Monday, February 26, 2024
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Light it Up! Dodgers Dismantle Snakes on Opening Night

Outman and Vargas

As I begin another Dodger season on this site I am reminded of how much I hate losing. It’s been a problem for me since I was a kid. I’ve always hated losing. So when the Dodgers were down 2-0 after the first couple of innings to the Dbacks at Dodger Stadium on opening night, That familiar feeling of frustration and disgust swelled within me. After all, the Dodgers are back! Damnit those bums, I thought. They just had to be losing in the first few minutes of the season didn’t they? Fortunately for my sanity and twitter the Dodgers rebounded by tying it up in the third, plating three more runs in the fifth, two in the sixth en route to an easy 8-2 win over the Snakes amidst a cold and rainy Los Angeles night.

The new pitch clock and other rules didn’t affect the game tonight, but starting pitcher Julio Urias was shaky early on. Maybe he needed more pitch clock as he gave up a run in the top of the first inning on a Christian Walker Line drive single, and another in the second when Urias served up a Gabriel Moreno sac fly. Urias settled down after that inducing two double plays (Evan Longoria, Lourdes Guriel Jr.) in the first and the third inning. Urias shut down the snakes completely for the rest of the game, punching out six walking none and allowing just four hits over six effective frames.

The Dodger bats took care of the rest. They didn’t get to opposing starter Zac Gallen until the bottom of the third. Will Smith drove in James Outman, and Miguel Rojas with a two-run knock to right. Smith drove in his third run of the night in the bottom of the fifth with another single, this a flare to right. Smith drove in four of the eight Dodger runs, going 3 for 4. Later in that frame singles from new Dodgers J.D. Martinez, and David Peralta extended the Dodgers lead to 5-2.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

The Dodger lineup was clicking on all cylinders, but it was James Outman who stole the show. The left handed hitting outfielder smashed his first home run of the season in the sixth, a two-run shot that put the Dodgers ahead 7-2. Outman showed the world his emerging talent going 2 for 3 with three runs scored. There isn’t a valid reason to not pencil him in the lineup every day. The bullpen performed well too. Phil Bickford, Shelby Miller, and Yency Almonte all tossed scoreless frames to notch the win.

The Dodgers aren’t going to go 162-0, and it wasn’t all roses. Max Muncy earned the platinum sombrero, striking out five times, and Mookie Betts struck out three times. The pitch clock is still stupid. New attractions at Dodger Stadium this year include a drone show, and LED lights that flash when a Dodger hits a home run. All in all it was a fine opening day night. Dustin May takes the mound tomorrow for the Dodgers against Merrill Kelly.

I’m pleased I didn’t have to throw a shoe through my television tonight. Oh and this is pretty funny too. Meanwhile in the bronx……

That familiar odor. The air in the Bronx was fouled by The #SFGiants ShitMist™️ Which made its 2023 debut today at Yankee Stadium. ~ McCovey Chronicles

 

Danny DeVito

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic
https://ladodgerreport.com

42 thoughts on “Light it Up! Dodgers Dismantle Snakes on Opening Night

  1. Tommy Lasorda stopped the rain and opened up the skies to Blue Heaven on Earth!

    A great opening day win for the Dodgers. Dodger Ace Julio Urias started out a bit shaky, but after giving up two early runs, he settled down to blank the Snakes and let the offense take over.

    Will Smith an amazing 3-4, 4 RBI night. Outman (2-3) showing his Big Boyz Pants fit just fine, hitting the Dodgers first HR or the season, a two run shot to cement the victory. I think he can finally send his leftover box of diapers to Tulsa or Rancho.

    You know me, I always have to point out “negatives”. To start, it was so sad to see CT3 introduced as a non-starter, especially after his offense seemed to regain a pulse in the Freway Series. Shift or No Shift did not matter to Muncy, who went 0-5 K’s. And Mookie going 0-4 with 3 K’s, 4 LOB. I really think Betts should diss his leadoff roll. Give Peralta or Rojas a shot at THE #1 position.

    Over all, a great way to start the season. The key will be to stay healthy… 161 more games to go.

    Go Dodgers!

    1. Forgot my favorite “negative” rant…
      0-7 RISP, 12 LOB

      AND this was with NINE free passes! Geez!

      JD Martinez is washed up! Cut him!

