Dodgers’ Offense Looks Ready for Regular Season

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We’ve actually made it to the week when baseball starts in earnest. Sunday night, the Los Angeles Dodgers took on NL West rivals Arizona Diamondbacks for their first of three exhibition games before the season officially starts on Thursday.

Before the game on Sunday, the Dodgers added Kody Hoese, Devin Mann and Terrance Gore to the player pool. Additionally, Pedro Báez was activated from the 10-day injured list. The team had not disclosed that Báez had been on the 10-day injured list, nor why he had been late to camp.

Manager Dave Roberts sent his tier one lineup out to face right hander Taylor Widener: Mookie Betts RF, Max Muncy 1B, Justin Turner 3B, Cody Bellinger CF, Corey Seager SS, A.J. Pollock DH, Joc Pederson LF, Kiké Hernandez 2B, and Austin Barnes C.

Mitchell White was the starting pitcher.

The Dodgers, and the reigning NL MVP, picked up right where they left off (from the regular season, anyway), last year. Betts and Muncy walked, JT hit a bloop off the pitcher, and Bellinger drove them all home with a grand slam. After a walk to Seager, Widener reached his pitch limit for the inning, and the inning was over, making it feel more like a Little League game than a Major League one.

In the bottom of the third, Betts singled, followed by a Muncy double. Betts scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Turner. Bellinger then singled in Muncy, giving the Dodgers six runs.

Corey Seager looked fantastic at shortstop, grabbing a sharp bouncing ball with ease and throwing out the runner in time. Having a completely healthy Seager this season will only be a boon to this stellar lineup.

Barnes was hit by a pitch in his hand, and replaced by Rocky Gale in the top of the fifth inning. Barnes got X-rays after the game, and they came back negative.

White settled in after allowing a home run to Ketel Marte with two out in the first, retiring 14 straight batters through five innings on only 54 pitches. The youngster looked impressive through those five innings, with the only mistake being the pitch to Marte. 40 of his pitches were strikes, and 23 of those were sliders with a 31% whiff rate. It will be interesting to see how the year plays out for him.

Adam Kolarek replaced White, allowing one hit in 0.2 innings of work.  AJ Ramosreplaced Kolarek, and looked really sharp. He threw a four seamer, slider and two change-ups to Marte, getting him to swing and miss for a strikeout.

Both Bellinger and Betts looked comfortable at the plate. Cody ended up going 3-for-4 with five RBI and the grand slam, and Betts went 2-for-3 with a walk and a double.

While only the first exhibition game, the Dodgers look ready up and down the lineup.

“We felt really good as a team,” Bellinger told Ken Gurnick after the game. “Obviously we’re a deep lineup. I think the thing we need to work on is our end-of-the-game celebrations. We don’t know what to do.”

Roberts echoed those sentiments. “That was probably the most awkward thing. I expect a lot of winning, so I guess we better figure that one out.”

If the Dodgers pitching can hold their own, which they will as one of the top five staffs in all of baseball, we can expect to see a lot of awkward and air celebrations to come.

 

6 thoughts on “Dodgers’ Offense Looks Ready for Regular Season

  1. White looked very impressive. He was highly thought of when he was first drafted and injuries seem to have derailed his progress over the past few seasons. If he can pitch the way he did last night our starting staff looks all the stronger going forward into the next few years.

    That strikeout pitch that AJ Ramos threw to Marte last night was a beaut, as you mentioned Andy. As folks are considering potential 30-man rosters to open the season, and the relief corps in particular, very few are mentioning Ramos. I think he stands a good chance of being included. If management thinks he isn’t quite ready yet, he’ll go to SC and possibly be the first guy up when a change is made.

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  2. Watched the entire game. It was a good thing for the D-Backs that they called the first inning because of pitch count. Dodgers might have score 10 runs the way they were working the count on him. According to Joe and Orel that was the best Cody has looked in camp 2.0. And Joc was hitting the ball hard and had nothing to show for it, so he then hits a dying quail for a hit. White was impressive, and so was Kenley. At least Kolarek got thru 3 hitters with no damage.

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  3. Maybe the Padres will be improved but the NL West looks really weak so big advantage to us. Tho A’s and Astros will be tough it’s hard to believe this Dodger team doesn’t just roll into the playoffs. And this might be the best bullpen we’ve had in this 7 year run. If we stay healthy this team looks like a WS winner. Dodger Yankee WS would be a big shot in the arm for MLB!

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    1. For some weird reason, they only play the A’s 3 times, and right at the end of the year right before the final series with the Angels at Dodger Stadium. D-Backs have a pretty solid lineup on paper. Their starting pitching is not all that bad either. Bumgarner will always be a tough read. The Padres are loaded with talent, a lot of it young and unproven. But they will give everyone fits.

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  4. Lux sent to the minor league camp and they sign LHP Jake McGee to a 1 year deal. Means a couple of things. They have no confidence in Alexander being ready, and little confidence in Kolarek being able to get 3 outs in a row.

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  5. I really want to thank Andy and Dennis, sorry Dennis, ladies first, for keeping this blog going during this entire mess. I know it has not been easy to come up with story lines. That will get easier starting Thursday when the HATED Giants come to town. A little weird watching games with no people. But it has it’s pluses too, No BEACH BALLS, no annoying wave or loudmouth fans yelling obscenities. No idiots running on the field and causing delay’s. It was cool seeing JT out there in the new HR seats taking in the game. I also got an email from Badger. He is just taking a break from the different sites. He and his lady just trying to ride out this craziness and get through it safe like we all are.

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