Ask Don Mattingly what he had hoped to accomplish in the 4 game series against the World Champion San Francisco Giants, and Im sure on his laundry list items of “Things To Achieve”, none would say First Place in the Division. The Dodgers 7-5 victory, however did exactly that. Not only did they take 3 of the 4 games in this series at Dodger Stadium, but their win put the Dodgers in First Place, a win ahead of the San Diego Padres in the standings.
Hiroki Kuroda pitched seven effective yet shaky inning giving up 6 hits and 3 earned on 5 K’s, earning his first victory of the year, while Jonathan Broxton came in and did work to shut down a late inning surge by the Giants in the 9th to pick up his 3rd save of the year. Kuroda’s performance was adequate, but far from dominant. The Dodgers gave Kuroda an early 3-o lead only to see that vanquish during the game as home run’s by Pedro Sandoval, and Pat Burrell, helped the Giants tie the game up 3-3 going into the bottom of the seventh. Kuroda’s pitches were just left out over the plate during many of the Giant-at- bats. Kuroda is most effective when teams are hitting ground ball outs on his pitches. Kuroda’s pitches, tonight, were hanging around the heart of the plate or landing in the power zone of the Giants batters after falling behind on their perspective counts. It was only a matter of time before Pedro Sandoval, who took a 2-2 belt high fast ball over the right field fence in the second and Pat Burrell taking a 2-0 slider over the left field wall in the 7th would get these kind of mistake pitches in their power zone.
The Dodgers offense was yet again powered by a hot bat in Matt Kemp, who went 1-4 with 2 RBI’s. Kemp blasted a 2-run homer run of the left field fence in the first inning to help the Dodgers go up 3-0 . The Dodgers also received offensive contributions from the lead-off spot by Rafael Furcal who went 2 for 4 including a key double in the 7th inning that sparked a four run seventh inning to help put the Giants away and get the victory.
The Dodgers head to Colorado Tuesday for a three game set taking on the Rockies. Clayton Kershaw will look to match his impressive opening day performance on the mound against second year pitcher Jhoulys Chacin who will make his first start of season. Last year Chacin went 9-11 with a 3.28 ERA. Chacin however has had some success against the blue crew. In 12 games against the Dodgers in 2010 Chacin went 6-6 with a 2.87 ERA. He struck out 33 batters over 37 plus innings of work. The Dodgers bats must be patient as they have had some success getting free passes from Chacin. He’s walked 17 Dodger batters during those match-ups.
About the Author
Written by Cal Lee
An Avid follower of all sports. Played Athletics in High School and College. Baseball is my favorite sport, but am very much in tune with Football, Basketball. Currently covering major sporting events, and aspiring to be involved in Sports Entertainment through a Media Capacity. Currently Media Correspondent/Contributor for CBS Interactive GameCore