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:

  • package206

    Has game time changed from 1:10pm to 7:10 pm?

    • Bob_Hendley

      The mlb schedule has it at 4:10 Eastern Daylight.

    • john galt

      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….

      • package206

        Good Luck, John. Looking forward to your perspectives.

  • package206

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

    • WinnipegDave

      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.

      • package206

        Yes Dave, back atcha. Let’s hope we are all satisfied with this years results.

      • scooplew

        Great to know that there are Dodger fans all over the globe.

  • WinnipegDave

    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!

  • WinnipegDave

    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.

  • package206

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

    • Bob_Hendley

      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.

  • scooplew

    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.

    • Thank you!

    • WBBsAs

      It’s my 59th, starting when I was a small boy in Tacoma. After the Dodgers moved west, I could hear Vin after dark on KFI.

  • JonnyTAFKAJ

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

  • scooplew

    Has anyone seen today’s lineups?

  • RBI

    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?

    • package206

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

  • 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!

  • john galt

    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.

    • DXMachina

      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.

  • WinnipegDave

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

    • WinnipegDave

      And now it just came on. Yah!

  • Bob_Hendley

    Warm welcome for Matty!

    • Bob_Hendley

      Rude response from Matty.

  • John_from_Aus

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

    • WinnipegDave

      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.

      • John_from_Aus

        nothing beats seeing them live!

        • WinnipegDave

          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.

          • John_from_Aus

            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 🙂

  • RBI

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

    • Bob_Hendley

      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.

    • WinnipegDave

      AGON hits one!

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

  • RBI

    And just like that… AGon!!!!

  • RBI

    Crowd going nuts!

  • WinnipegDave

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

  • WinnipegDave

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

  • WinnipegDave

    Drat! Uribe should have thrown out Norris and now Kemp makes them pay.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Ouch!

  • WinnipegDave

    Worst opening day start for Kerhsaw ever.

  • WinnipegDave

    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.

    • WinnipegDave

      Only the 2nd inning was 3 up, 3 down.

  • WinnipegDave

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

  • WinnipegDave

    End of the day for Kershaw. Alright Turner lets hit like it is still 2014!

  • WinnipegDave

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

  • WinnipegDave

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

  • WinnipegDave

    Great inning by Garcia. Let’s get that one run back this inning…

  • WinnipegDave

    Puig looked over-matched that at bat.

  • WinnipegDave

    Need another long hit to score Gonzo.

  • WinnipegDave

    That will do it! Thank you Mr. Kemp! Let’s keep it rolling…

  • WinnipegDave

    No loss for Kershaw…

  • WinnipegDave

    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.

    • John_from_Aus

      feel free to take over the role that KT used to fill

  • WinnipegDave

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

  • WinnipegDave

    Although I would walk VSV to get to Uribe if I was the Pads.

    • RBI

      Yup.

  • WinnipegDave

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

  • WinnipegDave

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

  • WinnipegDave

    Nice to see Peralta get Kemp to pop out there.

  • WinnipegDave

    Need a ground ball double play right here.

  • WinnipegDave

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

  • package206

    Hanley had a Grand Slam today. One of 2 HRs.

    • WinnipegDave

      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…

  • WinnipegDave

    Bad bunt by AJ. Ethier with a chance to be a hero on Opening Day!

  • WinnipegDave

    Sounds like a nice hand for Ethier at Dodger Stadium.

  • WBBsAs

    Surprised Black doesn’t bring in a zurdo.

    • RBI

      Black really blew it w the bullpen.

      • WBBsAs

        That’s usually Don’s specialty.

  • WinnipegDave

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

  • WinnipegDave

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

  • WinnipegDave

    Come on JRoll! Keep fouling them off until you find one you like.

  • WinnipegDave

    JRoll!!!! HR!!!

  • WinnipegDave

    Oh yeah!!!

  • WinnipegDave

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

  • RBI

    Yeah!!!!!

    • package206

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

      • RBI

        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!

        • package206

          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.

  • WinnipegDave

    Heading out for supper. Hope the Dodgers can hang on and win this one!

  • John_from_Aus

    Just logged in at work, very happy!

  • WinnipegDave

    Yes – nice win Dodgers!

    • John_from_Aus

      were you late for supper 🙂

  • Is it too early to call Peralta “The Vulture,” like the team once did Phil Regan?

  • DXMachina

    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.)

  • Bob_Hendley

    I am guessing that Package’s fantasy team did real well today.

    • package206

      You are correct!! Gotta keep it going.

  • DXMachina

    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.

    • WBBsAs

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

  • package206

    Hey Everybody! How about those Duke Blue Devils??

    • WBBsAs

      Who won? Who cares? It’s baseball season.

    • foul tip

      Great game. Either team deserved to win.

  • foul tip

    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.”

    • WBBsAs

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

      • RBI

        So was Uribe. So were we all. Catchers don’t usually run that fast…

        • package206

          Hey RBI, you checking in tonight or not?????

          • RBI

            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…

  • john galt

    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.

      • john galt

        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.

          • package206

            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?

          • package206

            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.

    • package206

      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.

  • foul tip

    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.

    • john galt

      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?

      • foul tip

        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.