Padres @ Dodgers April 6, 2015: Opening Day

The last time we saw the Dodgers in a game that mattered, Yasiel Puig was being inexplicably benched for Andre Ethier, and they were getting smacked out of the NLDS by the Cardinals, launching a million breathless “what happened to Clayton Kershaw?!?! columns.”

Padres
Dodgers
1:10 p.m.
Los Angeles, Ca.
CF
Myers
SS
Rollins
C
Norris
RF
Puig
RF
Kemp
1B
Gonzalez
LF
Upton
2B
Kendrick
3B
Middlebrooks
LF
Crawford
2B
Gyorko
3B
Uribe
1B
Alonso
CF
Pederson
SS
Barmes
C
Ellis
P
Shields (R)
P
Kershaw (L)

At the time, I said:

I don’t really want to give this game a thorough review. It doesn’t matter anymore. I absolutely cannot believe how this NLDS played out, every single night. I imagine things will look a little different, the next time we see Dodger baseball.

Uh, yeah. Just a bit. Matt Kemp is gone from that team. So are Hanley Ramirez, Dan Haren, Dee Gordon, Brian Wilson, Jamey Wright, Miguel Rojas, Drew Butera, and Brandon League, at least from a health perspective. Yasmani Grandal is here. Jimmy Rollins is here. Howie Kendrick and Brett Anderson and Brandon McCarthy and Chris Hatcher and Joel Peralta and Juan Nicasio and Joc Pederson are here. Hector Olivera will be, at some point. Enrique Hernandez and Austin Barnes and Joe Wieland too, probably. Maybe Sergio Santos. Depth is better. Defense is better.

Oh, and Ned Colletti is out, pushed aside to a part-time broadcasting gig, and Andrew Friedman, Farhan Zaidi, Gabe Kapler, and their gang of nerds are in. I thought things might be different. Yes. Yes they are.

Not different: Vin Scully. Not different: The fact that you probably can’t hear Vin Scully, absurdly. Not different: Ethier, now and for the rest of your life, probably.

I’m not sure if this team is better, in the sense of “will they win more than last year’s 94 games.” That’s a lot of games. It’s almost absurd to expect any team in baseball to win more than 94 games. I know that I’ve liked nearly every move that the team has made this winter. I know that the future seems a lot brighter and a lot more flexible. I know that I really don’t care what the exact number of games won is as long as they make it to the playoffs and do better than they did last year; I know there’s not a Giants fan in the world who thinks that championship is less special because they won “only” 88 games.

I know that I’m thrilled to see how this soup is going to turn out, though. I know that the first meeting between Kershaw and Kemp might cause the entire world to implode in upon itself. Baseball’s back. Spring is here. Life is good. It’s time for Dodger baseball.

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Mike Petriello

Mike Petriello
Mike writes about lots of baseball in lots of places, and right now that place is MLB.com.