With the game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres tied at three in the later innings, there was a chance for a Dodger to step in and be the Opening Day hero.
Then, much like he had done the Dodgers as member of the Philadelphia Phillies for many years, Jimmy Rollins grabbed ahold of that opportunity and put a ball several rows into the stands, just inside the right field foul pole, to win over Chavez Ravine on Opening Day.
After hitting the three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning, Jimmy Rollins and fellow newcomer Howie Kendrick deciphered the at-bat in which the 36-year-old veteran went from bring down 0-2 in the count to hitting the game-winner to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register:
I came out early a little bit overaggressive,” Rollins said. “After the second swing, it kind of calmed me down. I told myself to slow everything down. He started bouncing a couple balls and got me back into the count.”
Kendrick, who himself had an outstanding debut, broke down Rollins’ approach at the plate like a seasoned analyst:
He battled,” said Kendrick, who was 2 for 4 with a double, triple, RBI and run scored in his debut as a Dodger. “He got a pitch he could handle and he didn’t miss it. That was a veteran at-bat. He fouled off those sliders and got a pitch in the honey hole – that’s what we call it – and he didn’t miss.”
Rollins and Kendrick, who were brought in as replacements for Hanley Ramirez and Dee Gordon respectively, also added some key double plays to help the Dodgers earn the victory.
2015 Dodgers FanFest – Howie Kendrick