Dodgers’ elevated bats come back to sea level in loss to Rockies
DENVER — The Dodgers’ patchwork pitching plan Saturday night was fraught but functional.
Instead, it was their lineup that fell flat during a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
In their lowest-scoring performance at Coors Field since July 2019, the Dodgers tallied just seven hits (six of them singles) and no walks. For the first seven innings, they were silenced by Rockies starter Germán Márquez.
Then in the eighth, they missed a prime comeback opportunity, scratching across a game-tying run but leaving the bases loaded.
That allowed the Rockies to rally for the win, with Connor Joe’s go-ahead home run off Blake Treinen in the bottom of the eighth proving to be the difference in front of a sold-out crowd of 48,087.
Daniel Bard shuts down Dodgers in ninth, securing a 3-2 win for Rockies
Top of ninth: Rockies closer Daniel Bard shut down the Dodgers’ hopes of a comeback, striking out Justin Turner, Edwin Rios and Cody Bellinger in Colorado’s 3-2 win.
The Dodgers (1-1) and Rockies (1-1) wrap up their season-opening series at 12:10 p.m. PDT Sunday.
⚾ Final score: Rockies 3, Dodgers 2
Connor Joe’s solo home run pushes Rockies back into the lead
Bottom of the eighth: Colorado’s Connor Joe hit a solo home run off Dodgers reliever Blake Treinen to give the Rockies a 3-2 lead.
Treinen struck out the first two batters of the inning as part of seven consecutive retirements by Dodgers pitchers. Treinen then struck out Sam Hilliard to send the game into the ninth.
Treinen was arguably the Dodgers’ top relievers last season, and the team is expecting big things from him again in 2022.
The Dodgers are down to their final three outs.
⚾ End of the eighth: Rockies 3, Dodgers 2
Mookie Betts drives in Gavin Lux to tie game 2-2 in eighth
Top of the eighth: Mookie Betts teed a run-scoring single into the shallow left-center field gap, plating Gavin Lux from third and tying up the game 2-2.
Lux is making a case to be the official jumpstarter of the Dodgers’ offense. The utility man finished off an impressive, eight-pitch at-bat with a liner to right field off Rockies reliever Alex Colome to wake up a dormant offense that had seen 10 straight batters retired (included Cody Bellinger, who is 0 for 7 on the season). On Friday, Lux drove in the first two runs of the Dodgers’ season.
Lux’s long at-bat seemed to rattle Colome, who came out of the gate with some well-placed pitches before struggling to find the strike zone when Austin Barnes followed up Lux’s at-bat. Barnes singled on a drive to center to send the speedy Lux to third.
Betts initially thought he had popped out, but the ball found that no-man’s land sweet spot and actually bounced off the glove of shortstop Jose Iglesias.
After Betts’ hit, Freddie Freeman came just feet away from hitting his first home run as a Dodger, crushing the ball through the mile-high thin night to the warning track in straightaway center. The Dodgers squandered their chance to take the lead when Max Muncy flied out with the bases loaded.
Still, Lux’s performance over the first 17 innings of the season has been impressive. He knew this would be an important season for him:
After ‘crash course’ in the outfield, Dodgers’ Gavin Lux preparing for utility role
Where’s the formidable offense? German Marquez shutting down Dodgers
Top of the seventh: German Marquez continues to frustrate the Dodgers’ hitters, who went down in order. Max Muncy and Justin Turner each grounded out before a frustrated Edwin Rios stormed back to the dugout after getting whiffed on a knuckle curve. Marquez has retired the last nine batters he has faced.
Luckily for the Dodgers, Marquez’s night is over. Alex Colome is set to take over in relief in the eighth.
The Dodgers are looking to avoid a repeat of the slump that characterized the early part of 2021. After a blazing hot start to the season, the Dodgers struggle mightily, with their bats being a big part of the issue.
This year’s team is even more loaded, but so far Marquez has had their number — well, except for the power show Austin Barnes put on with his solo homer in the third inning.
Expectations are high in Dodgerland this season, something Bill Plaschke wrote about in his opening-day column:
Dodgers meet mile-high expectations in season-opener vs. Rockies
Bottom of the seventh: Tyler Anderson is still in the game as the Dodgers try to figure out their sea legs with this year’s bullpen. He looked sharp in the seventh, striking out Charlie Blackmon and Brendan Rodgers as part of a 1-2-3 inning.
Anderson has allowed one earned run, two hits and has four strikeouts in four innings of work. A decent long-relief effort so far. Will the Dodgers’ hitters help out the new guy?
