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Dodgers Lose Sloppy Error Filled Opening Day Game in Colorado

Jimmy Nelson

The Dodgers began their World Series title defense with a strange error filled opening day loss to the Rockies at Coors Field on Thursday afternoon. The MLB schedule maker gave the Dodgers a cruel joke with a four-game opening series at Coors Field. That park is a nightmare and I wonder who thought it was a good idea to ever put a team in Denver in the first place. Regardless, the Dodgers played a sloppy game full of errors, base-running mistakes and mental blunders. The Rockies are a terrible club and losing to them is akin to losing to a minor league team. Yet the defending World Series champions took an 8-5 loss to open the 2021 campaign. It’s only one game but it’s not a good look.

We can’t just be good on paper.”

Mookie is right, the Dodgers can’t just be good on paper. The paper the club used on opening day was crumpled up and thrown into the trash.Clayton Kershaw made his ninth career opening day start for the boys in blue. Normally he’s rails on opening day but today he struggled. He allowed six runs, five of them earned on ten hits over 5.1 innings pitched. He struck out two, walked one and made 77 pitches. Fun fact, Kershaw came into the game hitting .350 in opening day games. Kershaw recorded two more hits at the plate on Thursday. I’m more worried about his pitching than his hitting after an outing like this and a concerning spring training showing.

The Dodger hitters struggled to hit Rockie’s opening day starter German Marquez. The Dodgers mustered just six hits and one run across six innings against Marquez. The Dodgers were able to draw six walks as Marquez had control problems all afternoon. Marquez tossed just four innings and did not qualify for the win.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

The Dodgers scored five runs on 15 hits and left 14 men on base. They were 3 for 16 with runners in scoring position and were not in sync throughout the game. There were several base-running blunders and mistakes on defense that were the Dodger’s undoing. The one play that was the most bizarre took place in the top of the third. Justin Turner singled, and Cody Bellinger smashed a long drive to deep left field. Colorado left fielder Raimel Tapia leaped to make the grab and gloved the ball, but it popped out of his glove as he hit the wall and the ball landed over the fence. It should have been a two-run home run for Bellinger, but Turner thinking the ball had been caught, raced back to first base passing a confused Bellinger. While the umpires were discussing the play, Turner then scored. Unfortunately, when you are a baserunner you can’t pass another runner and Bellinger was ruled out. The run Turner scored counted and Bellinger was credited with a single. Instead of two, the Dodgers were only given credit for one run. I’ve seen some weird plays in my days, but this one was beyond odd.

The sloppy play continued for the Dodgers as Corey Seager and Turner both committed costly fielding errors. The Rockies had two bunt singles, one a suicide squeeze in the bottom of the third, and catcher Austin Barnes was injured on a play at the plate in the later innings. You can thank Jimmy Nelson for that, as he uncorked two wild pitches. Here’s how Nelson’s seventh inning went. Pop out, walk, double, wild pitch, wild pitch (Barnes injured on the play at the plate) walk. I know Graterol and Kelly are hurt, but Nelson has been cooked for several years. The Dodgers are better off just calling someone up from Oklahoma City then going with Nelson. It’s not hard to see this.

Despite all the mistakes the Dodgers actually had the tying and winning runs on base in the top of the ninth with Mookie Betts at the plate. They were able to create plenty of scoring opportunities. Gavin Lux recorded two hits (going 2 for 4) and drove in a run. Max Muncy had an RBI single in the sixth and Corey Seager a run scoring base knock in the eighth. The Dodgers had the bases loaded in the ninth down by three runs, but Daniel Bard struck got Mookie Betts to line out to second to end the game. I know it’s only one game and we have 161 left to go but losing to a second division team like the Rockies on opening day is embarrassing. I love Kershaw, but if you can’t get out guys like Elias Diaz, Garrett Hampson, and Chris Owings then something is not right. The Dodgers will turn the page on Friday evening as the series continues with Trevor Bauer making his Dodgers debut. Let’s hope the Dodgers make things go right tomorrow.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

15 thoughts on “Dodgers Lose Sloppy Error Filled Opening Day Game in Colorado

  1. A very disappointing start. Sort of exactly what I expected…. a slow start out of the gates on opening day. Just wonder if maybe the Dodgers’ mainstays do not take Spring Training serious. Sloppy play on defense and back to the same old RISP problem. 15 hits and 8 walks, yet they only score 5 runs. 14 LOB, 3-14 RISP.

