Giants @ Dodgers March 31, 2018: OK, this time score a run

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

Tonight will be the third game of the season for the Dodgers. They’ve lost the first two games to the Giants, but at least they are still looking for their first run of the season. The Giants haven’t exactly been a juggernaut, as they’ve scored only one run in each of the two games. Both runs came on Joe Panik home runs, and those two swings have been enough to give the Dodgers their first 0-2 start since the 2010 season. The 2010 Dodgers scored eight runs in their first two games in Pittsburgh. The 2018 Dodgers have seven hits in their first two games.

Not ideal.

The 2018 Dodgers have matched the 1968 Dodgers by going scoreless in their first two games of the season. The 1968 Dodgers scored a run in the second inning of their third game to give them a 1-0 win over the New York Mets. They finished 76-86 and finished seventh in the National League.

The offense has been dreadful and the defense made four errors last night, but Dodger pitching has been great in the two games. The two Panik home runs came against the two best pitchers on the Dodgers, but Alex Wood was magnificent last night and the bullpen outside of Kenley Jansen has thrown three perfect innings.

6:10 PM
Los Angeles
Pence C Barnes
Holland (L)
Maeda (R)

Some notable changes in the lineup for the Dodgers. Corey Seager sits for the first time this season as Enrique Hernandez moves over to shortstop. Logan Forsythe, who made three errors at third yesterday, slides over to second. Kyle Farmer gets his first start of the season and the second start of his Major League career. Austin Barnes starts behind the plate for the first time this season.

Kenta Maeda makes his first start of the season for the Dodgers. Maeda had a rough regular season last year, as he posted a 4.35 ERA in 25 starts. He only pitched six or more innings in six of those 25 starts, which makes Wood’s eight inning effort last night all the more important. Four of his regular season appearances came out of the bullpen and he allowed only two runs in eight relief innings. Maeda switched over to relief for the postseason and was dominant, as he allowed one run in 10 2/3 innings and allowed opponents to triple slash .135/.179/.216. Maeda enters 2018 as the number three starter, but could find himself back in the bullpen if his struggles from last season carry over.

Maeda only faced the Giants once last year. He allowed four hits and four runs in only three innings as the Dodgers lost 8-6 at AT&T Park on September 11. He surrendered home runs to Denard Span and Jarrett Parker, neither of whom are still on the Giants. In 11 plate appearances against Maeda, 2018 NL MVP Panik has two walks and four hits, including a home run.

Derek Holland, who I definitely knew was still in the Majors before writing this thread, takes the ball for the Giants. This is Holland’s first look at the National League after spending nine seasons in the American League. Last year was not good for Holland, as he posted a 7-14 record and a 6.20 ERA/6.45 FIP in 135 innings for the Chicago White Sox. His 4.6 K-BB% was the third worst among pitchers with at least 130 innings thrown. However, the second worst K-BB% was Ty Blach, who blanked the Dodgers for five innings on Opening Day. Holland gave up 31 home runs last year, which was tied for the 10th most in all of baseball.

Holland takes the rotation spot usually occupied by Jeff Samardzija. Samardzija is on the Disabled List for the first time in his career with a strained right pectoral muscle so Holland, who struggled as a non-roster invitee for the Giants this spring, takes the ball in his spot. Holland posted a 4.05 ERA and allowed 21 hits and six home runs in only 20 innings.

Gregor Blanco starts in center for the Giants. Austin Jackson started there and led off each of the first two games against left-handed pitching.


Lets hope this doesn’t remain true after today.

About Alex Campos

I've been writing about the Dodgers since I graduated from Long Beach State, where I covered the Dirtbags in my senior year. I'm either very good or very bad at puns.