PHOENIX -- Seven games is a small sample but, man, Justin Turner must be really, really good. Because without him, the Dodgers have been really, really, well, not so good.In fact, they are off to their worst start in 20 years after getting one-hit by Patrick Corbin and the bullpen
PHOENIX -- Seven games is a small sample but, man, Justin Turner must be really, really good. Because without him, the Dodgers have been really, really, well, not so good.
In fact, they are off to their worst start in 20 years after getting one-hit by Patrick Corbin and the bullpen in a 3-0 loss to the first-place D-backs, who completed a three-game series sweep on Wednesday and have a nine-game regular season win streak over the Dodgers.
Corbin was 0-8 in nine previous starts against the Dodgers, but he recorded a career-high 12 of 15 whiffs by the Dodgers, who have been shut out three times this season and have scored one run once. This was the second one-hitter thrown at them.
Missing the injured Turner, perhaps?
"You can't replace his presence, his bat, his defense. He's one of the best in the game," said Chris Taylor, last year's breakout star who went 0-for-4 and is batting .222 through play on Wednesday.
"But last year, there's times where so many guys went down, J.T. included, that's no excuse. We still have to play good baseball, we still have plenty of good players and we feel like our depth is best in the league. We can't use that as an excuse to not get some wins."
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said opposing pitchers saw enough of his club's offensive tendencies during their World Series run last year that adjustments have been made. Now, Dodgers hitters need to readjust to the adjustments.
"We're an aggressive offense, we hit off the fastball. I do see there's a tendency for guys to pitch us backwards," said Roberts. "They get into a good count and throw soft. Pitchers aren't going to give in to our hitters because we can slug, so there's an adjustment we have to potentially make.
"We have to have the thought of not selling out to the fastball when we get into a count. Some guys shift the field and try not to pull the baseball. But even just the mindset of knowing they might pitch you backwards, allows the mindset to check off the fastball. There's been many times we get into a good count and we get out of the zone because we're selling out on the fastball."
Corey Seager, batting second behind Taylor, also went 0-for-4 on Wednesday and is batting .192 without an extra-base hit.
"With Corey, it's easy to see they're not going to give in to him," Roberts said. "They're going to pitch to the corners and try to get him to get himself out. Potentially make Yasiel [Puig] beat him and Corey understands that. When he's in the strike zone, he's as good as any hitter in baseball. When he's out of the strike zone, it makes him pretty average. It's not his intent. Being diligent in the strike zone will make him that much better."
Puig was 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts on Wednesday. He's hitting .179 without a homer. Enrique Hernandez, starting at first base and batting cleanup, struck out three times and is hitting .188. Even previously hot-hitting Yasmani Grandal took the hat trick with three whiffs.
Meanwhile, Dodgers starter Alex Wood wasn't as sharp as that one-hitter for eight innings he threw against the Giants last week, and his fastball rarely reached 90 mph. In two starts, he's averaging 89.9 mph fastball velocity, two mph slower than last year's average.
"We've seen him with better stuff, but even without his best stuff, he competed and gave us six innings, a quality start, a really good job by him," said Roberts.
The D-backs scored single runs the first three innings, leading off each one with a double, including Corbin's in the third inning.
"Really bad pitch," Wood said of Corbin's double. "It was a little bit more of a battle today. To give up leadoff doubles to that lineup, it's hard to tamp it down. Made it through six, but more of a battle."
Despite the slow start, Wood said there is a very good reason why fans shouldn't panic.
"Because it's April 4," he said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
One last shot: The Dodgers actually brought the tying run to the plate with two out in the top of the ninth inning after walks to Austin Barnes and Yasiel Puig, but Hernandez took a called strike three from reliever Brad Boxberger to end the game.
Stranded: After Matt Kemp's bloop double with two out in the fifth inning ruined Corbin's perfect game, the Dodgers missed an opportunity to score when John Forsythe grounded out to shortstop.
"Maybe some of the guys, myself included, might be trying to do too much." -- Taylor
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Starting with the ninth inning on Monday, the Dodgers have scored 2 runs on 11 hits over the last 25 innings.
The Dodgers opened the season with the Giants and play them 10 times in the first 27 games, including this three-game series. Despite a gloomy weather forecast for the Friday 7:15 p.m. PT game, Kenta Maeda is scheduled to start and Cody Bellinger will return to first base after getting Wednesday off.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.