Just in time for Easter too. There’s nothing more irritating than losing to the Giants. But losing to the Giants on opening day 1-0 is possibly one of the most aggravating ways to lose to the Giants. That’s exactly what the Dodgers did on Thursday afternoon on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in front of a sell-out crowd of 53,595 hoping for a positive start to the season. Fat chance for that now.
Joe Panik’s solo home run in the fifth inning was the only run of the game. The Dodgers had a seven game opening day winning streak that was snapped by this wonderful performance. Clayton Kershaw’s opening day streak was snapped as well as the ace southpaw was handed his first career opening day loss. For the record Kershaw pitched well despite not having his best stuff. Unfortunately the Dodger’s lineup without Justin Turner was totally inept.
Losing the first game of the season to the Giants is infuriating so allow me to overreact a little. I know it’s only one game of 162 but the Dodger bats looked pretty bad. I mean when you can’t hit Ty Blach then you probably can’t hit anyone.
Blach who seems to pitch like a Cy Young winner whenever he faces the Dodgers scattered just three hits across five frames to earn the win. He struck out three and walked none while making 81 pitches. Kershaw on the other hand put runners on base throughout the game having to wiggle out of jams nearly every inning.
Giants 1 8 0
Dodgers 0 6 0
Kershaw didn’t have his good curveball working so he went primarily to the fastball slider combo. Overall Kershaw tossed six innings allowing one earned run on eight hits while striking out seven. He walked two and made 91 pitches.
The Giants had ten base runners through the first six innings. In the top of the first Austin Jackson and Joe Panik singled before Kershaw got Newly acquired Andrew McCutchen to ground into a double play. Then he struck out Buster Posey to get out of the inning. The Giants kept the pressure on Kershaw attacking him early in counts and generally being aggressive.
Hunter Pence’s one-out double and a Brandon Belt single in the third had Kershaw and the Dodgers in hot water again. Kershaw again wriggled out of it by getting Brandon Crawford to foul out and whiffing Blach. In the top of the fourth Posey walked and Pence singled to center but Kershaw strikes out Belt and gets Crawford to fly out to right. The Giants lineup is certainly a lot longer than it was last year because of the acquisitions of McCutchen and Evan Longoria.
Finally things caught up to Kershaw in the top of the fifth. With two outs Panik turns on an inside pitch hooking it just fair inside the right field foul pole to give the Giants a 1-0 lead. McCutchen follows with a double and Posey walked. Kershaw had to strikeout Longoria to end the threat. Kershaw gave up a single in the top of the sixth inning as well. The Giants put runners on base in every inning against Kershaw. He failed to pitch a clean inning today.
On the other side the Dodger bats were totally ineffective against Blach and the Giant’s bullpen. Through the first five innings the Dodgers had three hits and two of them were from Kershaw. Kershaw’s first single came in the bottom of the third but he was immediately erased on a force out and that was followed with a double play from Corey Seager. Kershaw’s second single gave the Dodgers two whole base runners in the fifth inning after a Yasmani Grandal walk, but Chris Taylor’s force out ended that scoring chance.
After that the San Francisco bullpen took things the rest of the way. Josh Osich pitched a scoreless sixth inning allowing a walk and a wild pitch but nothing else. The Dodgers had their best look at the game in the bottom of the seventh. With Cory Gearrin on the mound, Grandal singled with one out and after a Logan Forsythe fly out pinch-hitter Chase Utley strode to the plate. Grandpa Utley lined a base hit into right field to put runners at first and third. Utley alertly stole second but Taylor struck out looking on a full count called strike.
Former Dodger Tony Watson pitched the eighth inning, and then Hunter Strickland came in to close out. Move to the bottom of the ninth. Matt Kemp led off with a single, after Grandal struck out, Forsythe fouls out. Joc Pederson comes off the bench to ground out and that’s all from the Dodgers on opening day.
Speaking of the Dodger bullpen, they did a fantastic job. We saw the debut of J.T. Chargois who pitched a scoreless frame in the seventh. We can call him shaggy right? Josh Fields and Tony Cingrani both threw shutout innings as well.
The Dodgers had six singles in the game without an extra-base hit. They drew four walks and left nine runners on base. They were 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position. Matt Kemp’s first game back with the Dodgers got the start in left field and batted sixth. He was 1 for 3 with a walk. Yasmani Grandal was 2 for 3 with a walk and Logan Forsythe’s cringe worthy performance left five runners on base. Enrique Hernandez was 0 for 2 in the cleanup spot (seriously Dodgers?) and walked twice. Panik and Hunter Pence each had two hits for the Giants.
The season continues Friday evening as the Dodgers hope for a better outcome. Johnny Cueto will counter Alex Wood in the second game of the year. Maybe the Dodgers can score a run tomorrow because this was really hard to watch. I hate losing to the Giants. Hate it, hate it, hate it! So stop it Dodgers, seriously.