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Dodgers Week 2: Almost perfect

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5 wins in 6 road games in Houston and Phoenix

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Dodgers had an excellent start to their road trip, winning six of their first seven games, with only a bad eighth inning on Friday preventing them from a perfect week.

The week started with two wins over the Astros in the Dodgers’ first trip back to Houston since the 2017 World Series, and the first meeting between the clubs since the details of the Astros’ sign-stealing scheme were revealed. Joe Kelly gained cult hero status and viral GIF supremacy by buzzing Alex Bregman and taunting Carlos Correa, which also got him suspended for a shocking eight games by MLB. Imagine what the punishment might have been if Kelly hit a batter.

“This is something that’s been built up over the course of seven months,” manager Dave Roberts said Wednesday. “I think it was unfortunate, but I guess to spin it, it’s a good thing that we got out of the way. Nobody was hurt and we can move on to play baseball.”

As cathartic as the sweep of the Astros was, the finish to the week for the Dodgers was even more encouraging.

Cody Bellinger started off in a horrific slump (5-for-36), but after a day off he came back Sunday with a home run in his very first at-bat back in the lineup.

But the story Sunday was Clayton Kershaw, who made his 2020 debut by pitching scoreless baseball into the sixth inning, a pitch count his only limitation in a win over the Diamondbacks. He averaged 92 mph on his fastball, and threw more 92+ mph pitches on Sunday than he did all of last season (19), which helped him to get 11 swing-and-misses on his slider against Arizona.

The Dodgers started 6-3 without anything from Bellinger and Kershaw, then tacked on another win with both looking like their old selves.

Batter of the week

Mookie Betts had a fantastic first full week as a Dodger, hitting .400 with seven extra-base hits. He narrowly beats out Corey Seager, who continues to sting the ball and also hit .400 last week and homered in three straight games.

Seager (21) and Betts (18) are top two in the majors this season in hard-hit balls (exit velocities of 95+ mph). Last week, Betts had 12 hard-hit balls, and Seager had 10.

Just about the only thing stopping those two right now would be nagging injuries. Seager fouled a ball off his calf Friday, and exited Saturday’s game when the calf cramped up. Seager was out of Sunday’s lineup with a left quad issue, and was deemed day-to-day by Roberts. Betts suffered a sore middle finger on a foul ball swing Sunday, and though he stayed in to homer in that at-bat, left the game after six innings. X-rays on Betts’ finger were negative.

Pitcher of the week

Clayton Kershaw spent the first 10 days of the season on the injured list with back stiffness, but his return Sunday was excellent, allowing only three singles and no runs in 5⅔ innings. Honorable mention goes to Dennis Santana, who struck out five in 3⅓ hitless relief innings, including recording the final seven outs, all with runners in scoring position, in Wednesday’s 13-inning win in Houston.

Week 2 results

5-1 record
32 runs scored (5.33 per game)
14 runs allowed (2.33 per game)
.819 pythagorean win percentage

Season to date

7-3 record
54 runs scored (5.40 per game)
24 runs allowed (2.40 per game)
.815 pythagorean record (8-2)

Miscellany

Extra, extra: The Dodgers got their first taste of the new runner-on-second-base rule on Wednesday in Houston. They got four of them, in fact, with the finale against the Astros lasting 13 innings. It didn’t last any longer thanks to Edwin Rios, who said of the new extra-inning rule, “I think it’s weird,” after blasting a two-run leadoff home run for a 4-2 Dodgers win.

Taking out the heart: In the Dodgers’ two-game sweep of the Astros in Houston, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, and George Springer combined to go 0-for-21 with three walks.

After Altuve struck out looking in the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game, Joe Davis on the SportsNet LA broadcast said, “Strike three called, perhaps guessing something else.” Orel Hershiser responded with, “Guessing’s harder than knowing.”

Defensive play of the week: On Friday in Arizona, Ketel Marte led off with a double down the right field line. He tried for a triple, but was erased by this fantastic throw by Mookie Betts, on the fly to a covering Corey Seager at third base.

Welcome aboard: Victor Gonzalez joined the road trip as part of the taxi squad, then got added to the roster before the series in Phoenix. The left-hander, who was added to the 40-man roster last November, made his major league debut Friday in relief. His first inning was scoreless, but then he allowed hits to both batters faced in his second inning. One scored. Gonzalez is the first Dodger to wear uniform number 81.

Transactions

Tuesday: Alex Wood was placed on the 10-day injured list with shoulder inflammation, and reliever Josh Sborz was recalled from the club’s alternate training site.

Wednesday: Joe Kelly was suspended eight games for his actions in Tuesday’s game, and manager Dave Roberts was suspended one game. Kelly is appealing the suspension.

Thursday: Victor Gonzalez, who was along for the road trip on the taxi squad, was recalled in Phoenix, with the Dodgers designating outfielder Terrance Gore for assignment.

