Well, Los Angeles Dodgers fans, you’re in for another dog fight during the 2022 season with the San Francisco Giants. Unless there are drastic occurrences that flip the script, it’ll likely be a battle down to the wire between the two division rivals.
There were a number of high-profile additions by both teams this offseason, headlined by Freddie Freeman and Carlos Rodón. Freeman’s presence was familiar, since he’s played his entire career in the NL, but Rodón came from the White Sox after seven years in the AL.
On Tuesday, both were introduced to one of baseball’s great rivalries, and Rodón already made his presence known.
Despite taking the loss in a narrow 3-1 game, Rodón pitched a gem and largely stymied the Dodgers’ offense (two runs on three hits and two walks over six innings of work) while making MLB history in the process.
He also (expectedly) added some fire to his debut, getting frustrated from the jump when Cody Bellinger wouldn’t lift the lumber off his shoulder in the second inning. Belli’s at-bat resulted in a walk, which paved the way for Chris Taylor’s two-run single (the ultimate difference in the end).
Maybe throw some more strikes, Rodón! The Dodgers aren’t going to gift you with swings outside the zone! Either way, Dodgers fans will revel in these kinds of clips to further intensify the rivalry.
Carlos Rodón is already prepared for the Dodgers-Giants rivalry
In the end, Rodón took his first loss of the season (even more fitting for this rivalry!) because of that walk to Bellinger. He finished with six innings on 95 pitches and kept this one close. The Giants responded with a run in the top of the seventh, but Hanser Alberto scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the frame to keep the two-run cushion.
Nonetheless, if there’s anything fans like about a rivalry, it’s fierce competition, high-end trash talk, and elevated energy. Rodón’s introduction to the festivities in these teams’ first matchup of the 2022 season was right in line with all of that.
And how about those postgame comments?! Rodón said he “just sucked” in that laborious second inning and took ownership for his walks while complimenting the Dodgers’ hitters.
On the mound, though? He wasn’t so friendly. And we’d prefer much more of that because it’s better when these two teams like each other even less.