The San Francisco Giants lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Opening Day. Clayton Kershaw tossed a complete game shutout, and also hit a home run to provide his own offense. He became only the second pitcher in major league history to do both of those things on his team’s opener.
The Dodgers piled on three runs after Kershaw’s solo homer in the eighth inning to seal their first win of 2013 season, and ultimately, begin a new era in Los Angeles.
Now, the Giants will look for their first win of the season on Tuesday night. The task will be levied on Madison Bumgarner, who threw eight shutout innings against the Dodgers in his only start against them last season.
For his career, he’s 7-5 with a 2.81 ERA against Los Angeles. Believe it or not, but Bumgarner’s career 2.81 ERA is the second- lowest against the Dodgers among all active pitchers. Additionally, no one on the Dodgers current roster has had much success against Bumgarner in the past. So for what it’s worth, the trends favor him.
The Giants bats will look for the team’s first run of the season against Hyun-Jin Ryu, who will be making his major league debut. In 190 career games in the Korea Baseball Organization, he went 98-52 with a 2.80 ERA. He had a 3.29 ERA in seven spring training appearances (six starts).
What to Watch For:
Bumgarner’s Road Blunders
In 2012, Bumgarner posted a 4.40 road ERA in 17 games, compared to his 2.38 ERA at home. Obviously, AT&T Park is extremely friendly to pitchers, and Bumgarner clearly seizes that advantage. Dodgers Stadium is also pitcher-friendly; Bumgarner has a lifetime 1.38 at Dodger Stadium. Something has to give.
Belt Dealing With Stomach Problems
Belt played through stomach problems yesterday, but he will get the night off Tuesday, as he continues to get through what is reported to be a virus. Most would be quick to criticize Bruce Bochy without the above context because Belt struggled against Kershaw yesterday, and the Dodgers are throwing another lefty tonight. So no, don’t freak out.
Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier
Among the active RBI leaders against the Giants, the three men above are in the top 10. If there’s one thing going for Bumgarner against these three, it’s that Ethier hit .222 against southpaws last year. Otherwise, he will have to be wise in his command.
Pablo Sandoval’s Elbow
After Monday’s game, Sandoval reported no pain in his right elbow, despite clenching his elbow after making a weak throw to first base. Sandoval will again hit right-handed Tuesday, which doesn’t spark any pain. The real test will come Wednesday when he has to hit left-handed against Josh Beckett.