The 2014 Major League Baseball season officially got underway a few minutes before 5 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time today, with the Los Angeles Dodgers defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 in the first regular-season game played in Australia.
Los Angeles outfielder Scott Van Slyke will be the answer to a future trivia question. He hit the first official MLB home run in Australia (and the first home run of the 2014 season.) He nearly had two, but the the wind knocked down the ball Van Slyke hit in his first at bat, so he had to settle for a double.
Clayton Kershaw put an unimpressive spring behind him, but did give up an earned run for the first time in four career Opening Day starts. Arizona’s Wade Miley struck out eight Dodgers in just five innings, but surrendered the home run to Van Slyke that proved to be the difference.
I was surprised at the number of former New York Mets players who made it into the game.
- Justin Turner earned the Opening Day start at second base for the Dodgers and went 1-for-4 but committed a fielding error in the seventh inning. Right now, he’s the right-handed hitting half of a platoon with Dee Gordon, but some fans are hoping that Cuban rookie infielder Alex Guerrero will take the full-time job.
- Oliver Perez and J.J. Putz combined to pitch a scoreless ninth inning for the Diamondbacks. Perez only signed with Arizona on March 10th, so it didn’t quite register that he had made the team until he came into the game to face Andre Ethier.
- Mike Baxter pinch hit for the Dodgers and went 0-for-1.
A few years ago, there was a fun blog that posted a scorecard during every day of the MLB season. Sadly, Squaretender no longer seems to be online. I’m not going to be up to replicating what they did, but will try to keep a scorecard for every game that I do watch and post them here.
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