Opening Day 2017 at Chavez Ravine was oddly reminiscent of last season’s dreadful start.
By Michael Cline
In 2016, the Dodgers absolutely routed the Padres in San Diego. Over the course of three games, the Padres failed to register a single run. This time around, it was the Padres who would strike first, but the Dodgers had the last laugh.
Clayton Kershaw took the mound in front of a sell out crowd at Dodger Stadium. After setting down leadoff hitter Manny Margot on strikes, Wil Myers reached 2B on an error, advanced to third after a Kershaw pitch got away, and scored on Yangervis Solarte’s soft ground ball that barely passed by the infield.
In one inning, the revamped, youthful Padres lineup did what the 2016 squad couldn’t accomplish in 3 games.
1-0 San Diego.
That hope would be dashed. Quickly. By the likes of Joc Pederson.
Pederson helped even the score in the bottom of the second frame, when he elevated a Jhoulys Chacin pitch so far into RF, that even Adrian Gonzalez was able to tag and score the first Dodger run of 2017.
His offensive efforts didn’t end there. Just one inning later, with the bases full, Pederson hit a laser to the RF corner. It was fair, and it was gone.
1-5 Los Angeles.
Yasmani Grandal followed Pederson with a HR to right of his own. Back to back big flies completely changed the ballgame.
Chacin continued to unravel in the 4th, giving up a double down the line in left to Justin Turner that scored opposing pitcher Kershaw. Even after leaving the game, Chacin surrendered two more runs, after Christian Bethancourt, pitching with runners charged to the Padres Opening Day starter, threw not one, but two wild pitches that tacked on a pair of runs for the Dodgers.
If a 9-1 deficit to Los Angeles half way through the afternoon wasn’t bad enough, Corey Seager reminded the Padres that it can always get worse. Seager hit his first HR of the 2017 season, a laser to CF off Bethancourt that scored three more.
1-12 Los Angeles.
An emotion the Padres know all too well when facing Kershaw on Opening Day.
In a bright spot for San Diego, Ryan Schimpf flashed the power that helped elevate him to a major league starter when he took Kerhsaw deep in the 7th inning. It broke a string of 19 straight retired Padres by Kershaw.
In the 8th, Manny Margot notched his first hit, double, and RBI of the season, in what was a two out rally against reliever Chris Hatcher.
The Dodgers would get those two runs back in the bottom of that frame. Grandal, for the second time against his former ballclub, smashed a two-run homer to left, from the opposite side of the dish, capping off a offensive domination of San Diego pitching.
After less than three hours, the Dodgers earned their first W of the season, an absolute slaughter of their NL West foes, in a 14-3 Final.
Not much went right for San Diego on 4/3. They’ll regroup after a dismal performance from Chacin (3.1 IP, 8H, 9ER, 2BB, 2K, 24.30 ERA), and send southpaw Clayton Richard to the mound for game two of this series. Richard and the Padres will face off against Kenta Maeda.
First pitch is 7:10PM from Dodger Stadium tomorrow night.