The Dodgers did something I haven't seen in a long time - they scored on Jake Peavy early and took pressure off their pitching. That was more than enough against a weak Padres offense as the Dodgers got the win, 4-1.
It was pretty much a textbook win for the Dodgers. String together some hits for runs, throw in a big hit, good starting pitching, and really good bullpen work. Granted the Padres aren't exactly setting the world on fire these days, but anytime you beat a guy the caliber of Peavy, you have to feel good about that.
Rafael Furcal and Orlando Hudson got things going right away in the 1st with consecutive singles. After Manny and Andre Ethier flied out, Raffy and Hudson got a double steal, followed by a walk to Russell Martin.
In the past, this is where the Dodgers would flunk miserably. Ah, but not tonight, as James Loney laced a sharp single into left, scoring 2 for the quick lead. A huge, 2-out hit against a perennial ace. Not bad.
Hiroki Kuroda proved he was worthy of Opening Day by going 5.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K. He gave up a run in the 1st after allowing Jody Gerut's leadoff double, but cruised into the 6th after that. In the 6th he ran into trouble, loading the bases all with 2 outs. Corey Wade came on and got Kevin Kouzmanoff to ground back to the mound to end it, and pretty much put the game away. Jonathan Broxton dominated the 9th for 2 K's and save #1.
There was good balance up and down the lineup to contribute. Raffy was 2-5 with a run and stolen base, Ethier 2-3 with an RBI, Loney 3-4 with 2 RBI, and Matt Kemp launched a solo shot to center in the 7th. Manny was 0-3 with a walk that lead to a run scored in the 3rd.
Like I said yesterday, too much is usually made of Opening Day. For now, the Dodgers can feel good that they beat a really good pitcher in his park. But if they go out and lose the next 3, it's not so good. We'll see.
Tomorrow's starters are Randy Wolf against Chris Young. Wolf pitched in Petco Park last year, putting up some pretty good numbers. Young is coming off a season marred by injuries, which included a very scary liner to face from Albert Pujols. Yikes. Thankfully he's back and says he's ready to go.