The San Francisco Giants were doubted to start. With all their injuries, and having Ty Blach on the mound against Clayton Kershaw sure didn’t give many people much hope for a result today.
Well, guess again folks! The San Francisco Giants beat the Dodgers 1-0 on opening day behind a stellar pitching performance from all involved.
Ty Blach started off the Giants great pitching outing with his five solid innings. He only allowed four hits through five innings, and got the Dodgers to do what he wanted with their contact for the most part of the game.
He was given the chance for a win thanks to Joe Panik‘s weird solo home-run off of Clayton Kershaw. The Giants did get to Kershaw in a big way, getting a baserunner in every innings except the third. The third and the sixth were the only innings they didn’t get two base-runners on against Kershaw.
The bullpen was lights out as well, in a pleasing turn of events. They ended up striking out seven in their four innings of work. Josh Osich got it started in the sixth inning with a good inning, Corey Gearrin cleaned up his mess in the seventh, and then Tony Watson was mightily impressive in the eighth.
That set stage for Hunter Strickland to try and get the save as their interim closer. It looked nervy to start as Matt Kemp got off to a quick start with a base hit. But then Strickland calmed it down and struck out Yasmani Grandal, and eventually got Joc Pederson to ground out to end the game.
- Evan Longoria will be fine at the plate. Don’t overreact to what was an overall disappointing performance at the plate for the newcomer. It’s early, and three of his at-bats came against Clayton Kershaw. He’ll be fine. But that glove was nice and smooth wasn’t it? Longoria’s presence in all phases will be felt soon enough.
- The Giants lineup looks deep. This lineup isn’t deep enough as per say, the Yankees, Indians, or Nationals. But this lineup has a lot of guys, one through eight that force you to revere what they do at the plate. The ability to force respect comes with actual ability, and the Giants were great at the plate against Kershaw. They chased him from the game by getting on base pretty often. Against a lesser pitcher, those base-runners likely turn into runs, so don’t be concerned yet with the RISP numbers.
- What happened to the Giants bullpen? Something clearly clicked for guys like Osich and Gearrin last year and during the offseason. Watson might turn out to be the most important acquisition for the Giants in this year and he was very impressive. And Hunter Strickland looked really good after giving up the leadoff single to Matt Kemp. Whatever clicked for the pen going into this year, let’s hope it stays.
The San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers will face off again tomorrow, as Johnny Cueto takes the mound against Alex Wood. First pitch is at 7:15 pacific time. Tune in tomorrow to see if they can get two wins to start off 2017.