      Get CT3 off the pine! Poor guy gets no respect, especially after a great freeway series!

  2. 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.

    1. I agree, in regards to seeing what works and what doesn’t the first minth or two of the season. Looks like shortstop is the biggest concern. Bullpen looks iffy too. Outman, Smith, mookie and Freeman are fantastic.

  3. Game 2 in AZ a disaster. Kershaw not at his best but he kept his team in the game until he melted down in the 6th giving up back-to-back dingers. Almonte was no help, as was the dismal offense with 0-4 RISP, 10 LOB, 10 KO’s. 9 free passes, but could not take advantage. They should be dominating the Snakes, especially washed up MadBum. Sad that Kershaw’s second start was the first non-quality start of the season.

    Well, had it with Twitter. I got locked out right after my last response to a tweet from Dodgers Nation, asking, “What’s your biggest overreaction after the first week of the Dodgers 2023 season?” My answer was, “Kirsten Watson? NOT!”. Immediately after that, I was suspended and locked out. I admit that my answers are sometimes a bit overboard (but all in fun), but I have seen plenty of tweets way worse than mine. Oh well, their loss, not mine. Twitter and whom ever reported and blocked me, the jokes on you!

    Let’s hope the Dodgers can take the next two in AZ.

    Go Blue.

      1. HaHa! I really do not know, Scott. Probably better I do not know. I’ll check in from time to time at LADodgerReport.

        Go Blue! Need a win today from Thor. Hope he can deliver another quality start and he get can some run support.

  4. Well the Snakes got the last bite, as they take 3 of 4 in Arizona. So, after the eight games against the Snakes, the Dodgers managed to win only three. Pretty pathetic, if you ask me. The bullpen was a disaster and the offense was unable to produce runs when they needed them, even though they had plenty of opportunities to do so.

    Overall, the starting pitching has been erratic and bullpen struggled, giving up more runs then the offense could muster. The offense needs to get more aggressive, too many K’s, inability to move runners and take advantage of free passes. AZ speedsters ran circles around the Dodgers, putting pressure on the pitchers, while Dodger baserunners stood flatfooted, ending up victims of GIDP, or fielder’s choice. The Dodgers refuse to work on their running game, and to take advantage of the larger bases. The Dodgers refuse to just put the ball in play and move runners, preferring to just swing for the fences.

    If the Dodgers continue to play, as they did against the Snakes, it is going to be a long, long season. And now they are limping into SF with their tails tucked between their legs. Does not look good, Dodger Fans.

  5. SF game 1:

    Thank Goodness for Logan Webb’s slow start. Just the medicine the Dodgers needed to recover from the Snake Pit in AZ.

    Thank Goodness for Julio Urias. The steady Dodger Ace singlehandedly stopped the bleeding of the Dodger pitching staff. Vesia gave us a scare, but showed he might be headed in the right direction.

    Thank Goodness for Max Muncy’s love of SF. He could do no wrong in Game 1, jumping on the big “Hjelle [Jelly) Donut” for a Grand Salami to Slam the door shut. His Homer Simpson Diet Plan just might be working its’ magic! He quickly silenced the “Beat LA” chants! Max seemed to be totally engaged in the game, for a change.

    Outman continues his quest for 2023 ROC… this guy is for real! Mookie doing what a leadoff batter should do, Freeman steady as usual. Smith zeroing in on his target… best catcher in MLB, and 2023 All-Star starting catcher.

    I am praying that this win was the shot in the arm the Dodgers needed.

    Go Blue!

  6. Well, Game 2 was not what I expected to see. To add to May’s dismal start (2 walks and a 2-RBI double by Joc-pop to start the game), the Dodgers could not recover, struggling against another ex-Dodger Alex Wood, who kept the Dodgers offense at bay, with an assist to DR for deciding to “sit” the Giant Killer Max Muncy. DR has a three HR rule, but apparently no two HR, 7 RBI rule. Tell me why DR sits Muncy, who loves to play in SF, and play CT3, who I hate to say it, “Is Killing Us”. Coupled with a two run deficit to open the game, the Offense sputtered to a 0-8 RISP, 11 LOB, 11 KO’s. DR just playing Russian Roulette with his lineup choices.

