Sunday, March 31, 2019

MLB Game Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers - 3/31/2019 - 4:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers - Date: 3/31/2019 Dodgers enjoy early season power; D-backs' reslience tested The narrative following the Los Angeles Dodgers heading into the 2019 season mostly has to do with their consecutive World Series defeats, although there is a subplot for the early season that hangs over their collective head.The Dodgers' dirty little secret while earning back-to-back National League titles is how poorly they have started in each of the last two years. And their early lackluster results go back even further than that.In the first few days of 2019, they have given mixed signals, like their eight home runs in the season opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks, followed by a stretch of one run over 10 innings in the second game that led to a 5-4 defeat in 13 innings. On Saturday, the offense was at it again with four home runs in an 18-5 victory over Arizona.On Sunday af ternoon, the Diamondbacks and Dodgers will complete a four-game series in Los Angeles to wrap up the opening weekend of the season for each team.Last May, the Dodgers' return to the World Series seemed improbable. Los Angeles was 16-26 on May 16, with its turnaround credited to the arrival of Max Muncy, who seemed to flip on the power switch for the entire offense.In 2017, the Dodgers were a mediocre 15-14 in early May before rookie Cody Bellinger flashed his power potential and Chris Taylor emerged to lead Los Angeles out of its doldrums and into a 104-win season.Seven Dodgers have already hit home runs this season, making it appear as if they do not want to wait for a power-hitting savior to arrive this time around."A big thing for us is how we get out of the gates," Dodgers second baseman Enrique Hernandez said, according to the Los Angeles Times."All four years I've been here, we haven't gotten off to the greatest of starts in April. So if we c an get off to a good start, we know we're a really good team in the summer. If we can start the right way, then I think down the road it's gonna be good for us," Hernandez said.A Diamondbacks team without run producers like Paul Goldschmidt and A. J. Pollock has already learned something about itself in the early going. Arizona brushed off the disaster of Opening Day and a 12-5 defeat to earn a 5-4 victory in 13 innings Friday."I'm so proud of these guys because of the fight they had," Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said after Friday's victory, according to mlb.com. "We got beat pretty bad (Thursday), and they turned the page quickly. We fought all day long to win (Friday's) game." Saturday's blowout defeat leaves the Diamondbacks with something to prove again.Right-hander Luke Weaver (7-11, 4.95 ERA last season), who was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in the Goldschmidt trade, will make his Arizona debut Sunday opp osite Dodgers' right-hander Walker Buehler (8-5, 2.62 in 2018).Weaver has a 7.71 ERA in two career appearances against the Dodgers, both last season, giving up seven runs (three earned) in one September appearance. Buehler has two career starts against Arizona, both last season, delivering a 2.19 ERA over 12 1/3 innings without a decision.--Field Level Media

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