Well, the Dodgers offense needs to take advantage of other teams’ pitchers poor outings. That’s about what it comes down to right now.
Josh Beckett did not look spectacular in his first start of the season, giving up 5 runs (3 earned) in 6 innings and giving up two home runs. A poor defensive play contributed to 4 runs coming across in the Top of the 3rd. Pablo Sandoval was clearly seeing the ball in his at-bat, and when Beckett offered up a letter-high fastball, Pablo skipped it like a stone off the top of the right field wall and into the Pavilion as Andre Ethier watched.
Still, as uninspiring as Beckett looked at times, Tim Lincecum was downright dreadful, allowing 7 walks in 5 innings of work. However, as shaky as Lincecum looked, the Dodgers could not really capitalize, managing only 2 runs off of him.
The Dodgers wound up with a prime run scoring opportunity in the 6th inning, loading the bases for Matt Kemp with nobody out and the Dodgers down 3. The Giants brought in George Kontos, who had given up the Opening Day home run to Clayton Kershaw. However, with the crowd in a frenzy and the count his way 2-0, Kemp hit a chopper right to Pablo Sandoval at third, who stepped on the bag and fired to first for a double play. Mark Ellis scored on the play, but the air had been let out of the proverbial balloon. The Giants brought in Javier Lopez who proceeded to strike out Adrian Gonzalez on a 3-2 pitch to end the threat and strand a runner on second.
J.P. Howell made his debut in the 7th inning and looked sharp in 2 innings of work, giving up no runs, striking out one, and throwing a devastating curve ball that looks like it can just drop off the table at will.
Matt Kemp came up again in the Bottom of the 8th with one on and two out, but was caught looking at strike three on a slider that was obviously in the zone.
Brandon League pitched an effective 9th inning, but unfortunately Sergio Romo set down the side in order in the Bottom of the 9th to pick up the save.
The Dodgers have an off day tomorrow and continue play with a 3 game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.
Beast Mode? Try Sleep Mode.
Matt Kemp has looked lost at the plate so far, hitless in his first 10 official at-bats and appearing absolutely overmatched at times. Watching him, he just doesn’t look fully comfortable with his swing and appears tentative getting around on the ball. Fortunately the Dodgers have an off-day before they take on the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night, and Kemp will have the ability to work with hitting coach Mark McGwire.
Carl Crawford Leads Off, And Then…
The one consistent piece in the Dodgers’ lineup the first three games has been Carl Crawford. Crawford was 2-for-4 in Game 1, hitless in one at-bat in Game 2, and came up with 3 hits and a walk in Game 3.
Lincecum’s Shaky Outing
KCAL 9 didn’t show the radar gun throughout the game, but Tim Lincecum just does not look right. Last year, Lincecum did not look like the same pitcher that won back-to-back Cy Young Awards in 2008 and 2009. The velocity on his fastball is down and at times he looked like he’d lost the ability to locate any of his pitches. Lincecum picks up the win at Dodger Stadium tonight, but it has to feel more like a relief to have gotten away with a victory than an outing that inspired confidence. Tim Lincecum will need to gain better command on his pitches if he hopes to regain some semblance of the form that made him one of the most feared pitchers in the game as recently as 2 seasons ago and made his matchups with Clayton Kershaw in 2011 that much more remarkable.
The Dodgers will host the Pittsburgh Pirates for 3 games at Dodger Stadium with games on Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Russell Martin returns to Los Angeles to take on his old club. The projected pitching match-ups have Zack Greinke taking on Jonathan Sanchez on Friday night at 7:10 P.M. local time, Clayton Kershaw scheduled to pitch for the Dodgers on Saturday night, with the Pirates yet to determine who will start for them at 6:10 P.M. local time (please note that this is a 6:10 start instead of a 7:10 start, if you have tickets, get to the ballpark an hour earlier and don’t miss the first 3 innings or so,) and Hyun-Jin Ryu Starting on Sunday opposite of Jeff Locke at 1:10 P.M. local time.