LOS ANGELES -- The Angels are expected in Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night for the final exhibition game of Summer Camp, but if they saw what the Dodgers did to the D-backs Sunday and Monday night, they might just want to skip it and proceed directly to Opening Day.
“We can beat you in a lot of different ways,” said manager Dave Roberts.
In 16 offensive innings, the Dodgers agreed to “roll over” three innings, the equivalent of a mercy rule allowing an inning to end with fewer than three outs to save the arm of the opposing pitcher once he reached 25 pitches. It happened twice in this game, as the Dodgers erupted for a five-run second inning off starter Taylor Clarke and a six-run fifth inning off reliever Andrew Chafin.
A lineup that set a National League home-run record last year has added Betts, the 2018 American League MVP, at the top, plus a designated hitter -- as if that was necessary. Pederson filled the role in this game and added a two-run double to his two-run homer.
Roberts, though, cited a 12-pitch at-bat that Justin Turner ended with a first-inning double as the kind of sequence that exhausts and demoralizes the opposition, leading to later explosions.
“That kind of has a collateral effect,” Roberts said. “Our quality one through nine is remarkable.”
Run support is to be expected with an offense as loaded as the Dodgers’, but Roberts appeared just as pleased with the start by Urías, who is facing a make-or-break season in a thinned-out rotation that needs him to step up.
“Julio was really sharp. It was a great final tune-up for him,” said Roberts.
Urías allowed a solo home run to Ildemaro Vargas and stranded runners in scoring position in three innings, which he considered a positive.
“I felt really good about the fact that I could get out of those jams,” said Urías. “I can’t control where the ball is going and there were some jams on the bases, but I really liked the outcome and what I did after their hitters got on base.”
Treinen and Graterol, the two relievers acquired to bolster a sometimes leaky bullpen, delivered much different scoreless innings.
Treinen had to pitch out of a bases-loaded mess that included his dropping a popup, a misplay by second baseman Gavin Lux and a passed ball by Rocky Gale. Treinen, the best reliever in the game in 2018, is coming off a ‘19 season marred by health and mechanical woes.
“Whenever he puts the ball on the ground, that’s a good thing, and he did that tonight,” said Roberts.
Graterol would have had the crowd gasping with a 101 mph fastball, if there had been a crowd. Graterol, only 21 with a history of injuries, had a strikeout and two weak grounders.
“It’s the easiest 101 you can get,” said Roberts. “The slider was sharp. Really fun to watch. He’s in the plans. If he can throw the baseball like that, sky’s the limit. The conviction he had tonight was really encouraging.”