The Oklahoma City Dodgers began the 2017 campaign at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City against the Cubs from Iowa. The opener begins a five game home stand before the boys in blue go on the road to Nashville and Memphis. Looking up and down the roster of the AAA affiliate for Los Angeles, it is hard not to become enamored with this lineup, rotation and bench. A testament to the depth of not only the 40 man roster, but of the organization as a whole. Baseball has never been played on paper, on the field, the stories of the night were fantastic pitching, (both teams) and the zero in front of the run column and the R.I.S.P line. The Dodgers were zero for seven with runners in scoring position.
Trevor Oaks certainly earned his stripes during spring training. He was named the opening day starter for OKC Dodgers. Trevor Oaks pitched very well in the start. He allowed zero runs, but it was no walk in the park with the Cubs line-up. They had a serious threat in the top of the second inning. That inning ended in the same fashion as it began, a great catch by Dodgers right fielder Trayce Thompson. He had all the putouts in the inning. Oaks will make you put the ball in play, especially with his attack of the lower half of the strike zone. If a batter is not ready with the right handed pitcher from Riverside, that batter will find himself in a hole, and quickly. Each flyball seemed to carry well, with both ending up in Thompson’s mitt in the corner, two or three steps away from the wall. After the right fielder’s first highlight reel grab, the Cubs mounted a charge with two singles and then a walk to the number eight hitter to load the bases. Trevor Oaks kept his composure, as though knew he was going to escape the bases loaded jam. Oaks then threw eight straight strikes with the bases juiced. On an 0-2 count, Eddie Butler, the Cubs starting pitcher, hit a weak fly to Thompson. No advancement by the runners on the shallow pop. Then, after a couple of foul balls, on an 0-2 count, Cubs leadoff hitter John Andreoli sent a drive to the spot in the corner Trayce Thompson had made the previous play. Although not as spectacular as the first, a tough play and a game saver at this point. Three or fours runs would have scored, because 1. Andreoli can run and 2. the closest Dodger besides Thompson was seemingly in Tulsa.
Oaks had been coming out of the bullpen mostly during spring training, so pitch count is an issue in this young season. He did walk a batter in the third inning, but otherwise produced a broken bat grounder to Chris Taylor at short, followed by a nice defensive play on a ball to his left at second base by Willie Calhoun. Oaks completed the inning with a strikeout looking on what appeared to be a cutter on the corner. Trevor then set the Cubs down in order in the fourth inning. Oaks was replaced by a pinch hitter in the bottom half of the inning and his night concluded after 70 pitches.
Steve Geltz then came in for the fifth inning and was a reliever on a mission. He struck out the side in the fifth and had one more strike out in his second scoreless, hitless inning. Adam Liberatore pitched a perfect seventh inning and Jacob Rhame worked through some control issues to blank the Cubs in the eighth. Pitching=absolutely fantastic! Brandon Morrow did give up the run that led to the loss in the ninth, however, the Dodgers offense had failed to produce with runners in scoring position and had also left ten men on base. Cody Bellinger and O’Koyea Dickson were the offensive stars of the night and accounted for 6 of the 7 hits. We should not downplay the reason for the poor offense from OKC, the pitching staff of Iowa led by Eddie Butler, Pierce Johnson (WP), and Felix Pena (SV). Pitching was not in question for either team on this opening night 2017!
|Brandon Morrow (L, 0-1)||1.0||2||1||1||0||2||0||9.00|
|Oklahoma City Dodgers|
|1- Tyler Holt||PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Brett Eibner||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||.000|
|b- Darnell Sweeney||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Charlie Culberson||PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
1-Ran for Dickson in the 9th.
2B: Bellinger 2 (2, Butler, E, Butler, E).
TB: Bellinger 5; Segedin; Dickson 3.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Segedin 2; Oaks; Eibner.
SAC: Wilson, B.
GIDP: Thompson; Taylor, C.
Team RISP: 0-for-7.
Team LOB: 10.BASERUNNING
SB: Holt, T (1, 2nd base off Pena, Fe/Caratini).
Dickson went 3-4 and Bellinger went 3-3 for 2 doubles. Otherwise, the Dodgers attack had only one other hit, a single from Rob Segedin. The Dodgers lost this contest 1 – 0. The boys in blue continue their home stand with the Iowa Cubs tonight until April 10th. The Cubs will send Alec Mills to the mound against OKC while the Dodgers will counter with RHP Wilmer Font. Go Dodgers!!