Dodgers 5 7 0
Padres 3 5 3
WP- Lindblom (1-0)
LP- Volquez (0-1)
S- Guerra (1)
HR- Kemp (1), Maybin (1)
4:05 PM could not come fast enough for me. The Dodgers opened their 2012 regular season down south in San Diego at Petco Park. Today is the first game of a four-game series between the Dodgers and Friars. On hand to watch the Boys in Blue was both the old and the new. Frank McCourt and Magic Johnson were both reportedly present at the game and sitting next to each other no less. The pregame ceremonies included a salute to the military which has a big presence in San Diego.
Vin Scully informed us in his introduction that Clayton Kershaw is sick with the flu. He was still going to pitch sick even though the Dodgers begged him not too. That was not the news we wanted to hear. Even though his fastball tapped out at 92 mph, Kersh would go on to battle through three shutout innings.
Edinson Volquez, right-hander, steps atop the mound for the first pitch of the game and the season. Dee Gordon, who we anticipate to have a flurry of stolen bases this year, steps into the batter’s box for the Dodgers. The first pitch is a called strike. Down goes Gordon swinging for the first out of the game. Mark Ellis grounds out to old friend Orlando Hudson for the second out of the first inning. Matt Kemp steps up to the plate, and he is booed by the Padres fans. Matt Kemp grounds out, and the Dodgers go down in order.
First pitch by Kershaw to Cameron Maybin is high and outside for a ball. Maybin hits a cracked bat grounder to the hole, and Gordon makes a nice play to throw him out. Denorfia grounds out, and Headley flies out to Ethier to put the first inning in the books!
Andre Ethier flies out to left field to lead off the second inning. Juan Rivera is thrown out on a high hopper to third baseman Chase Headley. James Loney strikes out swinging, and six Dodgers have been retired in a row. Jesus Guzman grounds out to Juan Uribe to start the bottom of the second inning. Nick Hundley follows with another groundout. Yonder Alonso strikes out swinging, and James Loney makes a great play to tag him out with one hand as he approaches first after the ball gets away from A.J. Ellis.
Juan Uribe strikes out swinging for his first plate appearance of the season to start the third. Harbinger of things to come? Most likely. A.J. Ellis is called out on strikes giving Volquez his fourth whiff of the day. Clayton Kershaw hits the ball down the line for a single, and Guzman bobbles the ball in the left field corner allowing Kersh to reach second on the error. Dee Gordon strikes out swinging to strand Kersh at second.
Hudson grounds out, and Jason Bartlett strikes out in the bottom of the third. Kershaw begins to struggle. Volquez returns the favor from the previous inning by singling to center field with two out. Matt Kemp can’t reach the ball with a diving attempt. Cameron Maybin follows with a single to left field. The runners advance to second and third on a wild pitch in the dirt. Chris Denorfia walks to load the bases up with two outs. Chase Headley strikes out looking like a statue for the third out! Kershaw is a warrior!
Volquez begins to fluster in the fourth. The Bison smacks a single to left field with one out in the top of the fourth for his first hit of the season. Kemp takes second base on a wild pitch by Volquez. Clayton Kershaw meanwhile has his head down in the dugout. Dre walks on four pitches. Juan Rivera’s single to center field load the bases up with one out. James Loney’s good eye draws a walk to bring in the first Dodger run of the 2012 season! That would be RBI #1 for Loney. 1-0 Dodgers. A wild pitch during Uribe’s at bat sends Ethier to the plate who is then tagged out by the pitcher Volquez although he looked safe to me. Juan Uribe takes a 97 mph fastball, and he walks to load the bases up again with two outs. The Volquez meltdown continues, and A.J. Ellis walks in the second run of the inning. Adam Kennedy comes in to pinch hit for Clayton Kershaw. He pops out to end the inning.
Clayton Kershaw pitches 3 innings, allowing 2 hits, no runs, 1 walk, and 3 strikeouts on 39 pitches all while battling the flu.
Josh Lindblom comes in to relieve Kershaw in the bottom of the fourth inning. With two outs Alonso’s grounder is deflected off Lindblom’s glove, and it rolls up the middle where Dee Gordon snags it and fires it to James Loney for the out! What a play by Dee!
Dee Gordon ends up at third on a fielding error by Cameron Maybin on his long fly ball to lead off the fifth inning. Mark Ellis goes down on strikes for the first out of the inning. Matt Kemp reaches safely on Bartlett’s error at shortstop after he can’t handle Bison’s grounder. Dee Gordon scores, 3-0 Dodgers. Matt Kemp is caught stealing second for the second out. Ethier strikes out swinging to end the inning.
Lindblom has a nice 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the fifth and ends the inning by striking out Kyle Blanks.
Edinson Volquez goes 5 innings, allowing 3 hits, 3 runs, 4 walks, and 7 strikeouts on 97 pitches.
Anthony Bass, a right-hander, comes in to pitch the sixth inning for the Padres. Bass sends the Dodgers down in order.
Mike MacDougal comes out of the bullpen for the bottom of the sixth. He walks Will Venable with one out. Venable steals second. Venable gets to third on a Headley groundout to first base. Jesus Guzman drives in the run with a two out double off Dougie, 3-1. Hundley pops out for the third out.
With Bass still pitching for the Padres, the Dodgers go down in order in the top of the seventh. Matty Guerrier pitches the bottom of the seventh for the Dodgers who try to hold the two-run lead. Guerrier strikes out Alonso to start things off. Orlando Hudson walks on four pitches. Bartlett hits into an inning ending double play.
Brad Brach, another righty, is the fourth pitcher of the evening for the Padres. Mark Ellis starts the eighth with a sharply hit double to left field. The Bison then bounces a two-run homerun on top of the right field scoreboard to give the Dodgers a 5-1 lead! The first Bison Blast of the year! Andre Ethier strikes out for the first out. Juan Rivera doubles, but then is embarrassingly doubled up at second on a line drive out by Loney (first TOOTBLAN of the year). Kenley Jansen comes in for the eighth, and he is the fifth Dodger pitcher of the night. Jeremy Hermida comes off the bench to lead off with an infield single. The Padres get back into the game on a Cameron Maybin two-run 445 foot homerun to left field (the 7th longest homerun in Petco Park history), 5-3 Dodgers. Jansen settles down a bit. Perhaps he was a bit nervous. Venable grounds out, and Headley strikes out. Guzman flies out to end the eighth.
Ernesto Frieri, a right-hander from Columbia, comes in to pitch the ninth for the Pads. Juan Uribe strikes out and goes 0-3 for the day. Is it still just practice, Juan? A.J. Ellis follows with a single to right. Jerry Hairston Jr. comes off the bench and walks. Dee Gordon chases a fastball and strikes out which is his third strikeout of the game. Frieri hits Mark Ellis with a pitch to load the bases up with two outs. Kemp grounds into a force out to end the ninth for the Dodgers.
Javy Guerra comes in to close it out for the Dodgers. Nick Hundley is called out on strikes and goes 0 for 4. Alonso grounds out to short. Orlando Hudson grounds out to short for the final out of the game.
The Dodgers win! 1-0 and 161 to go!
Tomorrow night Chad Billingsley will make his first start of the season at 7:05 pm.
Happy Opening Day, Dodger fans! Here’s to a great season ahead.