The Dodgers Lost

Saturday, July 25, 2020
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2020

For the first time during the 2020 regular season, the Los Angeles Dodgers lost to the San Francisco Giants 5-to4.

Coming off a poor season with the Cincinnati Reds, Alex Wood wanted to redeem himself, but he did not pitch well in his 2020 debut. His wildness undermined his 3-inning outing where he allowed three runs. Unless Wood improves quickly, he should be removed from the Dodger starting rotation.

Dennis Santana also had control problems that allowed another two runs. As a rookie, Santana wants to stick with the Major-League team. However, he needs to improve to remain his spot on the Dodgers.

The rest of the Dodger bullpen had a brilliant day. Caleb Ferguson, Joe Kelly, Blake Treinen, Jake McGee, and Dylan Floro mowed down the Giants. Unlike other Dodger pitchers, these pitchers had outstanding control, and again the Giants demonstrated their inability to hit off-speed pitching, including breaking balls.

If the Dodgers could have run the bases better, they would have won the game. Four runners were erased on the bases, and most of them were mental errors. Since Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger have had a slow start, the Dodgers have had offensive problems even though they scored 17 runs in the first two games of the season. Although Will Smith did not start the game, he homered.

Many baseball-knowledgeable people and Dodger fans dislike Max Muncy leading off. Although Muncy cannot steal, he has a career on-base percentage of .366. During Andrew Friedman’s Dodger tenure, the Dodgers don’t steal bases. According to Moneyball, stealing bases does not generate many runs. Although manager Dave Roberts made his playing career on his speed, including stealing bases, he has gone with Friedman’s not using the running game offensively.

Both Betts and Bellinger could be fantastic base stealers, but in this era of baseball, base stealing is not a prized asset. At least, Friedman understands speed is crucial to have an outstanding defense.

Batting Muncy leadoff might be unconventional, but in 2020, baseball will be odd. If Friedman and Roberts observe it is not working for the Dodgers to have Muncy hit in the leadoff, they will change it.

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