerfielder. He misplayed one hit at him, but in his defense it was a rocket and it was basically right at him. As you know, those can be hard to judge. Rule of thumb is, anything that isn’t gapped but lands on grass is something that should be caught. I’ll bet if asked he would say he shoulda had hit. Bellinger made a great catch coming in. Speed. What a gift.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know they will have good and bad times. I still do not think Muncy comes anywhere near what he did last year, nor do I believe Taylor is going to look more like the 2017 version. His swing looks way too long still and he still is striking out.

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    2. I’ve noticed that you tend to be slightly optimistic when you comment as Michael but when you comment as Bear you mostly seem to be growling. Very interesting.

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    1. Muncy is hitting under .200. Pomeranz is a lefty, Freese needs to play to and hits lefty’s better than Max….no brainer….

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  2. Dodgers heavy favorites. 7 1/2 OU. I’ll take the Dodgers and the over.

    I get to watch another game tonight. 5 in a row.

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  3. Urias is looking plain nasty. It’s going to be very hard to keep his innings down if he’s throwing like he has all spring.

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  4. I’m going to try and be the glass is half full guy and say it’s early in the year hopefully Kelly will settle down and get into a groove. I am, however, extremely worried since this was supposed to be our big answer to the bullpen problem. The Dodgers aren’t doing their team and fans justice if they don’t at least talk with Kimbrel’s people.

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    1. Remember, when Kershaw and Hill return we’ll be adding Urias and Stripling to the bullpen. That should help, until another starter gets injured. Also, we’ve got this series to audition Watson and Smith, both of whom will be available in trade at some point.

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    2. Unfortunately Alex, Kelly is probably already settled into his groove. Check his career stats. This signing was a disaster I think. Ultimately kimbrel may be the answer, but I dont think they will go over payroll as it is now.

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  5. I can’t find a place to comment on the new thread so I guess I’ll just post on the old thread.

    Simple. 8 innings of nothing, more Ks than hits, 0 for 1 WRISP (1?…. really?) and Kelly with an ERA of 18.

    Kelly is an easy fix – stop throwing that cheese right down the middle. If he can’t find corners with that pitch it’s going to be a long year for him. 1 runner in scoring position for the night is the nothing in all or.

    This is who we are. Bummer to be nothing against our rivals. At home.

    Urban was good. But you know what would be nice? A starting pitcher who can complete a game. Ok, too high an ask in today’s game. How about 7 innings?

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    1. You don’t want Urias pitching deep into games so early in the season on an innings limit. We will need him for the playoffs. I would have pulled him after 4 last night. 90 innings will come before you know. I figured Urias’ days of being a front of the rotation arm were over after his operation and that he would be a middle of the rotation guy but he’s proving me wrong. He has ace potential as long as we can keep him healthy.

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      1. I didn’t expect Urias to do it. I know he’s on a pitch count. I don’t see it as aninnings restriction. He had 5 relatively stress free innings. 77 pitches. 19 batters faced. That’s actually quite efficient. 75 pitches or less is the goal for 5 innings. But somebody – anybody – can you give us a QS+ and keep us out of the bullpen?

        Speaking of that, maybe you heard this already but it’s worth repeating- Koufax was asked about the Quality Start stat and replied “a quality start is when you’re shaking the catcher’s hand after the last out”. Classic. I do miss those days.

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  6. Not really Rich. Arthritis caused Sandy to retire. But pitchers back then were trained different. Koufax was a freak of nature, But there were a lot of pitchers who pitched way past 31 and put up a lot of innings. Big D went down to rotator cuff problems, something that in those days they could not fix, but today is not that bad. Ryan pitched over 20 years and finished a lot of his games into his 40’s, so it depends on the pitcher. How is it that pitchers logged all those innings for so many decades and now they go 6 and everyone says wow, he is great. The answer is money. Players are a much higher paid commodity now. The game has morphed. I think the time may come when the no hitter goes the way of the DoDo bird. Because of the way he threw, I doubt if pitching in todays game would have prolonged Sandy’s career. Back then, pitchers were going 6-7 innings by their last spring start. So they were geared different. Someone said that Buehler should have pitched the opener. That would have been disastrous. It is the way the game is now. But those of us who were lucky enough to see Spahn, Koufax, Big D, Gibson, Marichal, Ford, and all those who were of similar make up remember games when both starters were around at the end. One with the L, the other with the W. Giants get Pillar from the Jays for 3 players……Dodgers sign reliever Zack McAllister

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  7. It’s just mind boggling to me how many injuries there are tonpitchers today. Espeacially young pitchers and their elbows. Is it because pitchers are throwing with more velocity especially with the slider? What’s your take on this? All the coddling doesn’t seem to be working.

