Now that the first weekend of the regular season is in the books, this season is already starting off with a bang. The Los Angeles Dodgers managed to tie up the series against the San Francisco Giants. Each team getting shut out twice and each team winning the other two games. We all knew that the Dodgers didn’t start the season all that well offensively. However, the pitchers showed up and shut down the Giants. Los Angeles pitchers only allowed two earned runs the whole series and both runs were via Joe Panik homers. Joe Panik managed to take two of the best pitchers in the game, Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen, deep on Thursday and Friday night. What happened the next two games was quite the opposite.
On Saturday night, the Dodgers received their National League Championship rings and boy were they pretty. Although I’m sure they would’ve been prettier had they been World Series Championship rings. That night, Japanese right hander Kenta Maeda started the game and came out of the gate hot! Maeda shut down the Giants hitters over five innings. All while striking out ten batters, walking one and giving up five hits. While Maeda handled the pitching, the offense managed to score their first run of the 2018 season. Kiké and Puig each had a sacrifice fly and Matt Kemp added an RBI single of his own. Some said they should have scored more runs but you only need one to win a game if the other team hasn’t scored. Insurance is great but when you have a solid pitching staff like the Dodgers, you can count on them to get the job done.
Speaking of solid pitching, lets discuss Rich Hill. Hill is now in his thirteenth Major League season and has resurrected his career with the Dodgers. Since being traded from the Oakland A’s to the Dodgers in 2016, Hill has been one of the premier left handers in the game. He put on a great display of curveballs and fastballs on Sunday when he struck out five batters over six innings while allowing five hits. When you watch Hill pitch, it can sometimes put you on edge because you fear he will hang a curveball and a batter will take him deep. Fortunately, that doesn’t happen often with Hill.
Sunday night was all about offense for the Dodgers. Rich Hill pitched but the Dodgers offense really shined and proved to the fans of baseball why they are a force to be reckoned with. It’s no doubt in anyones mind that the Dodgers have the power to crush home runs and start a momentum charge when they need it, that happened on Sunday night. The biggest hit of the night, in my opinion, was Cody Bellinger’s home run. Not only was the home run the first of the season for Bellinger and the Dodgers, it was the first hit of Bellinger’s sophomore season. After smacking the opposite field bomb, you could tell that there was an enormous weight lifted off of Bellinger’s shoulders.
In addition to Bellinger’s two run shot, the Dodgers kept piling it on during that same inning. The scoring started in the bottom of the 4th when Bellinger flew out and Seager scored on a very interesting play. Then came the bottom of the sixth when Puig got the party started by doubling home Chris Taylor. Right after that, catcher Yasmani Grandal singled home Puig. To cap off the bottom of the sixth, Cody Bellinger hit his home run.
When the Giants thought they had stopped the scoring, the bottom of the eighth had arrived. Kiké Hernandez doubled home Yasiel Puig and Yasmani Grandal making the score 7-0. Joc Pederson, who has yet to collect his first hit of the season, grounded out to score Cody Bellinger from third. To cap off the scoring on Sunday night, Riverside native, Austin Barnes singled to bring home Kiké. The final score of Sunday’s game was 9-0.
Monday night the Dodgers turn to Korean left hander, Hyun-Jin Ryu to take the mound against the likely rival for this season, the Diamondbacks. The Dodgers are on their first road trip of the season and lets hope that the offense can continue to steamroll. The Arizona Diamondbacks send hard throwing right hander Taijuan Walker to the mound. We can hope that this rivalry will be just as good as last years when every game was intense and seemed like a must win situation. Game time is at 6:40 and let’s go Dodgers!