Watching the Los Angeles Dodgers compete against division-rival Arizona in the 2023 opening series at home seemed almost like a nutshell of their past few entire seasons — the team simply could not produce offensively when it needed it most.
Although Los Angeles showed off their muscles offensively in Games 1 and 3 by scoring a combined 18 runs, the team only managed to put up a total of two runs in Games 2 and 4, spoiling spectacular season debuts by starting pitchers Dustin May and Noah Syndergaard.
While fans could certainly argue that the bullpen was the culprit in both losses — specifically Alex Vesia and Brusdar Graterol — the club simply did not produce enough runs to bring home either win.
Even though the Dodgers outscored the Diamondbacks 20-7 in the series, the old nightmares of producing with runners in scoring position crept in already during the young season, as the club left a combined 33 runners on base Friday and Sunday. Obviously, the entire season remains to be played, but the memories stung for many die-hard fans viewing the series. The split was especially disappointing because it came against a team they should have handled easily.
Syndergaard threw well in Sunday’s 2-1 loss, completing six full innings of work on 78 pitches and surrendering one earned run on four hits with six punchouts. Caleb Fergusson and Evan Phillips held the Diamondbacks at bay in the seventh and eighth innings, but Graterol allowed four hits, with the clincher coming on a drag bunt by Jake McCarthy, allowing Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to score the go-ahead run for Arizona.
The lone Los Angeles run on Sunday came off the bat of catcher will Smith in the bottom of the first inning with a 347-foot solo shot down the left field line.
Despite the disappointing series, there were certainly several bright spots, including Trayce Thompson’s fireworks exhibition on Saturday night coupled with Clayton Kershaw’s sensational season debut.
Thompson went 3-for-4 with three long balls and eight RBI in Saturday’s 10-1 win, prompting skipper Dave Roberts to keep him in the lineup Sunday while shifting Mookie Betts to second base.
Kershaw looked very sharp and efficient, throwing six complete innings and allowing one earned run on four hits while striking out nine and walking none.
Next up for the Dodgers is a quick two-game series against the Rockies at home before heading out to Arizona for a four-game rematch against the Diamondbacks. Scheduled to pitch against Colorado are righty Michael Grove on Monday and lefty Julio Urias on Tuesday.
12 thoughts on “Dodgers Split 2023 Opening Series with Diamondbacks”
Dodgers split a 4 game series they should have swept. Pitching was phenomenal allowing no more than 2 runs in any of the 4 games and a total of 7 runs in 4 games. The offense as you state is the issue. Muncy and Taylor are culprits and Martinez doesn’t look so hot either. Taylor and Muncy looked over matched same as last year. The constant strike outs are a problem.
It is a long season though. But I am very concerned about Muncy and Taylor especially if Roberts as he did last year with them and Bellinger continues to put them out there. Vargas can play 3rd and Busch could be brought up. I feel a muscle pull coming on for Taylor and or Muncy…Certainly 15 days out would help their swings. LOL
And of course Roberts hits Martinez and Muntzy smack dab in the middle of the power holes.
Careful Dennis, Waldo was all over me last year whenever I doubted Roberts.
I don’t have a problem with using Graterol in that situation, but could someone please explain to me why he didn’t have anyone in the pen warming up behind him.
We got really lucky to hold them to one run that inning, but it could easily have been 4 or 5, all while there was apparently no one warming up in the bullpen, at least that’s what the announcers said.
If it’s me and I’m using a guy who had a rather poor spring and who also hasn’t pitched yet this season, I don’t just let Graterol stay in the game until all hope is lost.
I see so far Bellinger has a .000 Avg with a .083 OBP. So same old same old.
Robert’s isn’t a strategic manager he is a nice guy manager. Loves everyone no ramifications for poor performance and poor in game pitching plans. He is consistent lol …
What is consistent is you whining through the entire season. You whined and badmouthed throughout a 111 win season last year. Your anger at Roberts goes beyond baseball.
Roberts is not one of the better in game managers in the game. He does tend to stick with non producing players too long.
