Opening Day 2015

Padres at Dodgers, 1:10pm PT, Dodger Stadium

Here it is at last, the first day of the new season, with the changes the new management made over the winter soon to be on display.

Will Jimmy Rollins play better defense than Hanley Ramirez? Will Howie Kendrick hit better than Dee Gordon? Will Kershaw win a fourth Cy Young Award? Can he lead the National League in ERA for the fifth consecutive year? Will Hyun-Jin Ryu recover from his shoulder woes and win more than fourteen games? Can Kenley Jansen come back from his foot woes and regain his form as an elite closer? Will the Dodgers miss Matt Kemp’s bat more than they’ll be helped by Puig’s play in right field? Can Uribe play up to his standard of the past two years while remaining healthy enough to play 125 games or so? Can Justin Turner keep up his torrid hitting from last year while coming off the bench and playing all over the infield? Will Joc Pederson keep up the hitting he did in spring training? What’s going to happen with André Ethier?

Questions, we have questions. Today we start getting answers.

Lineup:

112 thoughts on “Opening Day 2015

  1. So, the season is underway. But we’re going to continue to rehash offseason trades that are over and done and nothing can be done to change instead of focusing on the promise of a new season? Even if we don’t have anything new or different to say?

    Apparently so.

    • It was ever thus… Did I hear the chorus from “Tomorrow” in the background? Only one person here has the right to tell me not to complain. Old baseball tradition. You could look it up, as Ring Lardner used to say. You have heard of him?

      • Would never try to tell you not to complain. You have every right to–and have availed yourself of it, often. Just as I have every right to observe that the same old same old gets old.

  2. Happy to see the win last night but just as happy to see Matt Kemp have a good game. Players like him don’t come along to often and it’s always a mistake to trade them away. Not knocking Grandal, I’m glad we got him because AJ is not the player he was two years ago… I just think we could have gotten Grandal for Ethier and more money or some prospects not named Pederson, Seager, or Urias.

    • It takes two sides to make a trade. I’m reasonably sure Ethier was offered, because he was on the block all winter. Apparently the Padres thought they could get more from the Dodgers and held out for Kemp.

      • We gave Kemp and $32MM; I would gladly have given Ethier and $54MM instead.

        • They didn’t want Ethier. Nobody wanted Ethier, at least not encumbered with the remaining $50M on his contract. I would assume the Dodgers tried to trade him and offered to pay some of that outstanding money and couldn’t get enough in return to merit the deal in their minds.

          • I thought the object was to keep the best players for your own team? Apparently this is not true.

          • You’re not seriously claiming Ethier is one of the best players on the team, are you? He’s been declining for two years. Kemp has had one good half offensively in the past three years (yes, injuries) and has been a liability in the field for all that time. Sure, he can hit, but can he be consistent anymore?

          • No, not claiming Ethier should be kept but I think he is not consistant because he is not being played regularly. Kemp however should not have been traded. We shall see how this season holds up for Kemp. Everyone loves Anderson, Grandal and others who have never proved anything.

    • Hey John
      You are right on target. Did you see Hanley’s numbers for last night. 2 HR and one was a GS. I don’t think they should have got Grandal however. Don’t think he is what they think he is. Could have traded for another catcher though.

  3. Two things from various recaps and comments after game one.

    1) Kershaw said he basically didn’t have his slider or good FB command. So, he only still delivers a performance 95% of pitchers would be very pleased with, punching out 9 over 6 IP.

    2) A commenter on Uribear’s lack of urgency on that one grounder (resulting in a safe runner) opined that Uribe wanted to take time first to see whose name was on the ball this year.

    Then, after a more normal Uribe play later:

    “Uribear already saw whose signature was on the ball; no need to check again.”

    • Uribe looked lackadaisical on that, but I was surprised – even shocked – at how quickly Norris got down the line.

