The Dodgers lost their opportunity to take a third straight game Monday night, after stumbling in the first two games of the season. In what was a very bad start from Hyun-jin Ryu, the Dodgers still found a way to take an early lead. Their offense powered them throughout the night and the bullpen held the Diamondbacks’s at bay for the most part, with the exception of the ninth inning.
It was a typical Arizona versus Los Angeles cage match down to the wire. These two teams have made it clear that there is no easy path to the National League West, and they proclaimed that in a big way on Monday night. The game went all the way until the 15th inning and depleted both bullpens. Wilmer Font can attest to that. Some takeaways from the first of three games:
Logan Forsythe in Finding His Swing
Last year wasn’t great for Logan Forsythe. His on base percentage went up, but his batting average and OPS took a tremendous dip overall. It was almost as if he was too afraid to swing the bat, waiting to be walked. He saw more pitches in 2017 than in his entire career. Most of that can be attributed to his broken toe, which ailed him all year long. On Monday, Logan was hitting the ball very hard and working the count in the best way possible. He even broke the tie on a booming home run, his first of the year. The Dodgers hope he can get back to his old form, when he hit 37 home runs in the two years prior to his Los Angeles tenure.
Forsythe solo shot in 6th. #dodgers 4-3 lead.
— Alanna Rizzo (@alannarizzo) April 3, 2018
The Rotation Might Need Some Help
Walker Buehler is still probably a few months out from joining the big league club. And even when he does arrive, chances are that he will be limited. Ryu did not have a great showing on Monday night, and it really exposed the weak spot of the starting rotation. He only made it 3.2 innings and allowed three runs. His control was way off as he walked five batters. After a bad year in 2017, Ryu’s time in the rotation could be approaching it’s end quickly if he doesn’t turn things around. Especially with the young talent waiting in the minor leagues.
The Bullpen is Still Doing a Great Job With an Exception
After completely baffling the Giants in the four game series, the bullpen continued it’s 2018 dominance. Pedro Baez made another appearance, throwing a perfect 1.1 innings. Scott Alexander came in after him, and faced the minimum despite being a bit on the wild side. Cingrani has become a work horse early on, and he was back into this game for this third appearance. He was again perfect against the two batters he faced. Fan favorite JT Chargois also came in, and pitched himself into a two out jam. He escaped unscathed nonetheless, and maintains his pristine Dodgers’ record. Josh Fields had a great inning yet again, but Kenley Jansen got rocked again. He gave up a game tying three run home run in the ninth with two outs after issuing back to back walks. Who would have guessed that Jansen would be the biggest question mark in 2018? Wilmer Font pitched the rest of the game, something he is simply not made for at this point. He did everything he could and pitched fantastic all the way up until the end.
Clayton Kershaw is back on the mound for Los Angeles Tuesday night, hoping to rebound from a disappointing 1-0 Opening Day loss to San Francisco. He will face off against Zack Godley making his first start of 2018. You can bet that both of these guys will be looking to pitch deep into the game with their exhausted bullpens.