Despite allowing just two runs — the first time a team has ever done that in a four-game series to open the season — the Dodgers head out on the road with just a 2-2 record, thanks to a pair of 1-0 defeats in the first two games.
The Dodgers’ 9-0 win on Sunday followed a 5-0 win, which coupled with the first two San Francisco victories made this the first time in MLB history that an opening series featured four shutouts, per STATS LLC.
“The team was a little bit sleepy, but now we woke up and scored 14 runs,” said Yasiel Puig, who started the season hitless in nine at-bats but went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored and an RBI on Sunday.
He also made several plays on defense, including a sliding catch to squash a rally in the sixth.
“You see a guy like that who has that much talent who can really kind of take a ballgame into his own hands,” said Rich Hill, who tossed six scoreless innings. “He has an incredible arm and has been amazing on defense.”
Pregame adjustment for Hill
Hill had a 6.12 first-inning ERA in 25 starts in 2017, and a 2.67 ERA afterward. So he switched up his routine for warming up, starting it a bit later, throwing fewer pitches — he estimated 10-13 fewer than his norm last year — and sitting in the dugout for a brief time before the game.
“I’m going to try to stay with that routine, going out there a little bit later rather than going out there and throwing a few too many pitches warming up for the game,” Hill said. “I think it helped.”
On Sunday Hill pitched a scoreless first inning (plus five other scoreless frames after), allowing only a single to Joe Panik, who was erased on a double play. Hill threw 13 pitches in the first inning.
The Dodgers head out on their first road trip of the year beginning Monday night in Phoenix. Hyun-jin Ryu starts the opener for the Dodgers, a 6:40 p.m. PT start, with Taijuan Walker pitching for the Diamondbacks.