          • I’m here! Wrote late, exercised, just finished dinner and logged on. Rollins having a bad night. Too bad. But at least we’re still even…

  4. Dee Gordon did not have the most auspicious debut with the Marlins. He was caught stealing in his only attempt, and then there was this, as he tried to bunt his way on…

    https://vine.co/v/eBa6jXOWKKp

    He did get the Marlins only RBI.

    • He should know by now that sliding into first doesn’t get you there any faster (he did avoid the tag, though).

  5. Good comeback.

    I thought of Jon earlier when (really) old friend Buddy Carlyle got the save today (his first ever) for the Mets over the Nats. (You know your bullpen is in really tough shape when Buddy Carlyle is called upon to close for you.)

    • Hey there RBI, what did your investigation show?? Is Kershaw the same pitcher as last year or does he need to improve somewhere?

      • He looked a little rusty, especially in the first inning, but after that only on a few pitches. All three runs occurred from a combination of his pitch and flawed defense. Pulling him was the right move, as he’d thrown enough. I was very impressed with the bullpen. Very. I couldn’t relax at all once the bullpen showed up, but they did their job with excellence despite my nerves and doubts! And the whole team seemed to come together and jell throughout the game, and before my eyes. As for Kemp, he looked very strong and relaxed at the plate, but surprisingly lost in right field. I was sitting right above Puig and Kemp in the Loge section (long story – sold my two reserve tickets for one Loge, plus I got a hundred bucks and a bird’s-eye view of YP and MK to boot!) and he was pretty flat-footed and confused. Same with Wil in center field. Loved the crowd’s response to Matty, though. Just the right combination of respect, both through the immediate ovations and adulation and later with the requisite boos. He seemed really happy about it. What I also noticed was how at ease and focused Joc Peterson was in center field. Wow. He made one play that I couldn’t believe, even as it occurred. And he seemed to adjust really swiftly at the plate. By the third time around, he had a very, very good pitcher figured out. All in all, I felt as happy with this team as I have since the trades. Go Dodgers! Apologies for the windy post, but you asked!

        • WOW! Thanks for the update. You really know your baseball. I could not have asked for a better recap. It made me remember my times at DS so many years ago. Again Thanks.

  6. Hatcher in the bullpen warming up. Feel nervous for him – but a lot less now that the Dodgers lead is 3!

  7. Defensive lapse there by the Padres. A hit by Rollins or Puig could score a run now!

  8. Just a reminder Dodgers: Spring Training is over – no ties in the regular season. Let’s score again.

    • Hanley will hit very well in Boston. I recall when AGon went from SD to Boston, I picked in him in my draft and he was one of my main cogs. Finished first in my one and only baseball draft…

  9. Yes! That’s perfect. Let’s get one more in the 8th and shut the Pads down in the 9th.

  10. Uribe with the weak AB there. Ah well, I like that we scored the one there – and with 2 outs.

  11. Drat – now they are going to walk him intentionally. Should we pinch hit Guerrero for Uribe?

  12. Oh yes – SVS is up! I would love to see him bang one of the wall – or over it!

  13. I should say that I won’t always hog the board like this. Just happen to have today off and am enjoying listening and commenting at the same time.

  14. So – can Dodgers top of the lineup – combined with their deep bench – overcome the Pads deep bullpen?

  15. So definitely Kemp wins this round vs Kershaw. 2 for 3 with 3 runs batted in. Thus far, that’s the whole game.

  16. Have a feeling we will need VSV to come in and pop one in about the 8th inning to tie this game up!

  17. Guessing this might be the last inning for Kershaw. Maybe he will pitch the 7th but he is already at 95 pitches. Not his greatest game today. Disappointing to see him come out “flat” like this.

  18. Would love to see them score one more run (at least) this inning. Let’s go Joc.

  19. Dodgers trying to hit for the reverse cycle this inning! HR, triple, double!

  20. Beautiful day out here. Kershaw settled down after first inning. We need offense now. Sound familiar?

    • Had the best offense in the NL last year (not counting Rox). Suspect that we won’t repeat that, though a number of stat heads project us to do well with a more “balanced” lineup.

