Last night, the Los Angeles Dodgers began their season at a weird time in a weird place — 1:00 A.M. PST at the Syndey Cricket Ground in Australia. Ceremony aside, however, it was a great game for Dodger fans. Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly of last night’s Opening Game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
My score prediction from the game preview. I went with 4-1 Dodgers, and the final was 3-1 Dodgers. Semi-correct swag.
Scott Van Slyke played amazingly as a fill-in for left fielder Carl Crawford, coming up with two monster hits. The first was a double that was nearly a homer before being caught by the lip of the Cricket Ground back wall. He decided he needed to rectify that mistake, letting an opposite field crusher sail over the wall later in the game. He was by far the most productive hitter. Good on ya, Scotty.
Clayton Kershaw predictably dominated, allowing only one run all game and going to 3-0 for opening day starts.
I guess it is time for us to worry about Yasiel Puig, at least for a little while. After writing an article on how he got his swagger back in Australia, he decided to make a mockery of my writing career by going 0-for-5 at the plate in his debut in the leadoff role. Puig is a phenomenal hitter, and I don’t doubt he’ll be back to form soon, but I think we’re reaching a point where we can refer to this as a slump… if we haven’t already.
Kershaw showed he is not a natural base runner when he smacked a pitch to center field and had a clear single, only to hesitate around first and get tagged out at second base. Nobody’s perfect.
SportsNet LA, what are we going to do with you?
Most fans in Los Angeles didn’t even get to see last night’s game because the Dodgers signed an $8 billion deal with Time-Warner cable. That left anyone who relies on another carrier, such as DirectTV, looking like an idiot when they sat up until 1 A.M. waiting for the opening pitch. All you got in that situation, sports fans, was the dreaded “this game is not available” notice. It was frustrating.
Typically with these deals, there is a lot of posturing between carriers before they reach a compromise price and we can watch them on whatever cable subscriber we’ve so chosen. The same thing happened when the Lakers got their own Time Warner channel recently, and fans can expect baseball to come to their non-Time Warner tubes within a few weeks. Luckily, it seems we’ll only have three to five games go by before that happens. After all, if it wasn’t for that $8 billion, Los Angeles wouldn’t have the absurdly stacked roster it does, so take the good with the bad.
In the next game I’m looking forward to seeing if Puig can turn it around, and if Hyun-jin Ryu will record a W in his first start of the season and end the sophomore slump fears.