Friday, April 4, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Giants 8, Dodgers 4
By Mark Saxon
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers had a strange pregame warm-up for their home opener and a chaotic start to the game, and the two might not be unrelated. Matt Kemp was upset about not being in the starting lineup, and then, suddenly, he had nothing to complain about. Yasiel Puig got benched for showing up late for batting practice, which opened up an outfield spot.
One problem solved, for now, but another one lingers.
The first couple of innings seemed to reflect the earlier turmoil, with Kemp misplaying a ball, Hanley Ramirez making an error and Hyun-Jin Ryu pitching his worst game as a Dodger.
How it happened: The Dodgers fell behind 8-0 in the second inning but showed some fight. Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier had back-to-back home runs off Ryan Vogelsong, but the early deficit proved too much in an 8-4 loss to the San Francisco Giants.
Hits: Dodgers relievers were dominant in mop-up duty, pitching seven no-hit innings and striking out 10 batters. Jose Dominguez used his 98 mph fastball to buzz through his two perfect innings of work, striking out three batters. Dominguez is right on the fringe of the Dodgers' bullpen plans, but if he pitches well, he can move closer to the center.
Misses: Fair to say, this was not Ryu's finest day. The Dodgers made a couple of errors, but most of Ryu's problems were his own doing. He gave up eight runs and eight hits over two innings, a huge departure from his previous two starts, in which his curveball was working. Ryu began the season by pitching 12 scoreless innings. He threw only four curveballs out of 69 pitches.
Stat of the game: 8-for-9. The Dodgers had yet to be caught on a stolen-base attempt this season until an instant-replay review found that Ramirez was out at second base in the seventh inning. You can, perhaps, question Dee Gordon's judgment for trying to steal second down 8-0 in the third inning, but at least he made it. He also had one in the sixth and took third on the catcher's throwing error.
Up next: The Dodgers face San Francisco's best pitcher, Madison Bumgarner while sending out lefty Paul Maholm, who is the injury replacement for Clayton Kershaw. The game begins at 1:10 p.m.