Scott Kazmir‘s debut as a Dodger was a resounding success, and Yasiel Puig looked good again as the Dodgers on Tuesday defeated the Padres 3-0 at Petco Park.
While the Padre offense is far from intimidating, Kazmir posted a great line: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 75 pitches, 49 strikes, 6/4 GO/AO. He retired the final 17 Padre hitters he faced. For all the concerns about his velocity in spring training, he sat in the 88-91 MPH range with his fastball (with location) and located his off-speed stuff. There really wasn’t much more the Dodgers could have asked him to do in his first start. Oh, and this was the second consecutive night a Dodger starter held the Padres’ offense to one hit (an infield single by Corey Spangenberg).
On offense, Puig had his second triple in as many games. It was one of the 2-run variety that got the Dodgers on the board in the fifth inning. Carl Crawford followed with an RBI single of his own.
Sound the small sample size alarm, but the exit velocity on Puig’s batted balls are as follows: 107 MPH (single on Monday), 100 (triple on Monday), 101 (triple tonight), 107 and 104 (ground outs tonight). To put it another way, he has an average exit velo of 103.8 MPH in the season’s first two games (according to the “Feed” section of the At Bat app). While it’d be foolish to say Puig is fixed based on two games’ worth of batted ball velocity, it’s awfully nice to see him hitting the ball hard.
Speaking of hitting the ball hard, Corey Seager had himself three hits on the evening, including his second double of the season. He’s good, or something.
The Padres’ outfield defense is going to be pretty bad. Melvin Upton in left field should be fine, but Jon Jay in center field and Matt Kemp in right field are poor. Jay misplayed a hard-hit fly ball by Adrian Gonzalez into a double. Earlier, Kemp too what is sure to be a negative route efficiency on a fly ball hit by Justin Turner. Good thing the Dodgers get to play them 17 more times.
Pedro Baez (1 IP, 2 K), Chris Hatcher (1 IP, 2 K) and Kenley Jansen (1 IP, 2 K) closed out the game for the Dodgers. The best laid plans, as Vin would say.
The Dodgers improve to 2-0 with the win. Kenta Maeda makes his MLB debut on Wednesday night against Andrew Cashner. First pitch from San Diego is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. Pacific time.