Dodgers 6, Giants 9: Not Very Nice
By Alex Campos
The Dodgers got off to a hot start against the Giants. Unfortunately, most baseball games last longer than an inning.
The Dodgers were looking to play spoiler to Johnny Cueto‘s home debut, as the Giants’ major offseason signing made his second start in orange and black.
Cueto introduced himself to the rivalry right away, as he hit Chase Utley with the second pitch of the game. Corey Seager and Justin Turner followed that up with back to back singles, and Turner nearly TOOTBLAN’d into an out. Adrian Gonzalez hit a sac fly to score Seager, and Yasiel Puig drew a walk. Joc Pederson ripped a single to right, and Austin Barnes laid down a perfect bunt single to score a run. After Scott Kazmir sac bunted, Utley flew out to end the inning. The Dodgers were up 5-0, game over, yay.
Kazmir got two quick outs in the bottom of the frame, but the Giants put together three two-out singles with a walk in between to get two runs back. The Giants had actually been warming up Chris Heston in the first, but Cueto only allowed six more baserunners (and one more run) the rest of the game. Meanwhile. Kazmir wasn’t fooling anyone, as he gave up home runs to Buster Posey, Brandon Belt and Angel Pagan. The game was tied at six, but the bullpen decided to be bad yet again.
Louis Coleman walked a pair of batters in the fifth, but escaped unscathed. He allowed a leadoff double to Pagan in the sixth, and was pulled for J.P. Howell. Howell gave up an infield single and a two-run double and was pulled for Yimi Garcia. Garcia retired the next three batters, but the double scored on a groundout and a sac fly to put the Giants up 9-6.
The bullpen still looks to be a concern. Howell still has yet to record an out this season, but has allowed six earned runs. His regression was predictable as his ERA and FIP didn’t line up very well, but nobody could have predicted this poor of a start to his season. Howell’s the only lefty in the bullpen with Adam Liberatore and Luis Avilan both at OKC, so his success (especially against left handed bats) is vital. The majority of the bullpen has been mostly fine, but they still manage to blow the three losses in this series, which only increases the dissatisfaction. Nobody credits the bullpen when they’re looking good, but fans are quick to jump on them when they struggle.
The Dodgers leave San Francisco losing three of four. They lost a 3-2 game and won a 3-2 game, but their other two losses came despite scoring six runs in each of the games. More often than not, the Dodgers will win when they score six. While fans are down about the pitching, the offense has been great to start the season and will only get better with Howie Kendrick and Yasmani Grandal scheduled to return Tuesday. It was a frustrating series, but if you would have told me the Dodgers would kick off their season with a 4-3 roadtrip, I would have taken it. They struggled on the road last season especially early on, so kicking off the season with a winning roadtrip is already more promising than last year. Which I have to remind you, ended with the Dodgers taking the NL West by eight games.
The Dodgers have an off day tomorrow, but return home Tuesday for the home opener. Kenta Maeda will make his Dodger Stadium debut and face Patrick Corbin and the Arizona Diamondbacks.