By now most Dodger fans know that Saturday’s spring training opener was a complete disaster, with the Dodgers being shutout by the White Sox 9-0 on only three hits.
It would be nice to blame the power outage on a bunch of no-name players wearing 80s and 90s jersey numbers, but the truth of the matter is that there were only two of the projected Opening Day starting nine missing from Saturday’s line-up – Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford. Now granted, these are two key guys to be missing, but only three hits? This isn’t exactly what Stan Kasten and Mark Walter spent three quarters of a billion dollars on.
On the brighter side, with those three hits, the Dodgers fell only a home run shy of hitting for the cycle, as Juan Uribe singled (no… really), Yasiel Puig doubled and Andre Ethier tripled. Unfortunately that was all that Dodger fans had to cheer about, as even Clayton Kershaw had a rough outing giving up 2 runs on 4 hits in his two innings of work, although he did strike out three.
Kershaw was relieved by Ronald Belisario, who fared no better giving up 2 runs on three hits with a walk. Following Belisario was Stephen Fife, who continued the disaster with one run on one hit (a home run) in his two innings of work.
Mark Lowe pitched one scoreless inning but Kelvin De La Cruz was… well, awful giving up 2 runs, 2 hit, 2 walks, and 2 strikeouts in 2/3 inning.
On the other hand, top pitching prospect Matt Magill was outstanding allowing no runs on one hit while striking out 3 in his one inning of work. Non-roster invitee Greg Infante polished off the nightmare by allowing 2 runs on 2 hits (including yet another home run).
It wouldn’t be fair not to mention that in spite of collecting only three hits, the Dodgers hit the ball extremely hard, with three laser-shot line drives snagged by the White Sox infield. Each of these balls were only inches from being clean hits, but such is the game of baseball. It is also worth noting that top Dodger prospect Yasiel Puig looked very strong, as he prevented hitting into a double play by showing off his excellent speed to beat out the throw to first. However it is clear that Puig needs work on his base running skills as he slipped twice while running the bases after his double. But if this is the only flaw in the 22-year-old Cuban defector’s game, he will be a great one indeed.
The Dodgers play the White Sox again on Sunday, with the Sox being the host team. Former Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke will get the start for the Dodgers and is expected to be replaced by Hyun-jin Ryu, who is slated to pitch only one inning.