The Dodgers opened their season with the rival Giants, and got things off to a good start, winning three out of four games. The season starting mid-week has thrown things off a bit, and we open with a "week" that is really just a four-game weekend set. But whatever it was, it was good for the Dodgers.
Dodger Batter of the Week:
Dodger Pitcher of the Week: Just as Kemp was the easy choice for batter of the week, Clayton Kershaw is the clear pick for pitcher of the week. Kershaw was magnificent on opening night, throwing seven scoreless innings, allowing just five baserunners while striking out nine.
Week 1 Record: 3-1
13 runs scored (3.25 per game)
19 runs allowed (4.75 per game)
.333 pythagorean winning percentage
Quality Is Job One: The five starting pitchers the Dodgers started spring training with (including Jon Garland, who is currently on the disabled list) combined for 103 quality starts in 2010, which would have tied Oakland for the major league lead. So far this season, the Dodgers have had three quality starts and won all three games. Then again, the Giants also had three quality starts in four games, and they lost two of them.
Southpaw Starters Two Decades Apart: Kershaw made his first career opening day start on Thursday night, and was the first left-hander to open the season for the Dodgers since Fernando Valenzuela in 1988. That season ended pretty well for the Dodgers. Valenzuela actually opened this season too, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch to a loud ovation before Thursday's game.
Worth The Wait?: The Dodgers did not hit a home run until the fourth game of the season, with Matt Kemp breaking the ice with a first-inning home run Sunday night off Barry Zito. Kemp's home run came in the Dodgers' 109th plate appearance of the season, the longest the team has had to wait for its first home run since 1996, when Billy Ashley hit home run number one in the 109th PA of the season. The last time the Dodgers waited until their fourth game to hit their first home run was 2002.
Taking One For The Team: Lance Cormier had a 6.00 ERA for the week, but I considered making him an honorable mention for pitcher of the week. Why? Well, because the Dodgers were down 8-0 on Saturday after six innings, and relievers Mike MacDougal and Kenley Jansen were already used. The Dodgers needed somebody to eat up innings at the end of the game to preserve the bullpen, and Cormier obliged. He threw 42 pitches and allowed two runs, but he got through those three innings without the Dodgers having to burn another reliever. "You hope you don't need it," Mattingly said of the mopup work, "but when you get it, it saves your bullpen." In fact, the Dodgers went into Sunday night with a full compliment of relievers available (outside of Jansen and Cormier).
Sin On Saturday, Repent On Sunday: In 2010, the Dodgers lost four games on a Saturday by a margin of eight or more runs. In each instance, the Dodgers came back to win on Sunday. The same thing happened at Chavez Ravine on Saturday, as the Dodgers were battered by the Giants 10-0, and the Dodgers came back to win 7-5, and take the series.
Transactions: None this week, the first week of the season, but the Dodgers did open the year with five players on the disabled list: Casey Blake, Vicente Padilla, Garland, Jay Gibbons, and Dioner Navarro.
- Thursday: Dodgers 2, Giants 1
- Friday: Dodgers 4, Giants 3
- Saturday: Giants 10, Dodgers 0
- Sunday: Dodgers 7, Giants 5
Upcoming Week: After four games at Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers head out for an eight-game road trip through most of the NL West. This week brings trips to Colorado and San Diego, but also brings two off days, the only non All-Star week this season with more than one off day.
Week 1 Stats