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Dodgers Week 2: Perfection

LA wins all 6 on the schedule

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Minnesota Twins Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES — This week for the Dodgers was nearly the textbook definition of best-case scenario, as they ran roughshod over the Twins and Reds, winning all six games.

Sure, Minnesota is coming off an 89-loss season and Cincinnati is leaning so hard into tanking that their team president practically auditioned for a ‘Major League’ reboot. But these games count just the same, and the Dodgers outscored their opponents, 40-9.

Dodgers pitching was sublime, allowing only a run and a half per game. The highlight of course was Clayton Kershaw, whose first start of the season saw him retire all 21 batters he faced on a cold Wednesday afternoon in Minneapolis. That he was pulled during a perfect game was no small thing, but given the context and that Kershaw himself was onboard with the call made it easier to swallow.

“In the moment it felt like that was the right call, for my personal health, for the best interests of the team, and me being ready in October,” Kershaw said. “It seemed like the right call.”

Allowing so few runs would have made for an incredible week with any sort of offense, but the Dodgers don’t have just a normal lineup.

Big innings have been the calling card for Los Angeles in the early going. They scored six runs in two eighth innings this week, breaking ties on Tuesday night in Minnesota and Thursday night against the Reds in the home opener. They withstood the heat of rookie Hunter Greene through five innings Saturday, then erupted for four runs in the sixth. On Sunday, they topped that with a seven-run fourth to break a scoreless tie.

Through nine games on the season, the Dodgers have scored at least three runs in an inning eight times. That is a recipe for success.

Batter of the week

A handful of Dodgers could have won this, but Gavin Lux stood out, continuing to wreak havoc from the eighth or ninth spot in the batting order. Lux had three extra-base hits, was second on the team with five walks, and led the team in OPS and tied for the team lead in runs scored.

Pitcher of the week

Clayton Kershaw faced 21 batters in his first start of the season, and retired them all. Kershaw struck out 13 in his seven perfect innings, but was pulled after 80 pitches after a truncated spring training and elbow soreness that sidelined him for over three months in 2021.

“The longer you’re around, the more you appreciate things, and the more you realize that this doesn’t happen every day. Heck getting to pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers doesn’t get to happen every day,” Kershaw said. “I think as you get a little bit older, you put it into perspective a little bit more what it means to pitch and be able to do it, and it’s not going to last forever.”

Honorable mention goes to Andrew Heaney, who in most weeks would have won this award, thanks to only allowing one unearned run in 10⅓ innings, with his revised slider helping him to 16 strikeouts and a 40-percent strikeout rate.

Week 2 results

6-0 record
40 runs scored (6.67 per game)
9 runs allowed (1.50 per game)
.939 pythagorean win percentage

Year to date

7-2 record
51 runs scored (5.67 per game)
24 runs allowed (2.67 per game)
.799 pythagorean win percentage (7-2)

Miscellany

Men of steal: The Dodgers stole 10 bases this week, and lead the majors in steals this season, having only been caught once. Since Trea Turner was activated last August 6, the Dodgers lead the National League with 39 stolen bases in 62 games. Turner, who led the NL with 32 steals last season, is a big part of LA’s renewed commitment to running, but he’s not alone. Consider this: In the first 109 games of 2021, without Turner, the Dodgers stole 36 bases in 44 tries. But in the 62 games since, the non-Trea Dodgers have 26 steals in 34 tries. With Turner, they’ve already outpaced the first four months of last year in just over two months.

Going streaking: Speaking of Trea Turner, he was 0-for-4 with a walk and a run scored Sunday against Cincinnati. That was his first game without a hit this season, and ended a streak that went back 27 total games, including the final 19 games of the 2021 regular season. That was tied for the fourth-longest hitting streak in Dodgers history, behind only Willie Davis (31 games, 1969), Andre Ethier (30 games, 2011), and Zack Wheat (29 games, 1916).

“It kind of feels weird to say a 20-something-game hitting streak when you take a five-month break, but I guess how that works,” Turner said with a smile on Saturday. “I’ll take it.”

During the streak, Turner hit .387/.430/.667.

Transactions

Sunday: Phil Bickford was recalled from Oklahoma City in a bullpen swap, with left-hander Garrett Cleavinger getting optioned to Triple-A. That’s the first transaction this season for the Dodgers.

