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The Dodgers Set Opening Day Record With Eight Home Runs

Should the Dodgers continue their current pace, then they'll finish the season with 1,296 home runs, a slight improvement on the 235 they hit in 2018 and a handful more than the MLB-record 267 hit by the Yankees in 2018.

Corny sample size jokes aside, the Dodgers submitted an incredible power display on Thursday, smashing an opening-day record eight homers in a 12-5 shellacking of the Diamondbacks. It was the most home runs the team had hit in a game since May 23, 2002, when Shawn Green hit four homers against the Brewers and his teammates provided four more in a 15-3 win in Milwaukee. It was the most that any team had hit in a game since July 27, 2017 when the Nationals beat the Brewers 15–2, five of which came in the span of six at-bats off of starter Michael Blazek (it remains the last big league appearance for Blazek).

The Dodgers simply punished Diamondbacks starter Zack Greinke, who famously spurned Los Angeles after the 2015 season to sign for a record six-year, $206.5 million contract with Arizona: Joc Pederson, who doubled off the wall in the first inning, started the parade in the second inning with a 420-foot shot off of Greinke to centerfield to give L.A. a 3-0 lead.

It was followed in the fourth inning by a couple of unlikely contributors—second baseman Kiké Hernandez and catcher Austin Barnes—before shortstop Corey Seager, who missed most of 2018 with an elbow injury, hit his first homer since April 16, 2018.

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The four home runs against Greinke were the most he'd allowed in a game since September 5, 2016 against, yep, the Dodgers (Pederson and Seager homered off of him in that game as well). Reliever Matt Koch did the work of any good mop-up man—finish a game that your team definitely won't win—but surrendered Pederson's second homer of the day (this one a mere 417 feet) before giving up three in four at-bats to Max Muncy, Hernandez again and Cody Bellinger.

A sustainable pace? Not exactly, but the Dodgers' homer-happy ways against a pitcher of Greinke's caliber bodes well for the reputation of brand new hitting coach Robert Van Scoyoc, a 32-year-old guru whose highest experience was a few games of junior college baseball. We'll see if they'll hit eight homers tomorrow, but even if (or when) they don't, the Dodgers will likely compete for the most homers in baseball this season with the Yankees.