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Dodgers Week 1: Splitsville

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A ho-hum 2-2 opening week, but bigger news off the field for LA

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

Well, that didn’t go exactly as planned. The Dodgers scored blowout wins in each of their first two games against the Giants, but then the offense went mostly dark for the final two games of the series, settling for a season-opening split with San Francisco at home for the second time in three years.

Oh yeah, they also had their Opening Day starter placed on the injured list hours before his scheduled start, and signed their prize offseason acquisition to a record contract before he even played a game with the team. The week was a busy one at Dodger Stadium, all crammed into five days.

Batter of the week

Justin Turner started out hot, going 7-for-15 (.467) with four doubles in the opening series, including multi-hit affairs in the final three games of the series. Honorable mention goes to Max Muncy, who homered twice in Friday’s win, and to Kiké Hernandez, who had four hits, including a homer, and drove in five on Opening Day.

Pitcher of the week

Ross Stripling lasted seven or more innings in four of the 52 starts in his first four major league seasons. He added another on Friday against the Giants, allowing only a solo home run and three singles while striking out seven, utilizing a newly improved changeup.

Week 1 results

2-2 record
22 runs scored (5.50 per game)
10 runs allowed (2.50 per game)
.809 pythagorean record

Miscellany

You’re up, rook: Dustin May was thrust into duty on Thursday after Clayton Kershaw was placed on the injured list, making him the first Dodgers rookie pitcher to start on Opening Day since Fernando Valenzuela in 1981. May allowed a run in 4⅓ innings in the spot start.

“He kept his composure,” Hernandez said. “He wasn’t nervous or intimidated by the amount of cardboard we had in the stands.”

“He’s got a chance to be a superstar,” Alex Wood said. “That stuff doesn’t come along every day.”

Double your pleasure: Justin Turner ended the first series with four doubles, and became the eighth Dodger with doubles in each of the first three games of the season. Turner was the first to do so since Matt Kemp in 2010.

Painful reminder: Turner also tied a club record on Thursday with his 73rd hit by pitch as a Dodger. That matched Hall of Famer Zack Wheat for most in franchise history.

Ratings are in: The Dodgers fared well in ratings for the first two (of three) national TV games in the opening weekend. Thursday night on ESPN was seen by 2.764 million nationally, the largest audience ever for a late-night regular season game on ESPN game. In Los Angeles, the game drew a 6.8 rating, meaning 6.8 percent of television households in LA watched the game, the highest-rated ESPN game in Los Angeles since the 2018 tiebreaker against Colorado.

Saturday’s game on Fox was seen by 4.8 percent of television households in Los Angeles and by 15 percent of TVs actually watching television at the time, per Nielsen ratings, the highest game rating for LA since 2018.

Transactions

Tuesday: Gavin Lux, the National League Rookie of the Year favorite, was optioned to the alternate training site.

Tuesday: Relief pitcher Jake McGee was signed to a one-year contract, four days after he was released by the Rockies. Jimmy Nelson, who had back surgery that ended his season, was placed on the 45-day injured list.

Wednesday: Signed the largest contract in baseball history, inking Mookie Betts for $365 million over 12 years through the 2032 season.

Thursday: The opening day roster was set on Thursday, with Terrance Gore added to the roster from his minor league deal. Dustin May was optioned, but that didn’t end his week.

Thursday: Clayton Kershaw was placed on the injured list with back tightness, scratched from his Opening Day start. Instead, that honor went to May, who was recalled to the roster.

