I didn’t expect for the Dodgers to come out guns blazing on Tuesday night after hearing the depressing news of Andre Ethier’s fractured tibia. However the club looked demoralized as they dropped their seventh straight Cactus League game losing to the Royals 3-1 at Surprise Stadium. Boy do the boys in Blue have the blues.
It was another lackluster outing from Alex Wood, who allowed three earned runs on six hits across four frames. He did strike out 4 and walk none. His spring ERA now sits at an even 6.00. At times he looked ok, and able to locate his pitches. Other times throughout the game he looked extremely hittable. His funky delivery hasn’t changed. I am beginning to wonder if we’ll see the good Wood from his days with the Braves, or the mediocre Wood from last year. I guess it’s anyone’s guess.
Of course the Dodger’s offense did absolutely nothing save for a walk from Rob Segedin, and a double from Rico Noel in the top of the fifth. Boy does that take us back to 2015 doesn’t it? The offense just completely shuts down and does nothing. There were very few if any line drives or hard hit balls, just routine outs. Royal’s starter Chris Young threw 4.1 innings allowing just one earned run and three walks.
The Royals scored three runs on ten hits. They scored twice in the bottom of the second frame, when Kendrys Morales, and Alex Gordon both singled. Wood balked the runners over to second and third. Salvadore Perez’s grounder scored Morales, and then a soft blooper to center off the bat of Omar Infante scored the second run. The Royals added one more run in the bottom of the fourth when Perez popped one into the left field bullpen to give the Royals a 3-0 lead. Perez drove in two of the three Kansas City runs on the night.
The one good aspect of the game was the solid work from the Dodger’s bullpen. Louis Coleman and Adam Liberatore both pitched scoreless innings. Pedro Baez looked very good as well as he pitched 1.1 innings striking out all four batters he faced. Minor leaguer Matt West came into the game in the bottom of the eighth inning and almost made things even worse. The Royals had two hits off of him in that frame, and oh god is he awful. Thankfully a nice defensive play from Alex Verdugo (sliding stop on Cody Decker’s double), and a great relay throw (and good swipe tag from Barnes) from Charlie Culberson cut down Reymond Fuentes at the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning.
This was a total 2015 game. I know it’s a meaningless game, but this type of play is frustrating to watch because it reminds me of last year so much. The script is simple. The starter gives up several runs in the early innings putting them behind and the offense falls asleep, shutting down completely. The Dodger offense had just three hits and four walks. Most of the game was nothing but ground balls and pop ups. It would be nice to them win a game.
Thank god these are just exhibition games. Fortunately this is not the time to freak out. Remember this is a long season and the Dodgers have a talented roster to pair with a deep farm system. The boys in blue will be ok. Man I tell you what, I would rather get these games out of the way now then watch them in the regular season.
The Dodgers are now 10-10-2 in cactus league play. The Dodger’s miserable spring continues on Thursday. The club will have their first and only off day on Wednesday before resuming play against the Cleveland Indians at Goodyear ballpark on Thursday evening. The Dodgers leave Glendale and come home in a little over a week. Opening day is just 12 days away. Go Blue!