Dodgers Opening Week in Review: Boys in Blue Start Season Strong, Bauer Debuts, Stadium Guidelines and more

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Photo Courtesy of Brinda Dasity via Wallpaperuse.com

The Dodgers lost their first Opening Day game since 2018. Despite the loss though, the team came back and won three in a row. They are tied for first place in the NL West with San Diego after the season’s opening weekend.

After waiting months for the day to arrive, Dodgers Opening Day and Opening Weekend has now come and gone. The Dodgers started off their season, playing a four-game set against the Colorado Rockies. The title defense season started strong for the Dodgers as they took three of four games from Colorado. The boys in blue sit tied for first in the NL West standings after the Opening Weekend.

Opening Day Leads to Disappointing Loss

On Opening Day, the Dodgers would put Clayton Kershaw on the mound to make his ninth career Opening Day start. Kershaw, 33, coming into the game, had an earned run average of 1.06 in all his other Opening Day starts, the best of all time. Unfortunately, this Opening Day start finally made Kershaw look human. He gave up six runs, five of those earned, allowing 10 hits on the afternoon. 

On top of that, the Dodger offense was not able to put things together offensively. The offense went 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position despite 15 hits, more than the Rockies 11. Most notably, Cody Bellinger had a home run taken away after running past Justin Turner on the basepaths after hitting what would have been a two-run home run. The epitome of a frustrating 8-5 loss for the boys in blue. 

Bauer Debuts, Offense Wakes Up in Game 2

The Dodgers’ Trevor Bauer struck out 10 Rockies in his debut, only giving up three hits on Friday night. His next start is set to be in the Dodgers home-opening series against the Washington Nationals. (Enrique Medina/EPM)

Despite the offensive woes in Game 1, Game 2 would be another story. The Dodger offense would be in attack mode from the get-go as they would put up eight runs in the first five innings. Game 2 Friday night would also see a very special moment in the already young season: the debut of offseason acquisition, starting pitcher, Trevor Bauer. Bauer, 30, the new highest-paid player in baseball for the 2021 season would make an immediate impact. Bauer tossed six no-hit innings to star off the night, propelling the team to a great position to win. 

The seventh inning would bring a bit of a scare though, as despite scoring two more and going up 10-0, Colorado would not go down without a fight. Immediately starting the inning the Rockies Trevor Story would breakup Bauer’s no-hitter, the start of a six-run inning. 

Even with the seventh inning explosion, the Dodger bullpen would limit Colorado the rest of the game, winning 11-6. Bauer finished with 10 strikeouts and four earned runs, earning the win in his debut. 

Buehler, Urias, McKinstry Shine in Games 3 & 4 of the Year

Saturday would be the most tight-knit game of the weekend as Walker Buehler made a strong first start of the year. Buehler gave up two runs in six innings keeping the Dodgers within striking distance. It was not until the sixth inning when the Dodger offense would score, but they did so three times to take the lead. This via a Max Muncy RBI single and Austin Barnes two-run single.        

The offense would score another in the seventh and two in the eighth, in large part due to the play of rookie Zach McKinstry. McKinstry would hit the team’s first home run of the year in the eight, but also the first off his career. He did so in the wildest of fashions, scoring on an inside the park home run that ricocheted off the left fielder’s glove. 

The bullpen again came in to shut the door, with closer Kenley Jansen earning his first save of the year. 

Game 4, would see another dominant pitching performance from the Dodgers starter. This time from Julio Urias who threw seven shutout innings. The Dodgers would muster three runs in the first inning and another in the eighth. That would be enough for an eventual 4-2 win. 

In the win, catcher Will Smith officially hit the Dodgers’ first true home run of the year that went over the fence and counted. 

Dodger Stadium Guidelines, Opening Day Anticipation

Dodger Stadium will have new guidelines for the 2021 season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The stadium is set to allow around 33% capacity since Los Angeles moved into the orange tier. (Photo Courtesy of abrowncoat via Wikimedia Commons)

The Dodgers will next face the Oakland Athletics for a three-game series in Oakland. This, before going back home for the team’s first home series of the year. They will play vs the Washington Nationals on April 9th at home with new stadium guidelines. 

Those guidelines include a long list. The stadium is forcing those 2 and older to wear a face-covering at all times, except when actively eating. Tickets must be purchased digitally, scanned on mobile devices, and parking must be purchased ahead of time. Stadium gates will open one hour before the game and all purchases will be made cash-less. Social distancing will also be enforced, and people will be able to attend in pods of two to six people. Elevators and bathrooms will also have limited capacity and the stadium will be allowing 33% capacity. (For a full list of stadium guidelines, click here).

This will be in preparation for the team’s return to fans at Dodger Stadium for the first time since the 2019 NLDS, also against the Nationals. The team will have their 2020 championship ring ceremony and unveil the 2020 World Series banner. A moment the franchise has waited 32 years in the making for. 

 

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