⚾ End of the seventh: Rockies 2, Dodgers 1
Rockies take 2-1 lead after Dodgers miss double play and throw a wild pitch
Bottom of the sixth: Colorado’s Connor Joe hit a run-scoring single off Dodgers reliever Tyler Anderson to give the Rockies a 2-1 lead.
C.J. Cron led off the frame with a single before Ryan McMahon pushed him to second on a play that could have been a double play before Dodgers second baseman Max Muncy bobbled the ball, forcing him to settle for the out at first. A wild pitch by Anderson then moved Cron to third, allowing him to trot home on Joe’s single to left.
Anderson finds some redemption two batters later when he struck out Elias Diaz to defuse the situation.
It’ll be up to the Dodgers’ batters to make up some ground here. The team surged for five runs in a potent fourth inning Friday against the Rockies — will we see a reprise? On paper, they’re certainly up to the task:
NL West preview: Can anyone stop the Dodgers?
Top of the sixth: Rockies starting pitcher German Marquez retired Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Trea Turner in order. Marquez stands at 61 pitches so far.
⚾ End of the sixth: Rockies 2, Dodgers 1
Justin Turner shows off his rail-defying acrobatic catching skills
Top of the fifth: Edwin Rios picked up his first hit of the season on a single to left field, but was left stranded on base.
Bottom of the fifth: Tyler Anderson oversees another 1-2-3 inning thanks to the over-the-rail-catching exploits of Justin Turner, who make an acrobatic grab over the railing in photo pit near the Dodgers dugout on a Charlie Blackmon popup.
If Turner keeps doing that, he’ll be a lock for a Gold Glove.
⚾ End of the fifth inning: Dodgers 1, Rockies 1
Tyler Anderson retires the Rockies in order in Dodgers debut
Bottom of the fourth: Tyler Anderson, making his Dodgers debut, puts together a 1-2-3 inning, striking out Dom Nunez in the process to keep the game knotted up heading into the fifth inning.
Top of fourth: Trea Turner, Max Muncy and Justin Turner are retired in order.
⚾ End of the fourth inning: Dodgers 1, Rockies 1
Austin Barnes hits Dodgers’ first home run of season
Top of the third: Austin Barnes crushed a 453-foot solo blast for the Dodgers’ first home run of the season, tying the game 1-1.
Barnes hammered a 3-2 pitch from Rockies starter German Marquez well over the center field wall in his first at-bat of the season. It continues the high-production trend the Dodgers have received so far from the No. 9 spot in the lineup — Gavin Lux drove in the Dodgers’ first runs of 2022 on a two-run single in Friday’s season opener.
Of course, is there any real weakness in the Dodgers’ batting order? Sure, Cody Bellinger is still looking for his first hit, but the team is loaded, and the introduction of the designated hitter makes the Dodgers even more formidable at the plate. Dodgers beat writer Jack Harris took a player-by-player look at the Dodgers’ lineup:
The pros and cons of each player in the Dodgers’ batting order
Bottom of third: Colorado’s Ryan McMahon hit a two-out double to right field, but was left stranded when Connor Joe grounded out to third. A relatively quick inning for Tony Gonsolin, but it caps his night at 62 pitches, five hits, one earned run, three strikeouts and one walk. Left-hander Tyler Anderson will make his Dodgers debut in relief.
⚾ End of the third: Dodgers 1, Rockies 1
Tony Gonsolin up to 48 pitches through two innings
Bottom of the second: It’s taken Tony Gonsolin 48 pitches to get through two innings, but he’s managing to limit the damage.
After allowing a leadoff single to Sam Hilliard and walking Dom Nunez, Gonsolin refocused for the top of the Rockies’ order and struck out Charlie Blackmon and Kris Bryant.
Top of the second: Justin Turner got the Dodgers’ first hit on a single to right, but was forced out at second on Edwin Rios’ grounder to first. Cody Bellinger then grounded out to first for the third out.
⚾ End of second inning: Rockies 1, Dodgers 0
Rockies jump out to 1-0 lead in the first inning
Bottom of the first inning: Colorado’s Kris Bryant got the better of a collision at home plate with Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes, scoring the game’s first run after the ball popped out of Barnes’ glove.
Bryant scored on a single by Ryan McMahon to right field. Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts made a perfect throw to home — and even believed he had managed to gun out Bryant — before the collision appeared to knock the ball out of Barnes’ glove, allowing Bryant to be declared safe.
Dodgers starting pitcher Tony Gonsolin was a bit shaky over a 23-pitch first inning, allowing singles to Bryant, Brendan Rodgers and McMahon before getting Connor Joe to ground out to end the frame.
