Friday, July 17, 2020
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2020
Friday, the Los Angeles Dodgers played their last intra-squad game of summer camp. Sunday the Dodgers will face the Arizona Diamondbacks in their first exhibition game of summer camp.
Opening Day pitcher Clayton Kershaw struggled in the first inning, allowing three runs, including a homer by Will Smith. Since 2018, Kershaw struggled in the first inning. Friday, he did not have the command of his breaking pitches. Until Kiké Hernandez’s home run in the sixth inning, Kershaw demonstrated great velocity and curveball. Unlike most pitchers, Kershaw is in mid-season form.
For the first time during summer camp, Walker Buehler appeared. For two innings, he looked great. He had great command and velocity. While Buehler did not throw as much like many other Dodger pitchers during the quarantine, he looked brilliant in his two innings. The Dodgers still want to protect the valuable 25-year-old right arm.
Dustin May in relief of Buehler was amazing. Although May slowed down with runners on base, his pitches had a tremendous movement. His velocity and command were amazing. With thirty players on Opening Day, May will undoubtedly be on the Opening Day roster. Normally, May would not have made the Opening Day roster, but he would have been promoted during the season.
Anyway, May shall make a huge impact. With shortened summer camp, many pitchers cannot hurl the five innings. Known as a strikeout pitcher, May can be brought in with runners on in hopes of getting a strikeout. Although the Dodgers envision May as a starter, he would be an excellent closer.
Dylan Floro, coming off a poor season, has had a fantastic pre-season. He has his brilliant sinker and slider returned. Last year, Floro had many injuries. Now, he will be a valuable piece of the Dodger bullpen.
In an unusual summer camp, the Dodgers did not suffer an injury to a player. The hitters have been going the opposite way, and this prevents them from getting into prolonged slumps, which would be detrimental in a 60-game season. The pitchers and the defense looked great during those intra-squad games.
Although every “expert” predicts the Dodgers will win their eighth consecutive National League Western Division title, anything can happen in baseball. The Dodgers have more experience in high-pressure games than any other team in their division. Having a DH will help the Dodgers, but it will be an advantage of the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies, if they learn to pitch in their home’s high-altitude, are the Dodgers’ biggest competition. However, the Rockies do not have the depth necessary to win. If the Rockies suffer an injury or have a player with COVID-19, particularly a pitcher, they will have no hope.
Friday, July 17, 2020