The Los Angeles Dodgers had some pep in their step to start the MLB season, beginning their 2020 journey at home with a four-game series against the San Francisco Giants, but halfway through the series, things took a turn.
Despite hearing the bad news that Clayton Kershaw’s July 23 Opening Day start was scratched due to injury, the team showed perseverance after losing a key component and veteran.
The confident boys in blue took the first two games of a four-game series against the San Francisco Giants, outscoring the Bay Area team 17-2 during that time. However, the high level of play expected from the Dodgers was not to last, as the Giants took advantage of mistakes and evened the series.
Mistakes became the weekend theme as the team from Chavez Ravine seemingly flipped a switch and lost some of their baseball sense.
Aside from Alex Woods’ lackluster Saturday start, Dodgers base runners were caught several times lacking on the bases, essentially giving the Giants their July 25 win.
The organization has arguably the best team in baseball, they have high-caliber players in every position and have massive depth. After all, the team clearly knows how to hit and score given their high level of play in the first two games of the series. Yet they lost their way.
If the Dodgers look to be successful this year, considering their roster can do it all, they need to focus on playing proper small ball as it might end up being what they don’t do that hurts them.
Wood’s start can be looked at as bad outing, as all pitcher have their bad days, but bad base running is inexcusable.
Losing winnable games in a short season has a much more drastic impact on a club’s ability to remain at the top of the standings. It is especially disheartening when the mistakes happen at the behest of the base runner.
Chris Taylor and Joc Pederson both made crucial base running errors in the fourth inning, followed by an Austin Barnes base running mistake in the fifth.
The Dodgers need to focus on the road ahead while they evaluate the reasons behind their losses.
If Dodgers fans weren’t disappointed enough in their team, a molasses-like start from Mookie Betts added a bit more. The right-fielder had some exciting Dodger firsts, but ended up with a batting average of .150, going 3-for-20 with only one RBI through four games. But he is a former MVP and he’s labeled as one of the best players of our generation, so his viscous start should only speed up.
There is still a lot to be positive about for Dodger fans after the club’s 2-2 end to Opening Weekend. The team saw good pitching from Dustin May, Blake Treinin and Julio Urías. Bats were were also cracking as 11 different Dodgers recorded a hit, bringing the team batting average to a league leading .291 heading into a two-game series against the Houston Astros.
It’s early in the season, and just like early calls for MVP and Cy Young candidates, we just have to wait and see how the rest of the 2020 MLB journey unfolds. The Dodgers just need to keep working on fixing mistakes and everything will fall into place.