    HP Umpire, Brian Knight, did not help with his pitch calling, but at least he was consistent, the Dodgers just did not adjust. I am not a proponent of the automated strike zone, but when you see games called like last night, I can’t wait for the change. Bad calls behind the plate can really affect the outcome of the game.

    Just like last season, it is either feast or famine for this offense, and the erratic, unstable pitching staff just turns this team into an average sub .500 team. Poor Julio Urias cannot keep this sinking ship afloat, alone.

    Come on Dodgers, you got to step it up!

    1. Game 3: Eh Hmm… DR why did you sit The Giant Killer in game 2?

      Kershaw again was not sharp, quickly starting his team in a ditch, spotting the Gnats with three quick runs. Then came the offensive surge, led by The Giant Killer, Muncy! Two more HR’s! 4 more RBI’s! Then Kersh finally got back on track and closed the deal, stealing a win, and the series!

      I wonder if Muncy presented DR with an autographed “go get it out of the ocean” t-shirt. He should have sent DR out to get that ball back. I’m sorry, DR just has to stop with his second guessing and Ouija Board lineup routines. Screw these scheduled days off for rest or reflection, or lefty/righty tactics. Play your best lineup every game, especially a “hot” players!

      DR, play to Win, why don’t you…? Ask your buddy Andy to get you some solid starting pitchers to complement your sole warrior, Urias.

      DR, today is an official scheduled day of rest, not in the middle of a crucial rivalry series.

        1. Agree, Scott. Rojas and Barnes are killing the offense, as are CT3 and Betts. At least CT3 has shown some recent pop. Now, with Smith out on concussion protocol, we are stuck with Barnes (although Austin is still the better defensive catcher). Maybe CT3 should be the regular 2nd baseman for a while, and move Vargas to SS.

          Boy, Freeman has looked bad too, recently. 4 K’s last night against the Cubs. A lot has to do with the lousy HP Umpires*, these last few games, but seriously, to see professional ballplayers standing flatfooted at the plate and not protecting the plate, is very frustrating. With two strikes we were always taught to “see the ball and hit it, ,shorten swing,…anything close, protect the plate, foul it off if you have to”. Don’t just stand there and look dumbfounded, while trying to second guess what pitch is coming.

          *(HP Umpire showed no class, hitting Cody up for pitch clock violation, but it was hilarious, I have to be honest. These Umps are really losing it.)

          Betts has been guilty of the same. Just not the kind of leadoff batter you want. Coupled with #2 Freeman, not the 1-2 punch you want.

          The old Dodger Achilles Heel, “RISP” continues to cripple the offense, all too often.

          Poor Urias could not get any run support last night and the errors do not help.…. An all to often occurrence. Dodgers need a couple of starters to complement Urias. Julio cannot do it alone.

          Last of all, they got to work on holding runners. Teams are running circles around Dodger pitchers with the help of these larger bases. Dodger catchers are not to blame. Dodgers have to get more agressive on the base paths,..heh, they have to get runners on base first.

          Gonna’ be a long season. Gonsolin’s and Lux’ unfortunate injuries have really crippled the Dodgers this year.

          At least the games are shorter, so it lessens the pain for us fans.

  7. Well, since the opening day dismantling of the Snakes, the Dodgers are just barely keeping their head above water. A mere sub-500 team. Good thing teams in ML West are all struggling at the same time. The Dodger pitching staff in a shambles and their offense is sputtering like a V-8 firing on 4 cylinders.

    Their Game 2 loss to the Cubs, was disheartening, to say the least. The game just showed what will happen, if you do not give your Ace any run support. Urias sadly watched his offense drop like flies hit by a can of Raid…. 13 KO’s, and one lucky full swing bunt single was all that the offense could muster. So hard to pitch when your teammates fail, and the HP Ump continues to squeeze the strike zone. Even though Barnes is struggling at the plate, he would have been a better pick to catch for Urias. A lot of Urias’ problems stemmed from pitch calling. All 7 costly hits were off meaty fastballs, which Wynns kept calling for… Austin is a better pitch caller, and Urias definitely seems to feel more comfortable with Barnsey behind the dish.

    Dodger Announcer Steve Nelson said, “The Dodgers will flush this one down, immediately!”. DR said, “ I think we’re just going to try to flush it.” Well, I hope they at least flushed twice, because Game two was a full shitload. They may have been able to finally get it all flushed, but the smell still lingers.

