LOS ANGELES—The Dodgers woes against left handed pitchers was an issue last season, and it might be carrying over to this one as well. After obliterating the lowly San Diego Padres 14-3 in the season opener, they were shut out the next game by leftie Clayton Richard. On Friday, the Dodgers faced 23-year-old left handed pitcher Kyle Freeland in his first major league start. Again they were unable to muster any offense, losing to the Colorado Rockies 2-1.
The Dodgers had a chance to get an early lead on the Rockies, but squandered on a golden opportunity. Catcher Yasmani Grandal came to the plate with the bases loaded in the first inning, but his ground out ended the inning without any points on the board for Los Angeles. In his first inning of major league action Freeland was able to get through unscathed and settled into a groove that led to the Dodgers loss.
“I was trying to play it cool, but the butterflies were jumping around in my stomach,” said Freeland, who came to the field early to soak in the moment and try to calm down. “I tried to stay focused on what I needed to do. After I got out of that first inning with that bases-loaded jam, I was able to settle right in a groove. I knew how my pitches were working.”
Unfortunately the Dodgers starting pitcher, Hyun-Jin Ryu, who was seeking his first win since 2014, did not experience similar success. Although he fanned four batters, he was pulled after 4 2/3 innings after throwing 77 pitches and giving up two runs off six hits. The only run support he received came in the fourth inning when Scott Van Slyke was able to score off of an Enrique Hernandez ground out. After another sub-par offensive outing against a left handed pitcher, manager Dave Roberts commented about it after the game.
“It’s one of those things where until we change it, yeah, it’s going to be the talk,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “At some point, it does become mental. Right now, we’ve seen two, so it’s not there yet. I think last year it was a topic of conversation that came up quite often.
The Dodgers will have a chance to avenge their loss against the Rockies when they play Saturday evening. The match-up seems to favor the Dodgers as they will have ace Clayton Kershaw on the mound while the Rockies will have to rely on a pitcher currently boasting an 11.25 ERA, Jon Gray.