Dodgers News: Trayce Thompson Makes MLB History With Career Performance

Although it’s only a few games into the 2023 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers already have a player who took an early lead on the MLB home run and RBI leaderboard.

No, it isn’t Mookie Betts or Freddie Freeman. Nor is it Will Smith, Max Muncy or J.D. Martinez. The player currently leading all of baseball in home runs and RBI is Trayce Thompson, and it only took him one game to achieve that.

Yes, most players have appeared in just two or three games, but Thompson’s incredible night on Saturday, rocketed him to the top of the leaderboards despite only playing one game, and it made some MLB history.

In his first start of the season, Thompson went 3-for-4 with three home runs and eight RBI against the Arizona Diamondbacks. This made him the first player in MLB history to have eight or more RBI in their first game of the season since it became an official stat in 1920.

“I feel really good,” Thompson said after his big game. “I mean, it’s just one night, but I felt really good. I felt like I was seeing the ball well. That last week of Spring Training, I felt pretty good. I worked on some stuff and it was starting to click. I just wasn’t getting results.

“Tonight is a good night to build off. I’m going to come in tomorrow and get to work.”

Thompson entered the season in a platoon role with James Outman in center field, with the rookie making the starts against right-handers while the 32-year-old faces left-handers.

However, thanks to his performance on Saturday, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is making an exception to get Thompson in the lineup against a right-hander for the series finale against the Diamondbacks.

Thompson did hit his first home run against a southpaw with Madison Bumgarner on the mound and the bases loaded to start his night with a grand slam that put the Dodgers up 5-0. It also increased the Dodgers’ win probability by 23.5% to 90.4%.

But after that, Thompson hit his other two home runs against right-handers, with Kevin Ginkel surrendering a three-run shot and Carlos Vargas giving up a solo blast.

Unfortunately, Thompson fell a two-run homer short of the home run cycle, but nevertheless, he was still called on by the fans to give a curtain call, which he modestly obliged to.

Clayton Kershaw happy for Trayce Thompson

Although his game was overshadowed by the historic performance from Thompson, Clayton Kershaw pitched a brilliant game to help lead the Dodgers to victory.

Kershaw threw six innings — on just 76 pitches — while giving up only one run on four hits. The lone run came from a home run off the bat of Chrisitan Walker, who now has five in his career against Kershaw.

While pleased with his outing, Kershaw was happy to see Thompson have a standout performance.

“Trayce is one of the hardest working guys you’ve been around. He just grinds day in and day out,” Kershaw said of Thompson.

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