Clayton Kershaw is usually untouchable on Opening Day, but narratives got in the way this year, as Matt Kemp drove home all three Padres runs on the day as Yasmani Grandal sat on the bench. Kershaw struck out nine and only gave up six hits in six innings, but he surrendered two walks and the timeliness of the hits led to three runs.
At that point, the Dodgers were doomed because the Kemp/Grandal trade was a loss, Joc Pederson was a bust, and Kershaw would never recover from this mess. Cries of “Destroy sabermetrics!” echoed throughout Dodger Stadium (probably), but the game wasn’t over.
Thankfully, Adrian Gonzalez was still a thing that existed…
…and he put together a three-hit day.
Also, the Padres outfield defense was a thing.
So was Joc Pederson’s defense…
…who also collected a double and a walk on the day.
But the hero for the day? Jimmy Rollins, who finally burned somebody else besides the Dodgers.
Rollins also added a single and a walk, along with perfect defense on the day.
The question of who the closer would be was also answered, with Chris Hatcher apparently filling out the closer role despite struggling in Spring Training. Hatcher closed out the Padres with a three-run lead by inducing a double play after hitting a batter, and then ending the game with a strikeout.
–Yimi Garcia pitched the seventh and continued to look great, striking out two and still generating swings and misses with that four-seamer.
–Joel Peralta was another question mark after getting a late start to Spring Training because of arm issues and then struggling, but he pitched a scoreless eighth.
–Howie Kendrick had two hits, including the flyball triple you see above and a double that tied the game at three and set the stage for Rollins.
–Juan Uribe had a bad day. Besides going 0-for-4, he treated a Derek Norris ground nonchalantly and Norris beat out an infield single. That wouldn’t have been so bad if Kemp didn’t then double down the line to score two.