    With Grove and Pepiot to the IL, “Catman” Gonsolin still nursing his sore paw, Syndergaard proving to just be aTHOR-ne in the rotation, “Code Red” not even close to his former self, Vesia and Bickford intimidated and rushed by the pitch clock, the Dodgers priority should be pitching, even though their offense stinks. Next thing you know, the Dodgers will be pulling Madbum out of the Chase Field dumpster.

    As far as the offense, it seemed that Outman was proving to be an excellent candidate to unseat Mookie as the Leadoff batter, but DR threw Betts back in the saddle. I think Betts would fair better hitting 9th. CT3 continues to try and find to hole in his bat. Heyward sucks, Trayce, Barnes, Rojas, and Vargas are killin’ the offense.

    Might be time to diss the diapers on some of their farmhands and call them up, or trade them away for some proven talent.

    There is still time. The season is young, but the Dodgers are rapidly spinning into a death spiral.

  8. Well, the Dodgers got “Lit Up” in St Louis, not the way one would want to start a long 10-game road trip. I guess what goes around, comes around. Is that why there are 162 games in a season?

    Maybe the team is still in shock, with the sad news that Dustin “Code Red” May, just “MAY” be “Code Blue” for a while. To add to the misery, Kershaw and Urias, the Dodgers two “Aces” are struggling for consistency. Urias, the #1 Ace, has been subject to the long ball… all to evident in St Louis, giving up a record 4 HR’s and 6 ER’s in the 3rd inning. The relievers, who are working on fumes, as the starters fail to produce lengthy, quality starts. All the while, the Dodger offense continues to sputter with RISP. The bullpen could not stop the bleeding, allowing 10 more runs, on 3 more HR’s. Pitching seems to be the priority at the moment. Dodgers need Smith’s bat, but is he really an All-Star quality receiver? More often than not, I continue to question his pitch calling. Maybe the pitching problems can be attributed to the Catcher? Maybe Will has not fully recovered from his concussion? Barnes is a better signal caller and defensive catcher, but his bat is non-existent. Another big problem is the Dodger Battery’s inability to stop their opponent’s running game.

    Time to panic, Dodger Fans? How long a rope are they going to give washed up veterans Syndergaard and Heyward? The Dodgers say their kids on the farm are not ready? Maybe bring them up, they have nothing to lose at this point. They could do no worse. Either play them or trade them for some instant help? I would hate to see that, but what else can they do?

    It is still early in the season, but the Dodgers just have too many holes, pitching wise, and offensively (RISP and too many Mendoza’s in the lineup), as well.

    Gonna’ be a real long road trip. Pray, Dodger Fans, as the Dodgers get Preyed upon.

      1. So, as the team stands now, do you really think they will be able to make it to the World Series? I do’t think so. They managed to beat some bottom feeders thus far. They may again win the hapless West, but will not go far in October, if they do not make some noteworthy changes. As I said, way too many holes.

        1. All I’m saying, is that it’s definitely not time to panic. With the team, having the second best record in all of baseball.

          I also am unsure, if “there is nothing to lose at this point” given how well the team is playing.

          Finally, is there really “misery” around the team? Do you really think the team is “in shock”?

          Can they win the World Series? Sure, just need luck.

          1. From what I’ve seen, the pitching has been a problem. Its not up to snuff. The offense has done well. They’re scoring a lot of runs. But the pitching staff has some holes. Overall they alot of dead weight on the roster, washed up veterans that are useless and actively hurting the club. Rojas is atrocious and unable to hit above the mendoza line or stay healthy for more than a few games at a time. He needs to go. Other below mendoza line bums include Thompson, Peralta and Heyward. Although Heyward can still hit the ball out of the park so he can stay. Martinez is fairly useless too.

            The bullpen is overall below average. A few guys have been decent. Ferguson has been pretty good. Phillips is their best reliever and Victor is a useful piece. Beckford, and almonte are horrendous. Almonte needs to be sent down immediately. Beckford too. Vesia is already in the minors. The rest of thr relievers are mediocre at best. The rotation is ok if everyone stays healthy. Not sure whats up with Urias. Kershaw is still effective. May and gonsolin are unable to pitch more than 50-100 innings in a season and I dont see them having long careers. Syndergaard is washed up and cooked. Dont see any reason to continue pitching him.

