This past week was another bad one for the Dodgers. They went 2-5 against the lowly Miami Marlins and San Francisco Giants, and through the first month of the season, they haven’t been able to play well consistently. They currently stand at 12-15, and seven games out of first. Sigh.
Let’s recap the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from this past week.
Past week record (23-29 April): 2-5
Season record: 12-15
Standings: 4th in N.L West, seven games out of first.
Walker Buehler’s debut: On Monday, we finally got our first glimpse of Buehler this year, and he showed why the Dodgers are excited for his future. The team’s top prospect didn’t allow a run in five innings of work, and stuck out five. He escaped a few jams throughout the game, while throwing 89 pitches. He showcased his plus fastball, which peaked at triple digits, and good off-speed stuff.
In his second start of the week, Buehler rebounded from a tough first inning to limit the Giants the rest of the game, and earn his victory as a starter in the pros. His final line was 5 Inn, 6 Hits, 1 BB, 2 ER, and 6 K. The Dodgers optioned him back to Rancho Cucamonga, but Buehler figures to be in their plans going forward, and it’s just a matter of keeping him as fresh as possible.
Injured players on the mend: There was some good news regarding a couple of injured Dodgers. Justin Turner is progressing from his fractured wrist, and began hitting off a tee. Andrew Toles took some batting practice this week and will hopefully return to action in less than two weeks. Obviously, Turner is a huge piece to the Dodgers offense, and Toles was mashing down in OKC, so both will be a welcomed returned when fully healthy.
Future Dodgers Stadium transportation: Parking at Dodgers Stadium can be a nightmare, as most know. So, it comes as good news that plans were revealed for an aerial transit system that would take fans from Union Station to Dodgers Stadium. Read more about that here. Pretty cool, huh? In a week where the Dodgers went 2-5, I’m grasping for straws here people.
Yasiel Puig: Although still early, Puig has looked far from good so far this year. His slash line is an unimpressive .193/.250/.250 with zero homeruns, and a .500 OPS. Early in the season, Puig had a little bad luck with some hard hit balls being outs instead of hits. Still though, bad luck is not responsible for his overall lack of production this year. He’s simply not having consistent good at-bats. To top it off, Puig injured both his hip and foot this past weekend in San Francisco, and was placed on the DL.
Kershaw’s command: On Wednesday, Kershaw tied a career high with six walks, something he hadn’t done since 2010. Seeing him struggle with his command like that was like watching the end of Avengers: Infinity War… “what the heck is happening???” Hopefully, for the Dodgers, it was just an anomaly. Kershaw prides himself on throwing strikes and not giving up many walks, especially at home against a not-so-great team, like Miami.
Balks: The Dodgers had two balks called against them this past week, and both came at crucial times. The one that Joe West called on Tony Cingrani in Tuesday night’s game was questionable, but Pedro Baez’s infamous tumble was basically just a snapshot of the Dodgers season so far this year… bad luck mixed with ineptitude.
Scott Alexander: Alexander has not been the pitcher the Dodgers were hoping he’d be when they acquired him this off-season. He’s been downright awful so far this year. He was optioned to AAA on Saturday, and if he doesn’t turn things around soon, he could stay there awhile.
Dodger’s offense in key situations: Take Saturday night’s game for instance. The Dodgers squandered opportunity after opportunity. They had runners on 1st and 2nd in the fifth inning with no outs, and came up empty. In the seventh, they loaded the bases with no one out, and settled for one run after Austin Barnes hit into a double-play and Chris Taylor struck out. Not getting runners home from third base with less than two outs has been a reoccurring theme for the Dodgers thus far, and it’s getting old quick.
Chris Taylor taking strike three down the middle: Was I specific enough on this one? Chris Taylor hasn’t been great so far this year, but he’s certainly not the only Dodger you can say that about. More concerning then his overall numbers, however, is his habit of being called out on strikes, especially in key spots during the game. Maybe he’s not recognizing the pitch, or perhaps he’s just getting fooled. But many of these pitches are fastballs down the middle, not pitches he should be getting fooled on. He has to get the bat off his shoulders in those situations.
The Giants: Still ugly.
The Dodgers will travel to Arizona to play the first place Diamondbacks for four games, and then to San Diego to play the Padres for three. They’ve struggled against Arizona so far this year (1-5,) and swept San Diego just two weeks ago. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess to how the Dodgers will perform.
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