Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Colorado Rockies’ fans were interested observers for MLB Opening Night 2014 for a number of reasons. For one thing the game was within the division, as the Los Angeles Dodgers took on the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. For another thing, a couple former members of the Rockies came through for the Padres as they mounted a comeback to steal a 3-1 victory.
After Hyun Jin-Ryu spun a gem over the course of seven shutout innings, bearded reliever Brian Wilson took the mound for the Dodgers. Facing former Rockies favorite Seth Smith, Wilson got too much of the plate with an 87 mph pitch. And we all know what Seth Smith does with balls on the inner half of the plate.
After a clutch two-run single from Chris Denorfia to give the Padres a 3-1 lead, it was left up to the man affectionately known as “heart attack Huston” to close out an Opening Night victory for the Padres. Huston Street, whose grasp on the closer’s role has been called into question by some, worked a pleasantly uneventful 9th inning as far as the Padres were concerned, sitting the Dodgers down in order.
A division match-up and Rockies’ connections abound. It’s baseball season, baby.
Andrew Cashner fought his command at times for the Padres, but he worked both sides of the plate well and consistently sat at 95 MPH. The Dodgers’ hitters had some uncomfortable looking swings against him. Here’s betting that the Rockies have some tough outings against Cashner this season.
Thus far the Dodgers’ bullpen has been a problem for them, costing them this game after nearly coughing up the second game of the Australia series to the Arizona Diamondbacks. There a number of quality arms out there and this group will likely be fine, but it is an early development worth monitoring.
Clayton Kershaw will start the season on the disabled list for the Dodgers. It was initially presented as a minor injury, but the Dodgers said on Sunday night that they are “uncertain” about his return date. Because it is a back injury, Kershaw might end up missing more time than initially expected. It will be interesting to see how this affects the Dodgers out of the gate.