Opening Day, 2020

It’s the first game of this bizarre 60-game season, in which each win and each loss has much more weight than in most seasons. Lose ten straight in a 162-game season and you’ve got a chance to make it up; do so in a 60-game season and you’re probably dead. If last year had been a 60-game season, the World Series Champion Nationals would not have made the playoffs. They were 27-33 in their first 60 games.

Giants at Dodgers, 7:00 PM PDT. TV: ESPN

The Dodgers send LHP Clayton Kershaw to the mound for his ninth Opening Day start in ten years. The 32-year-old was 16-5 last season with the highest ERA of his career, a whopping 3.03. He’ll face the Giants’ RHP Johnny Cueto, who was 1-2 with a 5.06 ERA last year in four September starts after undergoing Tommy John surgery in August of 2018.

Here’s the Dodgers’ official 30-man roster to start the season:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1939 Using yellow dyed balls, the Cardinals beat the Dodgers 5-2 at Sportsman’s Park. The experimenting with the use of the colored sphere, which is designed to make the ball easier to see for the players and the fans, started in Brooklyn last week and will be tested once more, in a September game played at Wrigley Field.
  • 1962 Jackie Robinson becomes the first black player inducted into the Hall of Fame. Joining the Dodger infielder in the Cooperstown ceremony are fireballer Bob Feller, veteran manager Bill McKechnie, and outfielder Edd Roush.

  • 1965 Dick Stuart homers in the first inning in the Phillies’ 5-1 win over New York at Shea Stadium. ‘Dr. Strangeglove’, who played in Boston for the previous two seasons, becomes the first player to have gone deep in each of the 19 major league ballparks now in use. (Ed. note – Nineteen ballparks because both Los Angeles teams, the Angels and Dodgers, share the ballpark in Chavez Ravine. – LP)
  • 1974 At Three Rivers Stadium, Dodger first baseman Steve Garvey, a write-in All-Star starter, singles and doubles to help the National League beat the Junior circuit, 7-2. Mike Schmidt, also a write-in, plays in his first Midsummer Classic thanks to radio intern Howard Eskin’s on-air campaign which urged Phillies fans to stuff the ballot box for their young third baseman.

Also, Nomah! In 2002 Nomar Garciaparra establishes the record for consecutive home runs in the shortest time in terms of innings. In a 22-4 rout of the Devil Rays at Fenway Park, the Red Sox shortstop homers three times in two frames – two two-run homers in the second and a grand slam in the third.

Lineup when available.

Kershaw is a late scratch due to back pain and has been replaced as the Dodgers’ starting pitcher by Dustin May, the first rookie to start an Opening Day game for the team since Fernando Valenzuela in 1981.

161 thoughts on “Opening Day, 2020

  1. Kiké had quite a night. Five RBI on Opening Day puts him up in the top 5 or 6 best Dodger performances of all time. Mondesi had six, Guerrero had five, Pederson had five, and now Kiké is in that group along with Van Lingle Mungo, who did it back in 1935.

  2. Kolarek and Graterol sound like medicines for which they warn about all kinds of possibly dangerous consequences.

  3. Is the SF pitching staff that much better than AZ and LAA that the Dodgers hitters have met their match?

  4. Thoughts on this season and post season actually being completed as scheduled? It feels not much better than a coin flip to me to be honest. (But I’m hopeful it will.)

  5. I was thinking about the Dodger v Dodger exhibition games earlier today. They were enjoyable enough to watch in their own fashion.

    Then I was imagining watching different sports without a natural opponent. For example, I don’t think I would watch golf if it was just a single golfer or an auto race with just one car.

  6. Unbelievable. I have a project I need to finish, and I just turned on the game for the first time, with Bellinger batting in the bottom of the 5th. For the next eight minutes or so, I heard nothing about the game — nothing — just an announcer or two babbling with am overly talkative member of the A’s. This is simply atrocious and inexcusable. Perhaps WBBsAs is lucky that he cannot watch tonight.

  7. I wonder if ESPN would ever do something crazy and outside of the norm like, oh I don’t know – announce the actual game?

    • They are showing video for most of it though. I missed Joc’s hit because they were either showing Hernandez’ mustache or Betts sitting in the dugout instead of the hitter.

  8. Now that I am back on west coast time I get to see the game start at 7 instead of 10. It is still full daylight here in Washington and I see it is dark in LA.

    May, the Force, be with us.

  9. Is Mary Hart one of the cut-outs behind home plate? The one wearing sunglasses maybe?

    • Well if the 3 summer camp games are anything to go by – Dodgers dont start scoring themselves until the other team has done so.
      And then the Dodgers score a bunch.

  10. Kinda like the upside of the Dodger rotation in the future: Buehler, May, Urias, Gray etc.

    • Good question. Did they move it back to 15 or is it still 10 for this year?

    • Rules per the LAT:

      If a player tests positive, he will be placed on the COVID-19 injured list. The list doesn’t have a minimum or maximum length. Players would still be paid their full prorated salaries and earn service time. A player can go on the list without a positive test if he’s showing symptoms or had confirmed exposure to the virus.

  11. And… we miss the first batter (and an error by Corey) because of ESPN and their need for commercials.

  12. Opening Day!

    Can’t believe the last 24 or 36 hours:

    1. I like the Betts signing as long as it doesn’t prevent financial muscle too much down the road.

    2. Not a fan of the extended playoffs. Totally money grab right there. Especially this year as the 60 games become almost meaningless except for playoff seeding. The postseason is basically a 1/3 as long as the regular season. Yuck.

    3. Sad about no Kershaw tonight. Seems very likely that he will not have another OD start in his career. I get it is merely a ceremonial thing to place any importance on which pitcher starts the first game – but I like some ceremony and tradition within baseball.

  13. ESPN can’t even be bothered to post highlights videos of a game in progress.

  14. As MLB continues shooting itself in the foot, both today’s games are ESPN blackouts.

  15. Soto out with Covid19. Tested Monday, played Tuesday and just informed today. Not sure this is going to work. Team already seems to be ignoring the agreed protocols as regards contact tracing.

  16. Hoping the magic of baseball takes me away from all of this! But guessing that things won’t go well, leaving me more depressed.

    • Josh Wilker at Cardboard Gods does his take. Great writer, though normally a bit of a downer.