After two games of panic and anxiety, Dodgers fans can finely breathe easy. Los Angeles took home a 5-0 victory on Saturday night for their first victory of a highly anticipated season.
A victory means a lot of things for this team, but this win went much deeper than a number in the standings. A few things stood out in the game.
Kenta Maeda might be better this year than anyone thought
After a bad year in 2017, Maeda bounced back in a huge way on Saturday. The Japanese hurler tossed five innings and had the Giant’s hitters buckling their knees all night. He struck out ten and walked just one batter en route to the win. Maeda had a 4.22 earned run average in 2017, in a year that saw him move in and out of the bullpen. A performance like Saturday’s gives a lot of hope to a starting rotation that has plenty of questions marks behind it.
The Dodgers Can Indeed Score Runs
After getting blanked in back-to-back games, Dodgers fans would have accepted a run any way possible. Heck, four straight walks would have sufficed if it meant a victory. Luckily, Los Angeles did not need that. The Dodgers scored five runs, albeit it on only four hits. Kike Hernandez and Chris Taylor each had an extra base hit as well, the first of the Dodgers’ season. While it is a bit concerning that they’re only managed a handful of hits against the Giants’ bottom three pitchers, it’s good to see a victory come out of it.
The Bullpen is Still Flawless and Giving us All Hope
The bullpen once again remained flawless, tossing four innings without allowing a run. Pedro Baez even made an appearance with minimal booing, and tossed a scoreless frame. Ross Stripling tossed two scoreless innings of his own, filling in his role as a long reliever perfectly. Scott Alexander wrapped up the bullpen dominance in the ninth, although he did walk a pair. Overall not a bad start for a questionable bullpen.
The Dodgers and Giants are back at it again on Sunday. Rich Hill will take the mound for the Dodgers to face off against Chris Stratton. Rich Hill is coming off a fairly up and down spring training in which he allowed ten earned runs in 12.1 innings of work. The good news though, is that the winning Dodgers are back friends. No more jokes about being in last place. No more pining for even the slightest incline of a possible rally. Dodgers baseball is officially back, and the road to October will be a battle to the very end.
Y’all ready for this?
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