    Kershaw did not impress. Just 5.2 inn, only 77 pitches, 10 hits, 5 runs, and 1 walk, and only 2 K’s. This spring, we watched as Kershaw and Bauer downplayed their poor performances. We can only hope Bauer will not flop as Kershaw did. Now, these guys are presumed top tier, elite pitchers and make plenty of money. So the fans should have every right to expect superb performances, not watch them crawl back to the dugout with their tails tucked between their legs. Jimmy Nelson stunk up the stadium too.

    DR was up to his old tricks, playing The Match-Up Game. McKinstry was one of the hot bats in spring, and had just hit a double in his last at-bat. Then he brings in Beaty to pinch hit for Zach, and what does Beaty do? He stands there and watches three straight strikes, not even taking a hack. Pathetic.

    I know it is just game one….one we hope we can sweep under the rug and forget it ever happened.

  2. Bad day in Colorado followed by an impressive debut from Bauer. But the 6 run Rockie seventh caused some angst. But they prevailed. Prices debut was less than stellar. I honestly believe he is not suited for the pen. No HR’s yet, but plenty of hits. Smith was impressive. So was Seager, and Lux made a great play on Story. Mark is shutting LADT down. Mad at MLB for the All Star fiasco.

      1. I really dislike it when politics pokes it’s fat nose into sports. Simply my own opinion there Bluto

  3. Michael, you are right. A very bad start on opening day.everything went wrong, from disasterous pitching, to untimely hitting, to sloppy defense, to strange plays, to piss poor umpiring. That strike zone was ridiculous.

    Game 2 was much better. Bauer was great, but I think his antics are a bit overboard. His ‘MacGregor Strut’, starting in the 5th and carrying through the sixth not only looks stupid as hell, but probably pissed off the Rockies as well. They came out and chased BowWow out, real quick. Price was a disappointment Between him and Kershaw, it was batting practice for the Rocks.

    Gavin Lux looks ready to play. Dodger offense is there. What a lineup when they are all hot.

    Excited to see Buehler today. Should be a good game.

    Go Dodgers!

    1. I think that meltdown had more to do with him running the bases in the top of the inning than the Rocks getting pissed. He was out there for quite a while. Bullpen will always be iffy in Denver. Treinen suffered from it last night. Bad place for Price to debut anyway. But I still do not think he is wired to be a reliever. Finally gave out the skinny on Graterol. He has been battling effects of Covid.

      1. Michael
        I didn’t participate in DT but did go there to read any posts you might have written. You are very good Bear. Maybe you can post here?

  4. Well a 4 game winning streak since the loss. 3 real HR’s and one inside the park job. Team is hitting .332. Seager and McKinstry are just plain unconscious. Pollock, Belli, Beaty off to bad starts. Belli and Taylor are day to day after leaving last nights game with injury’s.

  5. Does anyone happen to know who the last Dodger starter that was allowed to pitch 110 pitches and when. Just wondering as I do not know but would like to.

  6. How long of a leash do they have on Jansen? Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for what has done and glad he got a ring, but if last night was any indication of the Jansen of today, then the Dodgers are in deep trouble. He could not hit the side of a barn last night in the A’s series finale, and he blew a 2-run lead. 2-21 RISP and 14 LOB did not help matters. I’m sure Kenley has now been stricken from Trevor Bauer’s Christmas List.

    The Dodgers continued to hail Kenley as THE Closer over the past few years, and neglected to shop or groom a heir apparent to the prestigious role. Now it is too late.

    Does Nelson have a leash too? If so, how long?

    I know it is only 7 games in, but all the more important to start looking now. Might have to sacrifice a few prospects, but the time for action is now. Cannot afford to lose games like this.

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