Gonsolin might be considered one of the wild cards in the Dodgers’ rotation. Injuries have hampered him over the last two seasons, but his potential is sky high. Dodgers beat writer Jack Harris broke down the Dodgers’ concerns about depth in their starting rotation:
Dodgers’ rotation has plenty of talent. But will a lack of depth haunt them?
Top of the first inning: Colorado starter German Marquez retires the Dodgers in order, striking out Trea Turner on four pitches to cap the Dodgers’ first series at the plate.
End of the first inning: Rockies 1, Dodgers 0
Slimmed down Victor González aims to tip the scales in his favor
Victor González knew he wasn’t the same pitcher, the shutdown reliever from 2020, when he walked off the mound at Dodger Stadium one Monday night last summer.
It was mid-July. He entered the game, his first off the injured list, against the San Francisco Giants with one out in the seventh inning. A debacle followed. Single. Single. Sacrifice fly. Double. Double. He was charged with three runs by the time he got Darin Ruf to strike out to end the inning.
His earned-run average, already climbing over the previous three weeks, leaped from 2.57 to 3.45. He was back on the injured list three weeks later with a 3.82 ERA. By the end of August, he was a minor leaguer again.
“I didn’t know how to get them out,” González said in Spanish.
How MLB’s latest grand experiment is fueling skepticism and mistrust among players
ATLANTA — There’s a new addition to Dodger Stadium for the 2022 season that fans won’t see but could impact the games they watch.
A humidor occupies a room down the hallway from the home dugout. It will be powered around the clock this season, storing baseballs at a precise temperature and humidity before they’re used in games starting with the team’s home opener next Thursday against the Cincinnati Reds. It’s the result of the league’s latest experiment.
This season, for the first time, Major League Baseball will store game balls in humidors at all 30 stadiums. Previously limited to 10 ballparks, most famously at Coors Field to counter the thin air in Colorado, the storage unit will be used across the board in attempt to standardize baseballs in different environments. The humidors were recommended in a 2018 study commissioned by MLB that examined home run rates.
Dodgers lineup vs. Colorado Rockies on Saturday
Here’s the Dodgers’ lineup for Saturday’s game against the Colorado Rockies:
Here’s today’s starting lineup for the Colorado Rockies:
Dodgers meet mile-high expectations in season-opening win over Rockies
DENVER — Gavin Lux flew. Walker Buehler spun. Freddie Freeman battled. The bullpen blasted.
Altitude met attitude Friday as the swaggering Dodgers began the 2022 season with a wry Rocky Mountain smile.
They’re going to be good. They’re going to be real good.
On a sunny afternoon at Coors Field, the Dodgers flexed every inch of their massive and versatile muscle to eventually smother the Colorado Rockies 5-3 in an opening-day victory with an ending that spoke of a belief.
With two outs and the Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon standing on second base, new Dodgers closer Craig Kimbrel struck out Kris Bryant on a flailing swing and then ... nothing.
Dodgers have big hopes for Cody Bellinger, but how much ‘runway’ is left?
DENVER — For the Dodgers, at least, the lockout was worth it. Over the three months in which teams were forbidden from contacting players, Freddie Freeman and the Atlanta Braves drifted so far apart that the Dodgers could do in March what was unthinkable in November: swoop in and sign him.
And, once the lockout was lifted and a new collective bargaining agreement was in place, the Dodgers could get on with their new life, as a National League team that employed a designated hitter.
If their pitcher had to hit Friday, opening day might not have been such a hit for the Dodgers. If the Dodgers had not won, the fans might be focused on the performance of Cody Bellinger.
No one in uniform makes a big deal out of Game 1, not with 161 to play. Blips abound, all around the division.
How to watch and stream the Dodgers on TV this season
Another Dodgers season is here, and that means 162 games and roughly 560 hours of unbridled baseball bliss for anyone who wants to catch the experience on TV or stream to their favorite devices.
Here’s a look at the remaining 2022 TV schedule. Keep in mind some of the start times and TV/streaming platforms are subject to change.
Season opener recap: Dodgers display depth in victory over Rockies
DENVER — On the first day of the season, Kyle Freeland became the Dodgers’ first victim.
For three innings Friday afternoon, the Colorado Rockies left-hander was cruising through his start against the Dodgers’ star-studded lineup.
He had six strikeouts. He stranded each of the four runners who reached base. Despite a single from Will Smith and a double from Chris Taylor in the top of the fourth, Freeland was one strike away from getting through another inning unscathed.
But then the Dodgers’ offense awoke from its winter slumber, roaring to life for the first time this season, and what is certain to not be the last.