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  8. I count 8 ads on the new thread, congrats on that Dennis, but I still can’t post on it.

    Bear is right on with his take on old players. The position players played every game for years at a time and pitchers started more, and completed more, than the candy asses of today.

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  9. Tonight will be a good indicator of where our offense stands against a quality lefty. Muncy starting. I wish I could watch his ab’s. Someone give us a report how our young lefties look against ATV man. Verdugo went yard last night against a lefty. Roberts may not be able to sit him much longer

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    1. Verdugo is not cracking the starting outfield as long as Bellinger, Pollock and Pederson are producing. 8 homers among the 3 of them right now. If they bench Muncy and move Belli back to first where he belongs then maybe Verdugo gets his shot. Muncy is not hitting a lick.

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      1. I’m guessing Verdugo starts a game for Pollock the next time the Dodgers face a righty. I realize you were referring to cracking the starting lineup on a regular basis, so I’m not disagreeing with you but I’m expecting/hoping that he gets at least a couple of starts a week, maybe one for Pollock and one for Muncy with Belli moving to first for that game (just to give him some reps over there). We don’t have any idea how patient they will be with Muncy but after last year he deserves at least another month of playing most of the time.

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  10. Everybody will play. It’s the Dodger way. I don’t expect any moves before 100 at bats.

    We are going to see a lot of lefties until we prove we can hit them.

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  11. What a start for Belli! No more platooning for him! He’s carrying us right now. And wait till,Turner, Seager and Muncy heat up. Could be a record setting year!

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    1. What are you talking about? Ryu is making $17.9 million this year and has made about $54 million from the Dodgers. It’s the first week of April. There is plenty of time for an extension if he proves himself healthy.

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  12. There are obviously bullpen concerns, but let’s not panic yet. I still believe this is a team that is planning to peak later.

    There is a new thread that is flooded with ads but I see no posts on it. Am I the only one observing that?

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    1. Are you referring to the thread about the Dodgers’ losing the first game of the series 4-2? I don’t see anywhere on that one to leave a comment and also don’t see any threads after that one. Perhaps Andy and Dennis are sick and tired of our comments and have come up with a solution. One way conversations.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry guys. I can’t help, but I’ll send a message to Dennis to make sure he knows what’s going on

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  13. I watched part of last nights game from a barstool at the famous Cowboy Palace in Chatsworth where my good friend and pickin buddy, Chad Watson was doing a tribute to Hal Blaine. Good music and baseball…a powerful tonic. Until the 9th inning at least. Then it was nail biting city. I was glad the game was over by the time I got up to sing because if I had yelled at the screen much more, I was going to lose my voice. Chad’s wife Pam is also a great performer who has a close connection to baseball since her son, Cameron Loe spent some time in the majors…his pitching coach when he was with the Rangers was Orel. Anyway, back to the debacle that was the 9th inning. I do actually realize that Roberts is trying to instill confidence back to Garcia by putting him in a no pressure situation which he immediately turned into a 911 call. Makes sense on the surface since Jansen has been worse in non save chances than he has when the game is on the line. Well, now It was on the line. Captain Shouldahookedhimsooner takes Yimi out and puts in Kenley. Kenley gets the job done,,,,whoops, routine ground ball to the 1st baseman becomes a nightmare and the bags are jammed. So, the unglued Jansen walks the next hitter…..6-3…….Honey intercedes and he buckles down and strikes out the next hitter…..sigh of relief….whoops, he then throws a cookie that Parra, there is that pest again slams into the gap and scores 2…….6-5……..fans are chewing the furniture……Now up comes the Panda who over his career has had a nasty habit of ruining the Dodgers nights. He actually did a nice piece of hitting by poking the ball towards left, but Seager got over made a good throw to second and Kike with those quick hands of his threw a strike to Muncy, end of ball game. We win…it was ugly but it goes on the plus side of the ledger. Observations…..BP is a concern. No need to panic, it is way too early for that, but it is ok to be concerned. Taylor, Muncy and Seager are struggling at the plate. I am not concerned too much about Corey. He is shaking off rust. But Taylor and Muncy both are carrying over bad springs. Muncy is striking out more than he did last year, and Taylor other than his 2 hit game the other day seems to be in the same boat. Again, too early to panic, but, Bellinger would have made that play in the 9th. Being a lefty he would have been in position to make the throw and not have to pivot like Muncy did. Late innings…I have my best defense on the field. Muncy should have been on the bench as soon as Verdugo hit. Verdugo in RF and Belli at first in the late innings makes much more sense. All the more so since Verdugo actually is hitting and Muncy is not.

