Saturday, March 22, 2014

Welcome to the Scott Van Slyke Show - Dodger Pitching Sets a Tone

Yes, I did watch the first game of the season early this morning, and celebrated our victory in much the same way as I imagine most of Dodger Nation did.  As soon as the last out was made, I put my head on my pillow and went fast asleep.

So, my thoughts and comments on our win are a bit delayed.

This mornings Australia Baseball show was quite a sight to behold.  Unfortunately, it started about an hour late, so those of us who endeavored to enjoy the morning festivities had the burden of knowing that the sun might be out by the time the game ends.

Thankfully, wiping the sleep from my eyes and forcing myself to stay up was well worth it. 

In the first inning, Clayton Kersahw got knocked around a bit, but masterfully held on.  He allowed base hits to Aaron Hill and Goldschmidt.  Then, got the last two outs of the inning with meekly hit ground balls.  Watch a replay here.

In the second inning, we almost saw out first Dodger home run.  Unfortunately, a swirling wind came from the heavens and swatted it down.

Video Link:

No worries, though.  Scott Van Slyke's deep fly ended up being a double that put men on 2nd and 3rd base.  Andre Etheir then came up to score Adrian Gonzalez for our first run of the 2014 season with a run scoring ground out (see a replay here).  BTW, the video above also shows Van Slyke's subsequent home run in his next at-bat in the 4th inning.  Needless to say, our backup outfielder stole this mornings show.

Overall, Scott Van Slyke went 2 for 3, with a 2-run home run and a goofy flyball double that was badly misplayed by former Angel Mark Trumbo.  He provided an offensive spark plug that the Dodgers needed badly.  The meat of our lineup (Puig, Ramirez, Gonzalez, Uribe and Ethier) went a collective 1 for 20.  Ouch!

BTW, if you want to check out Van Slykes home run again, then watch it below.

Video Link:

Dodger pitching has again shown to be one of our greatest strengths.  After a rough first inning, Clayton Kershaw settled down to go 6.2 phenomenal innings.  He gave up 5 hits, 1 walk and had 7 strike outs in his 101 pitch performance.  The Dodger relievers were even better.  Chris Perez, Brian Wilson and Kenley Jansen didn't give up a hit in their combined 2.1 innings.  Something tells me those 3 will be stingy this season.

So, the Dodgers start the 2014 Baseball season with a victory, and look to leave the 'Land Down Under' with a second win later this evening.

Hyun-Jin Ryu will face Trevor Cahill.  I suspect the Dodgers will have a similar lineup as this morning; with the exception of possibly replacing right-handed batter Justin Turner for lefty Dee Gordon at 2nd base.

Thankfully, this game starts at a reasonable hour.  It begins at 7:00 PM tonight.  I hope to see you there.

The above pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014
(graphic via Dodgers on Tumblr)

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