Denver – On paper, the Dodgers have everything it takes to be the best team in the tournament. But as they have repeatedly stated following the acquisition of Freddy Freeman this spring, the games were not played on paper.
The Dodgers sampled this reality on the first weekend of the season. With a 9-4 loss to The Rockies on Sunday at Coors Field, the Dodgers dropped their first series of the 2022 season and their first at Coors Field since August 2018.
“We didn’t play baseball well,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “I just don’t think we’ve played our kind of baseball in this series.”
It’s a long season. But let’s take a look at three takeaways from the first Dodgers series.
Urías speed is a concern
After winning 20 games last season — the only bowler in baseball to achieve that feat — Julio Urillas entered camp this spring in much better shape. The Mexican left-footed player lost a significant amount of weight. He hoped losing the weight would help him make an even bigger jump up the hill.
Although that remains the case, Urías’ first start to season 22 turned out to be a disaster. Urías allowed six runs (three earned) and didn’t hit a single hit over more than two working innings. He threw 57 throws, 33 of which were only for the hit.
“Just sharpness, even on his last outing against angels [in Spring Training] “It wasn’t severe, and it has lasted until today,” Roberts said. “I definitely expect him to be on the right track as we continue this season.”
But perhaps more disturbing than his streak of stats is that his pace was significantly lower on Sunday than at any time last season. In the year 21, Urías averaged 94.1 mph using the four-stud fastball. On Sunday, Urías averaged 91.4 miles per hour on the field, nearly three miles per hour. For more context, Urías averaged 94 mph on his first start last season, also at Coors Field.
“It was a strange day in every respect,” Orillas said in Spanish. “But I feel physically fine and ready for the next start.”
While Orias has suggested his lack of driving has contributed more to his struggle than speed, there will be plenty of eyes on the radar gun next weekend when he takes the hill against the Reds at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers will be counting on him a lot this season.
“Today, I don’t think there was anything he could go for or rely on,” Roberts said.
Crime still finds itself
Once the Dodgers signed Freeman, the LA team stole all the headlines. It’s an offense that has a lot of firepower and will find its way as the season goes on. But he was an up and down performance this weekend at Coorse Stadium.
Most of the damage to the Dodgers came in two rounds: Friday’s fourth of five rounds and Sunday’s four-round frame. In the latter, they were assisted by a foul three times by left player Chris Bryant.
Freeman and Mocky Bates are still trying to find their rhythm at the top of the lineup, uniting in just five hits. Max Muncy also suffered, starting season 1 against 13 at the plate. However, one plus was that Cody Bellinger scored his first two hits of the season and arrived safely three times on Sunday.
We expect to produce,” said Chris Taylor, a utility worker at Dodgers. “We know we have, from top to bottom, the best lineup in baseball, and we haven’t shown that this weekend.”
It’s the little things
The Dodgers’ defense and baseball weren’t up to par this weekend either. Taylor misfired the ball into left field in the first half which gave Rocky three early runs. There were 35mph winds on Sunday at Course Field, but Taylor admitted he should have played.
That bug culminated in a weekend that saw the Dodgers not play a double-key on Saturday and a few other basic bugs. On the other hand, the Rockies won the battle in those divisions.
“I think it was a bunch of things that multiplied today,” Taylor said. “We definitely have a lot to improve.”