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San Francisco Avenge Their Opening Day Loss against the Dodgers
That was a willie-shrinker, wasn't it? After all the hysteria from Clayton Kershaw's home run in the season opener died down, the Dodgers followed up with a 3-0 two-hit shutout to the San Francisco Giants.
For all the talk about the $214.8 million payroll, all it could muster against the Giants was two stinking hits. Actually if you average it out over 162 games, it's about $1.3 million per game. So the Dodgers spent $1.3 million for two hits. The Houston Astros managed just as many after being perfected upon for 26 batters by Yu Darvish, and they're only spending $27 million, or $167,000, per game.
Call me a sissy, but I won't be letting the Dodger ownership group manage my pennies any time soon.
Okay, I'll admit it. Giants starter Madison Bumgarner pitched a wonderful game tonight. The only marks on his card were doubles by Andre Ethier in the second inning and A.J. Ellis in the eighth.
"Madison tonight was exceptional in his control," Dodger manager Don Mattingly said. "It seemed like he was ahead of every guy. He's a guy who's got good stuff: he's deceptive; he's got a good arm; he's got a tough angle for guys to deal with the ball coming at them.
"We've had trouble with him in the past, tonight in the present also. We're going to have to do a better job of making adjustments."
Very true. Bumgarner made 101 pitches through eight innings while striking out six Dodgers. It almost seemed like an atonement for the great performance wasted on Monday by Matt Cain.
As for my countryman, he was all right. It wasn't the four perfect innings he pitched against the Angels on Thursday in his final spring training start, but it could have been a lot worse. He was in trouble all night long plagued by the 10 singles he gave up. Buster Posey, Hunter Pence and Joaquin Arias managed to string together three of them to inflict the first damage upon Ryu.
Things then got real serious in the seventh inning. Justin Sellers' throw on Arias' roller to short pulled Adrian Gonzalez off of first base which earned him his first error.
"That was a tough play," Sellers commented. "That could have gone either way."
After Andres Torres singled to right, pitching coach Rick Honeycutt went to the mound bringing the debut of translator Martin Kim to the mound — it didn't count as two visits to the mound. Brandon Crawford grounded to first advancing Torres and Arias to second and third base which brought Mattingly out to end Ryu's night, no translator needed.
"I thought Ryu pitched well tonight," Mattingly said. "He gave up a lot of hits, but he got himself out of stuff because he knows what he's doing."
The huge mistake by Ryu that even forced boos from the 45,431 at Dodger Stadium came in the sixth inning when he grounded a ball to third. As the ball slowly chopped its way to Pablo Sandoval, Ryu trotted his way down to first base getting thrown out easily. Actually a "trot" is perhaps a real generous way of describing his gait.
"He's slow down first, but he can't be that slow," Mattingly said.
Ryu said that it was more of pitchers not batting in the Korean Baseball Organization than a culture clash. "That was a big mistake. I thought it wasn't a well hit ball so I wanted to conserve my energy for pitching."
And Ryu did hear the boos.
"That's embarrassing. I feel like I should apologize for that."
But as Ryu came out of the game he received a standing ovation from the crowd, no apologies needed.
Ronald Belisario came in and got Bumgarner to ground to Sellers. Sellers tried to force a play at the plate but overthrew it by a "country mile" as Vin Scully would say. Both Arias and Torres scored, and so went the game.
"I was just trying to make something happen that wasn't there," Sellers admitted taking things in stride. "I rushed it a little bit, forced it, but that's going to happen. I tried to make the best [play] I can."
Sellers admitted he felt the game hung in a precarious balance. "When we're struggling at the plate right there, I've got to try and save the run. That's what I did. Unfortunately it got away from me."
Initially given the shortstop job because of his defense, Mattingly asserted that Sellers' performance in this game won't jeopardize his status.
"He told me not to change anything," Sellers said.
Things just seemed weird to start things off, almost as if the Dodgers are sending mixed messages. Chris Paul tossed the first pitch of the game which sends a wrong message to the team in my humble opinion. It's telling the Dodgers that it's okay for them not to win a championship as long as they're entertaining and flashy.
Having said that, with the $200 million payroll, the $100 million upgrades, the Dodgers are letting fallow one of its prized assets: organist Nancy Bea Hefley. Tonight she did play a bit before the game, "Food Glorious Food" as they were showing the concession sponsors on the scoreboard and "Take Me Out To the Ballgame" during the seventh inning stretch.
Sure it's not as hip as the new in-stadium announcers hollering at the crowd as they do play-by-play of the Kiss Cam and the staged marriage proposals. But if you talk to most Dodger fans who come into the stadium, they will say that Nancy Bea is one of the best parts about coming to the game even during the Frank McCourt years.