Two days in, and it’s hard for fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants to refrain from overreacting. The Dodgers won a close game on Monday. The Giants won a close game on Tuesday. Such is the rivalry between these two longtime NL West foes.
Adding to the drama, it’s ironic that the baseball gods would schedule the defending World Series champion to face who many think will be the next World Series champion on opening week. Settle in for a long season, L.A. and ‘Frisco … it will only get more tumultuous from here.
It was Giant lefty Madison Bumgarner who looked closer to Clayton Kershaw from the night before than Dodger starter Hyun-Jin Ryu. Although the heralded rookie from South Korea looked pretty good in his first big league start in America, he was just outmatched. Bumgarner has pitched in a lot of these Dodger-Giant classics, so he’s used to the pressure.
Elements like these will surely factor into how the season between these two teams plays out. There is pressure on both sides: pressure on the Giants to repeat, if not look respectable attempting to repeat, and pressure on the Dodgers to win in such a fashion that it has elevated to almost unattainable proportions.
So far, judging after the first two games, pitching will be at a premium. For a team to reach the postseason, it must have good pitching. So if nothing else, both fans of Los Angeles and San Francisco have to feel good about their chances against the rest of the NL. It’s just against each other that they have to worry about.