The Blue Crew opened its 2011 campaign last Thursday at Chavez Ravine with a four-game set against hated rivals the San Francisco Giants. Though very view pundits chose the Dodgers to come out on top of the National League West this year, the opening series versus the defending champs proved quite promising.
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Though it didn’t seem like they scored many runs, the Dodgers averaged over three runs a game for the series, which will be enough for them to compete in this division. No one really expects them to be an offensive juggernaut anyway. The overall .248 team batting average will rise once the likes of Lincecum, Sanchez, and Cain high-tail it back to the Bay Area. And the Dodger hitting over the weekend was quite timely, with key hits and RBIs when they needed them the most.
Three errors in the first four games isn’t that great. Fortunately, none of the miscues adversely impacted the boys in blue. And the Giants committed an MLB-leading five in the series. So, it could have been worse.
You’re probably thinking, “Hey, the pitching won three out of four games; what’s the deal?” Well, simply put, three factors makes the Dodgers pitching grade just average this week: 1) Homers. The Dodgers coughed up six homers in cavernous Dodger Stadium to the Giants, a team that will have frequent power outtages throughout the course of the season. 2) Despite a whopping 32 Ks, a 4.75 ERA will not get it done. 3) Jonathan Broxton. Yeah, I know he got three saves in three attempts, but he is clearly still struggling mentally and possibly physically, (the 300 lb.-plus closer might need to shed a few pounds). He could have easily blown all three saves. Hopefully, pitching better against the G-men this go-round will help him get some of his 2009 swagger back.
The Dodgers are in first place in the NL West. Now on to Colorado for a quick two game set.