On a cold, windy afternoon in Wrigley, the Dodgers and Cubs got set to, no wait, that doesn’t sound right. The Dodgers were playing the Rangers in Arizona on the Spring Training debut of Dustin May, and the weather felt more like fall in Chicago.
The two teams managed to squeeze in seven full innings before in an effort to err on the side of caution, the game was called, as the rain continued. Dave Roberts’ ball club took this one, 4-2, pouncing on a familiar face, with a couple of homers off Andrew Heaney.
The main issue with Heaney last season with the Dodgers, when he was available, was his susceptibility to the long ball, and as the southpaw made his first start with the Rangers against his former team, the Dodgers bats made sure to take advantage of that.
Mookie Betts led off the game with a blast to left field, as the former MVP seemed locked on that fastball through the entire afternoon, and in the second inning, it was Jason Heyward’s turn to drive a long ball, also his first in a Dodger uniform.
Dustin May’s first start
Perhaps the key to just how successful this rotation will be in 2023, Dustin May and his overwhelming stuff took the hill for the first time in spring. The right-hander is likelier than ever to value the importance of a full spring, coming from a short season, as he recovered from Tommy John surgery for nearly a year and a half.
May overpowered two talented hitters in Marcus Semien and Nathaniel Lowe, getting a couple of punch outs early in the first. After a questionable strike three didn’t go his way facing Adolís Garcia, the Rangers' outfielder hit a line drive to right-center, past Betts, for a triple that drove in Corey Seager.
Dustin May: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 Kspic.twitter.com/c7A9XRWW0M— Dodger Blue (@DodgerBlue1958) March 1, 2023
Graterol, Ferguson, and Stone appearances of note
Following May’s five outs of work, Keegan Curtis came in to close out the second frame, and after Dave Roberts went to Brusdar Graterol, Caleb Ferguson, Jimmy Nelson, Ben Harris, Gavin Stone, and Tyler Cyr.
Ferguson in particular looked very sharp, backing up the recent praise his skipper gave him.
Caleb Ferguson has been hitting 96-97 mph on the stadium gun here in Surprise –– a couple ticks up from his average fastball velo last year in return from Tommy John— Jack Harris (@Jack_A_Harris) March 1, 2023
Dave Roberts mentioned this week Ferguson "looks as good as I've seen him" and has more life on his pitches
The game was called after seven innings with wet mound conditions providing for rough sledding in the final few frames.
The Dodgers are back at Camelback Ranch Thursday (12:05 p.m. PT, SportsNet LA), hosting the Diamondbacks. Michael Grove starts for the Dodgers on Thursday. Tony Gonsolin makes his spring debut Friday against the Angels in Tempe.