Saturday, April 5, 2014

Drama Dodgers fall in home opener

So, how did that home opener go for the Dodgers?  You know, the one they've been waiting two weeks for after playing in Australia and San Diego?

Let's just take a look and see:

* Yasiel Puig was late to the ballpark, so he was benched after originally starting in right and hitting second.

* Matt Kemp was activated off the 15-day DL, only to be told that he wasn't starting.  Boy was he pissed, as he's already said that he should be the everyday center fielder.

* But wait, Kemp did start in center and hit second... only because Puig was late.

* Hyun-Jin Ryu, who came in with a 1-0 record and hadn't given up a run in two starts, struck out Angel Pagen to start the game, then got Hunter Pence to fly to right.

* And then, it was all downhill.  10 straight batters came to the plate scoring six runs on six hits and an error, and the Dodgers were already getting squashed.

* That one error?  Kemp in center, who bobbled a single into a double.

Obviously, it was an ugly day in Dodger Stadium.  Back-to-back solo shots by Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier at least gave the home fans something to cheer for, but in the end it wasn't nearly enough as the Giants won 8-4.  With the loss, the Dodgers are at 4-2, falling to second for the first time this season behind the 4-1 Giants.

It's hard to imagine so much going wrong so quickly, as the pregame talk started off with Kemp's anger and quickly switched to Puig's tardiness.  The hope was that with Ryu on the mound and the home cooking, a win against the hated Giants would change everything around.

Um, not quite.

I wouldn't say Ryu was really pounded like his final line of two innings and eight runs (six earned) indicates, as the Giants had some bloop hits that found the grass.  But with so much damage coming with two outs, and with three walks thrown in, it was a disappointing reminder that Clayton Kershaw could've been the one making this start.  Alas, we'll have to wait a bit before we see that again.

Also disappointing were the two errors, one apiece from Kemp and Hanley Ramirez.  Ramirez's error opened the second, and after two more runs soon scored with two outs, it was another reminder that as good as he is, defense isn't exactly his strong suit.  Combined with Dee Gordon still getting the hang of second and Kemp working the rust off in center, the defense up the middle looks pretty shaky.

About the only thing that did go right was the first pitch ceremony featuring Vin Scully and Sandy Kofax.  A minor hit goes to A-Gon and Ether's back-to-back shots and some great bullpen work by Jose Dominguez, Brandon League, Chris Withrow, and Jamey Wright.  But the damage was already done down 8-0 before people were down parking at the stadium.

Maybe the weekend will bring more wins and less drama, as I can certainly hope the Dodgers can only go up from here.  Then again, will the four outfielder situation ever clear up?  Anyway, Paul Maholm makes his first start with the Dodgers on Saturday against the nasty Madison Bumgarner.

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