Wow. That was fun.
After five months off and a depressingly inconsistent and injury-plagued spring, the Los Angeles Dodgers were back in action Monday evening in San Diego.
And it was everything Dodgers fans could have hoped for (except the ones without TWC who tuned into ESPN only to find that it was annoyingly blacked out.)
The offense was nothing short of brilliant against the Padres’ opening day ace Tyson Ross. They got off to a nice start, scoring 2 runs in the 1st after Corey Seager doubled in Chase Utley (who apparently is now a leadoff hitter), and was subsequently singled in by Adrian Gonzalez. After RBI king Gonzalez singled home another run in the 2nd, the Dodgers proceeded to hit the cover off the ball in the 6th, 7th and 8th innings, scoring a ridiculous 12 runs in that span. Justin Turner, Trayce Thompson, Corey Seager, Yasiel Puig, Chase Utley and Joc Pederson all went for extra bases, while A.J. Ellis and Gonzalez led the teams with 3 RBI apiece. Pretty much every Dodger did something to contribute to the offense, which allowed them to score mouthwatering total of 15 runs without a single home run. After the seeming overreliance on the long ball last season, that’s definitely nice too see.
Clayton Kershaw was unsurprisingly phenomenal after getting off to a good start, retiring the Padres in order in the 1st inning. His dominance would continue as he gave up just 1 hit and 1 walk over 7 innings while striking out 9 batters. He seemed to have a great feel for all of his pitches as he stymied batter after hapless batter. Not to jump the gun, but that stat line would put him on pace to have the best season for any pitcher in MLB history (aren’t small sample sizes fun?) He even got in on the offense in the 6th inning, whacking a single into centerfield on the first pitch after showing bunt to extend what ended up being a 5-run inning. Do we even have enough superlatives to describe how awesome Kershaw is? I suspect we’ll find out one day.
All in all, this was a fantastic opening day. Great day to be a Dodgers fan. I had a friend text me after the game worried Dodgers might have wasted too much mojo on this dominant performance. I bet we’ve all experienced that same paranoia at some point. But can too much success ever really be a bad thing? I don’t think so. One thing is for sure though, however the team performs in the next game it’s going to be hard to top what the Dodgers did on opening night.