            Time to call up the young players and see what they have. Pages and busch should already up with the big club. Stone and Miller should be as well. Hopefully pepiot can get healthy. They really miss buehler. Time to ditch the useless vets and commit to a youth movement now. Unless management loves these mediocre arms and below .200 hitters.

          2. I agree with Bluto here. It’s way too early to panic. Not too early to point out flaws in the roster. Need to beef up the pitching staff, especially the bullpen. But the core of the team is very talented. Mookie, Freddie, Smith, Muncy, outman all great. They’re a good team. They could be great with some adjustments.

      1. Agree with you, Scott. Bring the kids up and give them a shot. Diss the dumpster acquisitions, and make any positive changes to the roster.

        Too bad Friedman wasted so much time dumpster diving, instead of making an earnest attempt to keep JT & Trey in LA, or shopping the early free agent market. I think JT and Trey would have stayed, if given a decent offer.

        1. Did Forrest Gump say, “The Dodgers are like a box of chocolates…. You never know what you’re gonna’ get.”? Something like that!

          Need a bit more consistency. Let’s get a streak going, Dodgers!

          1. Best teams by winning% in the last 30 days:

            Dodgers: .731
            Orioles: .667
            Astros: .640
            Rays: .630
            Rangers: .615
            Red Sox: .600
            Giants: .577
            Yankees: .571
            Diamondbacks: .560
            Braves: .560

          2. Sorry, Bluto, they are getting their ass kicked in St Louis. Those numbers mean nothing right now!

          3. LMK when stats are relevant and when they are not.

            Unless the only qualification is whether they agree with your sentiment.

  9. Don’t stop there Scott!

    They are playing extremely well for:
    Having no pitching at all
    Having an over-rated farm-system
    Being run like a small market team
    With an over-rated Friedman at the helm
    Having been built by dumpster diving

    What else have I forgotten?

    1. I have to agree with you at this point Bluto. For them to have the best record in the National League with this roster, they must have a very good system.

      1. Well, another disappointing loss. I get it, they cannot win them all, but they squandered away another win and possible sweep of the NL East leading Braves. They were able to win the series, at least. You know, it is easier to take a loss when they are totally dominated, but to give games away… that is just unacceptable.

        1-10 RISP. Muncy at cleanup, 0-5, 3 K’s, and 6 LOB. Why did DR put a 200 hitter in cleanup? Just setting the Dodgers up for failure. The coup de grãse was putting in Bickford to try and get the game to extras. Bickford really stinks. How is he still with the team? How long of a rope will the Dodgers give him (and Syndergaard)?

        Now, a tough series and test versus the AL East leading Tampa Bay Rays. Let’s hope for the best. What a road trip… red hot Cards, NL East leading Braves, and AL East leading Rays. The Dodgers will be licking their wounds on the flight home.

        1. The crazy thing is that if you took the pitchers on the IL, you’d have a fucking amazing rotation and bullpen:

          Grove, Pepiot, Beuhler, Urias and May.

          In the Pen you’d have:
          Cyr, Nelson, Hudson, Reyes, Treinen, and Feyereisen

          1. Well, looks like DR sent in the “Designated Mop” too soon. They are so desperate that Bickford AND Syndergaard remain on the roster.

            Too bad Gavin Stone appears to be not ready. Still too early to push the panic button?

            Another disappointing loss to a top contender. Pretty pathetic, if you ask me, so I guess don’t ask me. The white hot Cards manhandled the Dodgers, the Braves (top in the NL) stole a game or two, and now the Rays (top in the AL) have got in the last laugh.

            ugh….”ugh-ly”

          2. … thanks to Peacock, I did not have to see this carnage. Still sucks that these streaming deals have deprived fans from fair access to televised games without having to dig deeper and deeper into their pockets.

            The Dodger pitching staff is obviously in need of some immediate help. There is not one pitcher, starter or reliever, who is healthy, mentally or physically. It is amazing that they are still first place in the NL West… one of the weakest divisions in MLB.

  10. I think they’re in first for all of the National League. Pictures will come back, a lot of them are on the IL.

  11. With tonight’s win, they have the best record and best run differential in the National League.

    Despite all the offseason losses and in-season injuries, the Dodgers are where they normally are: at the top of the National League.

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