The numbers say this about the first “week” of the season: The Dodgers split a four-game series with San Francisco.
Despite being the last team in Major League Baseball to score a run in 2018, the Dodgers outscored a clearly out-manned Giants club, 14-2, in the four-game series and led the Majors with a team earned run average of just 0.50 through Sunday.
So, what did we learn from Week 1?
- The Dodgers no longer let dozens of birds loose on Opening Day, which happened to be a Matt Kemp memory from his first tenure with the team.
- The Stealth Bomber flyover has been replaced by Air Force T-38C Talons, which are actually really cool. But not as cool as this on Opening Day 2011.
- L.A. Kings good luck charm Pia Toscano singing the National Anthem didn’t work so well for the L.A. Dodgers. I guess it’s just a hockey thing.
- It will never, ever get old watching video of Kirk Gibson stepping into the batter’s box against Dennis Eckersley. Never. Ever.
- It will never, ever get old hearing Vin Scully say anything. Never. Ever. Ever.
For the Dodgers, the opening week had both good and bad moments.
There they stood. Dodger Stadium. The greenest of grass. Opening Day versus San Francisco, when even the Giants trainers got booed during pregame introductions.
Clayton Kershaw was on the mound. Madison Bumgarner was on the disabled list. Ty Blach was facing the Dodgers.
Sounded like a recipe for disaster … for the Giants.
- A total of 37 MLB games were played before the Dodgers finally scored a 2018 run in their 19th inning of the season, avoiding tying the team record of 19 innings of scoreless futility to start a season.
- Cody Bellinger still can’t hit the curveball, as he went 0-for-11 with three strikeouts before unleashing his first home run of the season Sunday against Giants southpaw Josh Osich.
Then again …
- Rich Hill loves pitching against the Giants. After six shutout innings Sunday, he is 4-1 with a 1.40 ERA against San Francisco since joining the Dodgers at the trade deadline in 2016.
Offensively, it was a very frustrating first two games for the Dodgers as they combined for no runs on seven hits, all singles.
Breaking out for five runs in Game 3 brought a false sense of accomplishment as the team managed only four hits, and only one of those actually drove home a run.
Sunday’s nine runs, 13 hits and the team’s first home run of the season were cause for celebration and optimism going forward.
In case it wasn’t obvious to those who were actually able to watch the games on TV, Logan Forsythe CANNOT play third base. Fortunately, his three errors (two errant throws and a fielding error) on Friday did not lead to any Giants runs.
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- Giants laughably sign pitcher that Dodgers absolutely own
- Dave Roberts’ quote about Padres in NLDS should motivate Dodgers
What Forsythe CAN do, however, is playing second base, as his backhand-on-the-shortstop-side-of-second-base and long throw to get Andrew McCutchen to save a run and end the top of the seventh inning clearly showed.
What we probably didn’t learn last week was how good the Dodgers pitching staff really is. Granted, the starters allowed only one run on 19 hits, with six walks and 27 strikeouts over the four games, but it was against an aging Giants team that scored a mere two runs (OK, Joe Panik scored two runs) over the weekend.
In 11 additional innings, the bullpen allowed one earned run on six hits with 2 walks and seven strikeouts, strong numbers for sure. But … it was the Giants.
With the powerful Arizona Diamondbacks on deck, followed by the Giants in San Francisco over the weekend, we should have a better sense of who these Dodgers are in another week or so.