Rapid Reaction: Dodgers 5, Padres 1
April, 2, 2014
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com
SAN DIEGO -- The Los Angeles Dodgers haven't exactly been battering down fences in these first few games, but they've gotten excellent starting pitching and their bats started to warm up on a cool night in San Diego.
Wednesday, they staked Dan Haren to a nice early lead, and their newest starting pitcher nurtured it like the savvy veteran he is, resulting in a 5-1 win over the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.
How it happened: San Diego starter Tyson Ross has a live arm and one of the best sliders in baseball, but the Dodgers jumped on him early and Haren out-pitched him with a fraction of his raw ability. Carl Crawford slashed a leadoff double and Hanley Ramirez doubled into the corner to spark a three-run first-inning rally.
Hits: The Dodgers are five games into the season and they've had five strong starts by their pitchers. Haren made his Dodgers debut and, with a fastball in the 85-88 mph range, gave a pitching clinic. Haren was perfect through three innings and held the Padres to one unearned run and four hits. At some point, the Dodgers will be tested by the loss of Clayton Kershaw, but so far the other starters have made it look easy.
Misses: Up-the-middle defense continues to be a worry. Ramirez missed a Chase Headley ground ball that went into left field for a single. He also dropped the ball after a good relay throw beat Everth Cabrera to the second-base bag as he was trying to stretch a single (inexplicably, down by four runs in the ninth). A.J. Ellis also was called for catcher's interference, leading to San Diego's only run.
Stat of the game: 0.91. The ERA of Dodgers starting pitchers.
Up next: The Dodgers have an open date before making their home debut Friday against the San Francisco Giants.