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    1. Sounds like a hoot Bear. Glad to hear you’re out and about.

      We’ve given up 31 runs in 6 games and still sit at 4-2. The West the only Division that has 4 teams with a negative run differential.

      Greinke 1-1 with a 9.something ERA. 13 Ks in 9.2 tells me his stuff is ok. He’ll figure it out. Won’t help Dbacks that much.

      Muncy will hit. Likely not as well as he did last year but well enough.

      Don’t give up on Yimi yet. Feel free to do so with Stewart.

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      1. Not sure if you noticed Scoop, but along with his 13 k’s, old friend Greinke also hit two homers. What a shame that within a couple of years and the DH coming to the NL we won’t get to see those slugger pitchers hit anymore. Greinke, Madbum, Hill……………………

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      2. I did notice that Jefe. He’s also allowed 6 home runs … and 10 earned runs…. both figures lead the league. A lot of action when he’s on the mound. His breaking stuff looks good. He’s just badly missing spots on occasion. His fastball has little zip on it now and he has thrown it over the middle of the plate too often. Like I said, I think he will figure it out.

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    2. Funny how slumps at the beginning of a season are somehow viewed with more panic than those which come after a decent start. That said, Taylor and Muncy are (even if we ignore spring training) carrying forward their performances from the latter part of 2018 or in Taylor’s case most of 2018. Verdugo can’t be held back much longer and deserves some time to show if he can hold the job. I can’t argue your point about Belli at first being a much stronger option than Muncy, but even with Muncy having kicked the ball to begin that play, if Kenley had caught it cleanly the out would have been recorded. Good and bad performances are contagious on offense and in the bullpen. We had our meltdowns in the bp last year but at the end of the season the overall picture was quite positive. I don’t see any reason why that won’t happen again this year.

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  14. I disagree Jefe. Muncy’s throw was high and not that easy to handle. That being said, I also do not think Muncy is going to be anything close to the same hitter and I believe that late in the game it is important to have the BEST defensive team on the field. Not panicking at all, but there is a lot of room for improvement and there are some guys at AAA with MLB experience who can step into the breech if needed. Taylor looks as lost up there as he did last year. The best team on the field would be Belli at first, Kike at second, Seager at short, Turner at 3rd, Barnes behind the plate and an outfield of Pederson, Pollock and Verdugo…basically 3 center fielders out there.

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    1. That would be my preferred lineup as well, although none of us knows how well Verdugo would perform over a full season. I’m a fan and hope that he would fulfill the promise he has shown. It would certainly give us a tremendous defensive team. I’m loving Kike’s work at second and how his season has started overall. Hope it continues.

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      1. I still want that speed in the outfield. We have 2 left handed hitting right fielders in Bellinger and Verdugo. What to do about that? Beats me.

        Muncy is Calhoun. What do you do with him? I’ve posted multiple times defensive position values but apparently you guys don’t buy the stats. You hide your worst fielding slugger at first base. That’s been done since Abner was a minnow. For better or worse, that’s Max Muncy. I figure he won’t OPS .900+ again, but he will reach .800. He’s had 24 plate appearances. Give him 50 before you pass judgment. My bar is 100, but I don’t think you guys have that kind of patience. I’ll bet Roberts does though.

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      2. I’m not ready to give up on Muncy yet and I’m certainly willing to give him 100 ab’s. How we do that and still give Verdugo some decent playing time is beyond me. Although I’m a believer in the new world of stats, I still think that a very good fielding first baseman can save a lot of runs by scooping up bad throws and getting to grounders other guys wouldn’t get to. I understand that goes contrary to defensive position values but on that point I reserve the right to agree with Bear (and believe me, that isn’t easy 🙂 )

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  15. I have no real problem being patient with Muncy or Taylor and giving both time to adjust….but late in the game with the bullpen as iffy as they are, I want the best defensive players on the field hiding a so called slugger or not. Bellinger is the far superior defender. He makes that play with ease, game over, no heartburn.

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