My anger is about his lack of ability to manage the club! He had one of the most talented clubs in baseball. It is the managers job to motivate and get the very best out of his players and to instill a team first atmosphere. Roberts allowed Bellinger, Muncy and Taylor to be in the line up despite their lack of team play. We have all played and watched baseball. It is not OK to constantly strike out with RISP. There should be consequences. Such as sit the guy on the bench! His lack of management is not apparent when he has an overwhelmingly more talented club. But whenever he gets into the playoffs and at parity his poor choices as far as line up and in game pitching decisions cost the team at least 1 game. When you are playing teams that are at parity you cannot give a game away. As I stated before the Dodgers will not win the WS with Roberts as the manager unless they have overwhelming talent which is not going to happen. And yep I can be a broken record. But then Roberts is still managing and messing up like he did yesterday in his line up choices.
Very disappointing series. I guess we will just have to endure some growing pains while the Dodgers put players out there to see what they have. The first month or two of the season is like the shake down runs of a new ship. Gotta try out all the pieces to see what is working and what needs to be fixed.
It would be great if we could unload KT3 as I have little faith that he will be a productive offensive piece. We can survive as he is, or should be a part time player. Trayce or Heyward can platoon with Peralta in LF and they can put Outman in CF and let him play everyday. Then Taylor can play once or twice a week to give the infielders a day off.
On the other hand, if Muncy and JDM do not produce, we are not going to be very successful.
Hopefully they won’t stick with the unproductive players too long and make the necessary changes.
Growing pains? We are talking about muncy, Martinez, taylor and Heyward. All now look to be has beens. We better hope a couple of them can turn it around pretty quick or we are in some trouble because outman and trace are also big question marks. And Waldo how can you even defend roberts. My fear going into this season was that roberts has screwed up some very good teams, what will he do with this far inferior team.
The Dodgers have been and continue to be an analytics driven team. That’s to be expected in a 4 billion dollar operation. Nothing gets left to one person to screw up. The analytics department is the envy of every other team.
Now about the criticism of Roberts: Players, regardless of who is in the lineup, fail to get a hit 3 out of 4 times on average. That is not Roberts error. Pitchers give up 1 run every 2 or 3 innings; that happens regardless who is manager. Roberts of not a teacher of hitting. The Dodgers have full time instructors and coaches to do that. Roberts is not a pitching teacher. The Dodgers have full time instructors and coaches to do that. There is no evidence that Roberts ever makes a decision about pitching changes without the input from a pitching coach who is considered one of the best in baseball. He would not have stayed with the Dodgers this long if he and Roberts weren’t on the same wavelength.
Now about the Dodgers obvious organizational strategy. The Dodgers organization feeds the manager analytical data to put the lineup to succeed on the field.. That is modified by the Dodgers system strategy of 1) rotating players in and out of the lineup to minimize season long fatigue and 2) maximize the development of multiposition capability. Outside of the Dodgers starting 8 (whomever they may be for any game), they have a catcher and a DH, who can’t play any field position well. That leaves only 3 position players to play the other 7 field positions. That is too few. So again they have to continually rotate players in and out to play platoon matchups and keep starters fresh. Hitters get a hit only 25% of the time, on average, and pitchers failing to get out of an inning without giving up a run only 66% or 50% of the time. The failure of players at that rate is not manager failure; it is built into the mathematics of baseball.
Finally, we don’t know jack about what leads the Dodgers to start certain players or substitute certain players during a game. Only they know who is nursing an injury, who is struggling mentally, who is tired and needs a day or partial game off. And criticizing Roberts this early in the season about who is playing is brainless. Some players will be given time to play their way out of a funk. Some will not. Do you think that Roberts makes the decision about who is released, sent down, or brought up? Recently the Cubs manager David Ross said that the club ‘occasionally” lets him sit in on roster construction decisions. Roberts has two jobs: Sell the players on the team philosophy that many part time players are better than a constant 8 and be point man to carry out input from many points in the Dodger organization.
And I haven’t even gotten into the criticism Roberts gets because of racial bias against African/Asian people in Los Angeles.
Sit back and enjoy the sport of baseball for what it is. Whining about Roberts and players is petty.