Game results

Week 2 batting

Player AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB PA BA OBP SLG OPS
Player AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB PA BA OBP SLG OPS
Lux 17 6 5 1 1 1 3 2 5 23 0.294 0.435 0.647 1.082
Muncy 17 4 4 2 0 1 4 0 7 25 0.235 0.480 0.529 1.009
Smith 16 3 5 2 0 1 7 0 1 17 0.313 0.353 0.625 0.978
T.Turner 25 6 9 0 1 1 6 2 2 28 0.360 0.393 0.560 0.953
Freeman 25 5 10 3 0 0 4 0 2 28 0.400 0.429 0.520 0.949
Bellinger 21 3 6 1 0 1 1 3 4 25 0.286 0.400 0.476 0.876
Taylor 23 2 6 1 1 0 5 2 3 26 0.261 0.346 0.391 0.737
J.Turner 21 4 5 1 0 0 5 0 4 25 0.238 0.360 0.286 0.646
Betts 20 4 4 1 0 0 1 1 3 24 0.200 0.333 0.250 0.583
Starters 185 37 54 12 3 5 36 10 31 221 0.292 0.394 0.470 0.864
Barnes 7 2 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 7 0.286 0.286 0.714 1.000
Alberto 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 4 0.250 0.250 0.250 0.500
Ríos 6 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0.167 0.167 0.167 0.333
Bench 17 3 4 0 0 1 2 0 0 17 0.235 0.235 0.412 0.647
Offense 202 40 58 12 3 6 38 10 31 238 0.287 0.382 0.465 0.848

Week 2 pitching

Pitcher G Record IP H R ER BB SO ERA WHIP FIP
Pitcher G Record IP H R ER BB SO ERA WHIP FIP
Kershaw 1 1-0 7.0 0 0 0 0 13 0.00 0.000 -0.69
Heaney 2 1-0 10.3 4 1 0 3 16 0.00 0.677 1.09
Urías 1 0-0 5.0 1 0 0 1 5 0.00 0.400 1.63
Gonsolin 1 0-0 4.0 3 0 0 3 2 0.00 1.500 4.28
Buehler 1 0-0 5.7 5 2 2 3 4 3.18 1.412 5.50
Starters 6 2-0 32.0 13 3 2 10 40 0.56 0.719 1.96
Phillips 3 1-0 3.3 0 0 0 0 3 0.00 0.000 1.22
Vesia 2 0-0 2.0 2 0 0 1 2 0.00 1.500 2.53
Hudson 2 1-0, Sv 1.7 0 0 0 0 2 0.00 0.000 0.62
Graterol 1 0-0 1.3 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.750 5.28
Treinen 1 1-0 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0.00 0.000 1.03
Kimbrel 1 0-0, Sv 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.000 3.03
Anderson 1 1-0 4.0 2 1 1 0 4 2.25 0.500 1.78
Bruihl 2 0-0 3.0 2 1 1 0 3 3.00 0.667 2.03
Price 3 0-0 2.7 1 1 1 1 3 3.38 0.750 6.78
White 1 0-0 1.3 3 2 2 1 3 13.50 3.000 0.77
Cleavinger 1 0-0 0.7 2 1 1 1 1 13.50 4.500 4.53
Bullpen 18 4-0, 2 Sv 22.0 12 6 6 5 22 2.45 0.773 2.57
Totals 24 6-0 54.0 25 9 8 15 62 1.33 0.741 2.21

Previous weekly reviews: Week 1

Up next

The Dodgers run the Ed Giovanola gauntlet, finishing off the homestand with a rematch of the last two NLCS against Atlanta, followed by three games in San Diego against the division-rival Padres.

Week 3 schedule

Mon, Apr 18 Tue, Apr 19 Wed, Apr 20 Thu, Apr 21 Fri, Apr 22 Sat, Apr 23 Sun, Apr 24
Mon, Apr 18 Tue, Apr 19 Wed, Apr 20 Thu, Apr 21 Fri, Apr 22 Sat, Apr 23 Sun, Apr 24
vs. Braves vs. Braves vs. Braves Off at Padres at Padres at Padres
7:10 p.m. 7:10 p.m. 12:10 p.m. 6:40 p.m. 5:40 p.m. 1:10 p.m.
Kershaw v. Buehler v. Gonsolin v. Urías v. Heaney v. Kershaw v.
Ynoa Fried (L) Morton Martinez Manaea (L) Musgrove
SNLA/MLBN* SNLA/TBS* SNLA/MLBN* SNLA SNLA/MLBN* SNLA/MLBN*
*MLB Network and TBS broadcasts are available only out of market