Well that was a complete disaster. The Dodgers had one of the worst opening days that I can remember in recent years. The Boys in Blue were down by six runs before the chairs were warm, and before Stacie and I even got into the ball park.
I’ll say this for the new renovations, they look nice, and Chavez Ravine is beautiful, but they need to do something about the traffic flow, parking, and concession lines. Whatever they’ve tried to do isn’t working. Spending millions of dollars on new video boards, signage, and life sized bobbleheads is nice, but having to sit in two hours of traffic before and after the game, just to get in and out of the parking lot, isn’t cool, and ruins the experience.
I would love to have some pictures to show you, but Stacie and I didn’t have time and only snapped a few. We were too busy sitting in traffic, and standing in line all day. Seriously, we got off the freeway at 12, and it took us over an hour to get into the Stadium.
By the time we finally got to our seats, the Dodgers had already coughed up six runs in the first inning. Hyun-jin Ryu had one of the worst starts that I can remember. He only lasted two frames, and allowed eight runs on eight hits. The Giants didn’t hit any home runs, just a lot of bloopers, bleeders, choppers, and ground ball singles. That’s how they do.
By the second inning, the Dodgers were down 8-0, and I wanted to gouge my eyes out with a fork. The Dodgers made two errors in that terrible first inning, which helped the Giant’s cause. The Giants were first pitch swinging on Ryu’s fastballs the whole time. Unfortunately, Ryu could not make the necessary adjustments, and was removed for Jose Dominguez after two innings.
The big drama before the game was that Yasiel Puig showed up late to the ball park for batting practice, and was benched. Matt Kemp made his first start of the season in center field, as the Dodgers optioned Mike Baxter. Kemp preformed well, going 1 for 4 with an RBI double, and a run scored.
The Dodgers actually made a game out of this. They scored two runs in the fourth, when Adrian Gonzalez, and Andre Ethier hit back-to-back solo home runs off of Ryan Vogelsong. Juan Uribe nearly made it back-to-back-to-back shots, but his blast hit the top of the wall for a double. Uribe ended up being stranded at third, after A.J. Ellis grounded out, Dee Gordon popped out, and pinch-hitter Scott Van Slyke whiffed.
The Dodgers came back with two more runs in the fifth, when Carl Crawford singled and stole second, and Matt Kemp’s RBI double plated him, which made it 8-3. Hanley singled Kemp to third, and then the Giants took out Vogelsong, who was far from overpowering himself. Lefty David Huff was called in, and After a Gonzo whiff, Ethier’s ground ball single into center, scored Kemp to make the score 8-4.
The Dodgers had one more chance to do something in the seventh inning, but a replay challenge review screwed their chances. Hanley singled, and with Gonzo at the plate tried to steal second. From my vantage point it looked like he beat it, but it was close. Bruce Bochy disagreed, and challenged the play. The Giants won the challenge, and Hanley was called out. Gonzo whiffed, and Ethier followed suit and whiffed as well, to end the inning.
That was it. The Dodgers were done after that. On the bright side, the Dodger bullpen (Jose Dominguez, League, Chris Withrow, Jamey Wright) were excellent, tossing seven shutout innings, allowing no hits, one walk, and ten whiffs. The Giants were totally shut down after the second inning. The highlights included Brandon League tossing two scoreless innings with three whiffs. Not a joke guys!
That’s about all I can say about this game. It’s hard to do a complete recap when I was actually in the stands, and not in front of my computer. Not much else to say about the game. The final score was 8-4, and Huff got the win, since Vogelsong couldn’t go the required five frames.
I’ll have more on this Yasiel Puig situation in another article. For now though, join us tomorrow afternoon for the second game of the three game series. Left hander Madison Bumgarner will counter fellow southpaw Paul Maholm at 1:10 PM.