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Dodgers notes: No-hitter bids, Mookie Betts, Miguel Cabrera’s 3,000th hit

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

In the first two weeks, the Dodgers were involved in three games in which starting pitchers took no-hitters through at least five innings — Clayton Kershaw and Tony Gonsolin for them, and Max Fried against them.

Jay Jaffe at FanGraphs took a deep dive into all the reasons why offense is down this year, including an MLB batting average currently lower than the “Year of the Pitcher” in 1968. “But it does appear that we’re in the midst of a perfect storm that’s creating ideal conditions for hitless baseball, and that we’re going to get our fill of it in 2022,” he wrote.

Mookie’s mindset

The first two weeks of the season were rough for Mookie Betts, who hit just .178/.288/.222 through his first 11 games. That changed Friday night with his two home runs to beat the Padres at Petco Park.

Betts told reporters in San Diego after the game that the early struggles got to him. From Jack Harris at the Los Angeles Times:

“I wasn’t mentally tough,” Betts said, acknowledging he let the frustration get to him and that “it just compounds.”

He credited the rest of the roster with helping break the spiral.

“My teammates [were] kinda gassing me up and keeping me going,” he said. “I got a great crew here. They deserve a lot of credit.”

Betts, who battled several nagging injuries in 2021 and spent two stints on the IL with a right hip pointer, said he’s fully healthy this season. From Bill Plunkett at the Orange County Register:

“It’s just me,” he said, dismissing questions about the hip problem that limited him in 2021. “I can’t blame it on the hip, I can’t blame it on anything else. It’s all me. You have to take ownership for sucking. It is what it is though. I’m working. My teammates have been amazing in keeping us winning and I just want to do my part to help us win.”

Milestone for Miggy

Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers got his 3,000th hit on Saturday afternoon in Detroit. He’s just the seventh player ever with at least 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, joining a group that includes former Dodgers Eddie Murray and Albert Pujols, plus some others.

Forty-eight of his career hits came against the Dodgers, against whom he’s hit .284/.330/.556 with 12 home runs and 36 RBI in 44 games. Among Cabrera’s hits against the Dodgers, Derek Lowe and Brad Penny allowed the most, with four each. Three of Cabrera’s hits against Penny were home runs, the first two coming in 2005 as a Marlin, then again in 2008 with Detroit.

Dodgers reliever Brusdar Graterol is from Venezuela, and grew up watching the fellow Venezuelan Cabrera hit.

The Tigers come to Dodger Stadium for three games beginning Friday night, Detroit’s first trip to Los Angeles since 2014.