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Dodgers News: Max Muncy Opens Up About Mental Challenges Stemming From Slow Start

Max Muncy had a rough start to the 2023 season. Through nine games, he was slashing .121/.293/.212 with one home run, two RBIs, seven walks and a league-high 16 strikeouts. Then, game No. 10 happened.

The Dodgers traveled to San Francisco to take on the Giants at Oracle Park, a place Muncy has performed very well at over the course of his career. It almost seemed too storybook that a quick trip to San Francisco would get Muncy back on track — but it looks like that’s exactly what happened.



In Monday’s 9-1 win over the Giants, Muncy did it all, going 3-for-3 with two home runs, seven RBIs and a walk. His updated slashline? .194/.356/.444. Talk about an improvement.

After the game, Muncy was asked about his early season struggles, and spoke candidly (like he always does) about getting off to the slow start.

“The way the season started,” Muncy said, “there was a lot of anxiety going on. … It was kind of one of those things where a tough first game of the season kind of got me into a mental rut and almost immediately, my mechanics got out of whack.”

Bill Plunkett, Orange County Register

However, Muncy got to San Francisco to take on a team he’s seen very well in his career, and suddenly, he was back on track.

“To me, today was more about just getting a breath of fresh air, getting out of Arizona,” Muncy said. “That’s a team that traditionally I haven’t really hit well against, with the exception of one guy maybe. They always have my number. So getting eight games against them right out of the gate, for me, is not necessarily the best thing. You know, if it’s four games, it’s fine. But you have eight games right out of the gate – that’s a tough one.”

Luckily for Muncy (and the Dodgers), they won’t be seeing Arizona again until August. And also lucky for Muncy, he has another two games against the Giants this week to continue to get back on track.

If Muncy is living up to his role as the power-hitting left-handed cleanup hitter behind Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Will Smith, this team is going to be really dangerous this season. So let’s hope that Monday was a sign of things to come.

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Noah Camras

Noah is an Associate Staff Writer for Dodgers Nation. He graduated from USC in 2022 with a B.A. in Journalism and minor in Sports Media Studies. He's been a Dodger fan since he was a kid, and his all-time favorite Dodgers are Matt Kemp and Russell Martin — but Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman are very quickly making a case to be on that list.

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