    • AGON hits one!

      And now they Padre outfield comes into play on Kendrick’s triple!!!

  21. Hello all, just a quick look in before I get ready to go to work. Good to see so many bloggers back!

    • Happy Opening Day John! Different from last year of course but hopefully just as rewarding. Not yet of course, but we should break through against Shields soon.

        • You have that on me. I have never seen them live. I could have seen in closer places to me like Minnesota or Toronto but I am waiting to see them in LA first. However, no plans to travel to LA yet.

          • I saw them in LA twice in 91 and then Sydney once last year (do I get the record for seeing them furthest apart on the globe 🙂

  22. Anyone else having trouble with Gameday Audio? The Spanish feed is working but not the English.

  23. Sorry, I don’t see Kendrick as a clean-up hitter, him second, Puig third and Gonzo in clean-up sounds better to me. Skewing the line-up to get right-left alternatives is stupid.

    • I’m surprised Crawford isn’t second, especially with the righty going. I don’t mind Kendrick as #4. He did it with the Angels last season and was fine, and it might get Puig extra at bats over the long haul.

  24. The game is at 1:10pm PT. My mistake. I misinterpreted the time zones on the MLB site and added three hours to the 4:10pm start time listed to get Pacific Time, rather than subtracting. If I’d looked at my paper’s sports page I’d have gotten it right, but I wrote it at 11:00pm last night. 😉

    Sorry for the confusion, folks!

  25. I will be at Dodger Stadium, representing for the Linkmeister crowd! Very excited that today is finally here. Go Dodgers!!!!!⚾️⚾️⚾️

    • Do it well, please! I will be at the periodontist’s office for routine check/cleaning. What idiot scheduled that for Opening Day?

    • I am sure that there will be enough clues to do a thorough investigation.

  26. It’s a beautiful day for a ball game….. for a ball game today….. !!! 🙂

  27. Here’s to Link, who runs this great site, to everybody who contributes, and to that long-awaited World Series crown for the Dodgers. This is my 61st season rooting for the Dodgers, starting when I was a small boy in Brooklyn.

  28. Just as I predicted, Andre Ethier is odd man out. Pederson had the job before spring training.

    • Sure, would have taken a really awful performance by Joc is ST to lose the job, but he did very well. Let’s hope he keeps it up.

  29. Also here’s my thoughts on Link’s questions:
    Rollins better defense than Ramirez – yes.
    Kendrick better bat than Gordon – yes.
    Kershaw win CY – yes.
    Kershaw ERA Champ – yes, but just a tick over 2.00
    Ryu win more than 14 – no. (13-7, 3.25 ERA).
    Jansen elite closer – yes.
    Miss Kemp more than having Puig – no.
    Uribe keep playing like last 2 years – no.
    Turner continue torrid hitting – no.
    Pederson keep hitting – yes, but not ROY.
    Ethier – not traded til next off season.

    Chance of getting these guesses all right – 10% or less. But it’s fun to predict/imagine and really the present and future look very bright for the next while for the Dodgers.

  30. I don’t recall feeling this nervous/excited last year on Opening Day. I wonder if it is because of the added element of playing against the Padres and their revamped roster – including dear old friend Matt Kemp. With San Diego likely being the team to give the Dodgers the biggest battle for the division this year, the games take on seemingly more significance. Let the games begin!

  31. Hold on everybody!! These questions that Linkmeister poses will be revealed and then some I think. Finally some peace for me.

    • I think I’m ready for the ride! 3:10 my time can’t come soon enough. Here’s to a wonderfully crazy and hopefully joyful season of Dodger baseball.

    • I was wondering about that. I scheduled the games yesterday on my Dish Hopper and it was quite sure times were 1:10 PM today and 7:10 PM Tuesday and Wednesday. We all better check it. Thank goodness I get the games out of San Diego and San Francisco. But I get blacked out from Los Angeles even though I’m about 300 miles away….