Game results

Week 1 batting

Player AB R H 2B HR RBI SB BB BA OBP SLG OPS
Player AB R H 2B HR RBI SB BB BA OBP SLG OPS
Turner 15 3 7 4 0 4 0 2 0.467 0.556 0.733 1.289
Muncy 16 3 4 2 2 3 0 2 0.250 0.400 0.750 1.150
Pollock 6 0 2 1 0 0 0 2 0.333 0.500 0.500 1.000
Pederson 8 3 3 0 0 0 1 2 0.375 0.545 0.375 0.920
Smith 7 1 1 0 1 3 0 2 0.143 0.300 0.571 0.871
Hernandez 18 4 6 0 1 5 0 0 0.333 0.333 0.500 0.833
Seager 16 3 5 2 0 2 0 1 0.313 0.389 0.438 0.826
Bellinger 17 3 4 1 0 1 0 2 0.235 0.316 0.294 0.610
Betts 20 2 3 0 0 1 0 1 0.150 0.190 0.150 0.340
Starters 123 22 35 10 4 19 1 14 0.285 0.378 0.463 0.841
Taylor 11 0 4 0 0 1 0 3 0.364 0.500 0.364 0.864
Barnes 6 0 2 0 0 1 0 1 0.333 0.429 0.333 0.762
Rios 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Gore 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ----- ------ ------ ------
Bench 18 0 6 0 0 2 0 4 0.333 0.455 0.333 0.788
Offense 141 22 41 10 4 21 1 18 0.291 0.388 0.447 0.835

Week 1 pitching

Pitcher G Record IP H R ER BB SO ERA WHIP
Pitcher G Record IP H R ER BB SO ERA WHIP
Stripling 1 1-0 7.0 4 1 1 0 7 1.29 0.571
Urías 1 0-0 5.0 5 1 1 3 3 1.80 1.600
May 1 0-0 4.3 7 1 1 0 4 2.08 1.615
Wood 1 0-1 3.0 3 3 3 3 4 9.00 2.000
Starters 4 1-1 19.3 19 6 6 6 18 2.79 1.293
Kolarek 2 1-0 2.3 1 0 0 0 2 0.00 0.429
McGee 2 0-0 2.0 1 0 0 1 3 0.00 1.000
Floro 2 0-0 2.0 0 0 0 0 2 0.00 0.000
Jansen 1 0-0 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0.00 0.000
Treinen 1 0-0 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0.00 0.000
Alexander 1 0-0 1.0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 1.000
Kelly 1 0-0 1.0 0 0 0 1 2 0.00 1.000
Ferguson 1 0-0 0.7 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.000
Baez 2 0-0 2.3 1 1 1 1 2 3.86 0.857
Graterol 2 0-1 1.3 3 1 1 0 0 6.75 2.250
Santana 1 0-0 2.0 3 2 2 0 3 9.00 1.500
Bullpen 16 1-1 16.7 9 4 4 4 16 2.16 0.780
Totals 20 2-2 36.0 28 10 10 10 34 2.50 1.056

The week ahead

The Dodgers run the Alan Zinter gauntlet, hitting the road to face the beloved darling Astros followed by a long weekend in Phoenix. Monday is the first of seven off days for the Dodgers this season.

Wednesday’s game was originally scheduled to be a legacy pitching matchup between Kershaw and Justin Verlander. But plans can change in a hurry. Kershaw is on the injured list with back stiffness and could conceivably pitch as early as next weekend. Kershaw threw 15 pitches off the mound at Dodger Stadium before Sunday’s game, and plans to throw a bullpen session Tuesday in Houston.

As of now, all we know is Walker Buehler starts Tuesday and May starts that Wednesday game in Houston. Beyond that is to be determined. The pitching probables listed below are estimates, assuming Kershaw isn’t activated next weekend. Adjust your expectations as needed.

Verlander is out with a forearm strain, tweeting, “I’m hopeful that with some rest it will heal and I’ll be able to return soon.” Verlander refuted a Houston Chronicle report that he’d be out for the season, but we know for sure that he won’t start against the Dodgers this week.

Week 2 schedule

Mon, Jul 27 Tue, Jul 28 Wed, Jul 29 Thu, Jul 30 Fri, Jul 31 Sat, Aug 1 Sun, Aug 2
Mon, Jul 27 Tue, Jul 28 Wed, Jul 29 Thu, Jul 30 Fri, Jul 31 Sat, Aug 1 Sun, Aug 2
Off at Astros at Astros at D-backs at D-backs at D-backs at D-backs
6:10 p.m. 4:10 p.m. 6:40 p.m. 6:40 p.m. 5:10 p.m. 1:10 p.m.
Buehler v. May v. Stripling v. Urias v. Wood v. Buehler v.
Valdéz (L) TBD Ray (L) Gallen Weaver Kelly
SNLA/FS1 SNLA/ESPN* SNLA SNLA SNLA SNLA/MLBN*
*ESPN (Wed.) & MLB Network (Sun.) broadcasts are subject to blackout