Friday: Tony Gonsolin was recalled from the alternate training site to start on the mound against Arizona, and Sborz was optioned.

Saturday: Mitch White was recalled, and Gonsolin was optioned.

Sunday: Clayton Kershaw was activated from the injured list, and White was optioned.

Game results

Week 2 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
Seager 20 5 8 1 3 4 0 2 0.400 0.455 0.900 1.355
Betts 25 5 10 5 2 5 0 3 0.400 0.464 0.840 1.304
Pollock 21 4 8 2 2 4 0 1 0.381 0.409 0.762 1.171
Muncy 25 4 5 0 1 1 0 4 0.200 0.333 0.320 0.653
Taylor 19 1 3 0 1 4 1 4 0.158 0.304 0.316 0.620
Hernandez 16 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0.250 0.250 0.250 0.500
Turner 24 2 4 0 0 4 0 3 0.167 0.250 0.250 0.500
Smith 10 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0.100 0.250 0.100 0.350
Pederson 14 2 2 0 0 1 0 1 0.143 0.200 0.143 0.343
Bellinger 23 1 2 0 1 3 1 1 0.087 0.125 0.217 0.342
Barnes 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.091 0.000 0.091
Starters 207 28 47 8 10 26 2 22 0.227 0.303 0.420 0.723
Rios 10 3 3 1 2 4 0 0 0.300 0.300 1.000 1.300
Beaty 6 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 0.167 0.286 0.667 0.952
Bench 16 4 4 1 3 5 0 1 0.250 0.294 0.875 1.169
Offense 223 32 51 9 13 31 2 23 0.229 0.302 0.453 0.755

Week 2 pitching

Pitcher G Record IP H R ER BB SO ERA WHIP
Pitcher G Record IP H R ER BB SO ERA WHIP
Kershaw 1 1-0 5.7 3 0 0 0 6 0.00 0.529
Gonsolin 1 0-0 4.0 1 0 0 1 1 0.00 0.500
May 1 0-0 3.3 3 1 1 2 3 2.70 1.500
Urías 1 1-0 6.0 5 2 2 1 5 3.00 1.000
Buehler 1 0-0 3.7 3 2 2 1 3 4.91 1.091
Stripling 1 1-0 5.3 4 3 3 2 2 5.06 1.125
Starters 6 3-0 28.0 19 8 8 7 20 2.57 0.929
Baez 3 0-0, Sv 3.3 2 0 0 1 1 0.00 0.900
Santana 2 1-0 3.3 0 0 0 2 5 0.00 0.600
Jansen 3 0-0, 2 Sv 3.0 1 0 0 2 3 0.00 1.000
Ferguson 3 0-0 3.0 1 0 0 0 5 0.00 0.333
Graterol 3 1-0 3.0 0 0 0 0 4 0.00 0.000
Kelly 3 0-0 2.3 2 0 0 3 1 0.00 2.143
McGee 2 0-0 2.0 1 0 0 0 3 0.00 0.500
Floro 2 0-0 1.7 0 0 0 1 1 0.00 0.600
Kolarek 2 0-0 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0.00 1.000
Alexander 2 0-0 2.7 2 1 0 1 4 0.00 1.125
Treinen 3 0-1 2.7 2 4 0 3 1 0.00 1.875
Gonzalez 1 0-0 1.0 3 1 1 0 1 9.00 3.000
Bullpen 29 2-1, 3 Sv 29.0 15 6 1 13 30 0.31 0.966
Totals 35 5-1, 3 Sv 57.0 34 14 9 20 50 1.42 0.947

Previous reviews: Week 1

The week ahead

The Dodgers run the Mike Ivie guantlet, finishing off the road trip in San Diego then returning home for a weekend series against the Giants. The Dodgers’ first seven home games of 2020 will be against San Francisco. Next weekend’s pitching matchups are a best guess, and given how Gabe Kapler keeps such news close to the vest take it with a grain of salt. But it sure looks like the Dodgers will face a ton of right-handed pitching this week, which bodes well for Joc Pederson, and potentially Edwin Rios and Matt Beaty too.

Week 3 schedule

Mon, Aug 3 Tue, Aug 4 Wed, Aug 5 Thu, Aug 6 Fri, Aug 7 Sat, Aug 8 Sun, Aug 9
Mon, Aug 3 Tue, Aug 4 Wed, Aug 5 Thu, Aug 6 Fri, Aug 7 Sat, Aug 8 Sun, Aug 9
at Padres at Padres at Padres Off vs. Giants vs. Giants vs. Giants
6:10 p.m. 6:10 p.m. 6:10 p.m. 6:40 p.m. 6:10 p.m. 1:10 p.m.
Buehler v. May v. Stripling v. Urias v. Kershaw v. Buehler v.
Paddack Lamet Richards Samardzija Cueto Gausman
SNLA SNLA SNLA SNLA/MLBN* SNLA/MLBN* SNLA/MLBN*
*MLB Network broadcasts blacked out locally