Dodgers Giants Game One Preview
By Alex Campos
The Dodgers started the season pretty much perfectly, and now face their first true test up north.
The Dodgers are 3-0 and haven’t allowed a run yet. That seems like a solid start. However, the Padres aren’t exactly an offensive juggernaut and the Dodgers probably should have given up a run last night, but a questionable replay review kept the streak in tact.
It’s a whole new series now, and the Dodgers now play four against the Giants, who won two of their first three against another pretty terrible team, the Brewers.
Alex Wood gets the ball in game one, and he made the trip up north before the Dodgers played last night. Wood can (and probably will) become the first Dodger pitcher to allow a run this season, but if he can keep the Giants off the board for five innings today, the Dodgers will match the 1963 Cardinals for the most scoreless innings to start a season (32).
This won’t be an easy task, as the Giants have a very formidable offense. Buster Posey is a better hitter than everyone on the Padres’ roster, combined. The Giants scored 17 runs in their three games in Milwaukee, 12 of which came on Opening Day. They’ll also have the added boost of playing in front of the home crowd for the first time in 2016, so I don’t know how much I’m feeling the shutout today.
Wood was up and down in his time with the Dodgers last season, as he allowed 34 runs in 70 1/3 innings after the trade that brought him over from Atlanta. 14 of those runs came in two September starts, one in Arizona and one in Colorado. In his other 10 outings, Wood was solid and even showed flashes of dominance. He reportedly hurt himself in his final start for the Braves and pitched the rest of the season for the Dodgers with a bone bruise in his ankle. Wood was a stud in his first two seasons with the Braves, and a return close to that would be a godsend for a Dodger team dealing with more than their fair share of pitching injuries.
Jake Peavy gets the ball for the Giants in their home opener and is one of many question marks in the Giants rotation. He’s a completely different pitcher from his Cy Young/All Star years, and the Giants need him to stay healthy and pitch effectively this season, both of which he failed to do last season. He can still show flashes of his old self, but unless even year BS rears its ugly head again, he’ll probably struggle more often than not this year.
This is the first game this season with a noticeably different starting lineup, mainly due to the day game following a night game. Austin Barnes is behind the plate for A.J. Ellis, which followed the alternating trend that will likely continue until Yasmani Grandal returns (hopefully for the home opener). Yasiel Puig, who has been destroying the ball, moves up in the lineup with Justin Turner getting his first day off of the season. Enrique Hernandez gets first crack as Turner’s backup at third, and Scott Van Slyke gets his first start of the season in place of Carl Crawford.
First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 PM PST and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.