Starting the season at Coors Field after a shortened Spring Training is a scenario born out of nightmares, but that’s how the Dodgers would begin the 2022 season against the Rockies.
Things didn’t go well initially, as they went down 2-0 early, but after a crooked number and excellent pitching down the stretch from the pen, the Dodgers took home a 5-3 win to start the year.
Walker Buehler took the mound on Opening Day for the Dodgers, and as mentioned things didn’t get off to the best starts. In the 2nd, the Rockies struck first behind a double from Ryan McMahon, a single from Connor Joe, an RBI ground out from Randal Grichuk, and an RBI single from Jose Iglesias to make it 2-0.
From there, Buehler did end up settling down, getting nine of the next 10 batters. He almost got through the 5th clean, but a two-out double by Kris Bryant and an error from Trea Turner put runners on the corners, but he shrugged that off to get a strikeout and end the threat.
5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K, 78 Pitches
On the other end, Kyle Freeland was actually doing a nice job against the vaunted Dodgers lineup, keeping them rather comfortably quiet through three. After an out in the 4th, he ran into trouble after a Will Smith single and Chris Taylor double, but he got Cody Bellinger to pop foul and had two strikes on Gavin Lux. But Lux continued to battle, singling up the middle to drive in Smith and cut the lead in half. Mookie Betts promptly followed with a double to score Lux and tie the game.
After a walk to Freddie Freeman, that was it for Freeland.
Fortunately that was not it for the rally as Tyler Kinley gave up a single to Trea to score Betts and then uncorked a wild pitch to bring in another run and make it 5-2 before escaping.
Impressively, the Rockies shut the Dodgers down from there, with Kinley, Ashton Goudeau, and Justin Lawrence providing 5.1 scoreless innings.
With Buehler’s pitch count limited, the Dodgers went to the pen. Brusdar Graterol entered in the 6th, and looked basically like what you’d want to see from him. He was effective against a lefty and secured a punch out, and while he did issue a four-pitch walk, he didn’t have any trouble otherwise.
Blake Treinen took the 7th, cruising through it in 1-2-3 fashion on two groundouts and a strikeout on five pitches. Then Daniel Hudson was given the 8th and looked every bit as dominant, giving up a bloop single but striking out three.
That left things for new closer Craig Kimbrel, who gave up a ringing double off the wall in center from Elias Diaz and a looping double down the line to Charlie Blackmon to cut the lead to 5-3. However, he ended the game with his second strikeout of the outing, this time Bryant to close it, his first career save as a Dodger.
Eric Karros is paying attention to Lux’s ass-ets.
1-0 on the year. On pace for 162.
Dodgers and Rockies do it again tomorrow at 2:10 PM HST/5:10 PM PST/8:10 PM EST, hilariously with Tony Gonsolin (already) against German Marquez.