Games at Coors Field never fail to disappoint in providing some sort of weirdness or treachery, and the first game of the season certainly didn’t let fans down in that department.
There were no home runs, (technically), the Dodgers made two errors, had two wild pitches and a passed ball. In the end, the Dodgers dropped their first game of the season, 8-5.
The top of the third is where things got weird. Corey Seager grounded out, and Justin Turner singled. Then Cody Bellinger came up and thought he hit a home run. The ball went in and out of Raimel Tapia’s glove, bouncing into the stands. Turner thought the ball had been caught, and turned to head back to first base, while Bellinger was running the bases for his homer. Subsequently, Belli passed Turner, causing him to be out. But the run counted for Turner as he was still able to advance. Instead of a two-run homer, it was scored an RBI single for Bellinger. The next two batters walked, but Gavin Lux struck out looking to end the inning.
Chris Owings lead off the bottom of the third with a sun and wind aided triple over the head of Mookie Betts. Garrett Hampson then bunted him home for the Rockies first run of the game. Hampson later came around to score on a two out single by Josh Fuentes.
Through three innings, the Dodgers had six hits and six walks, but yet managed to strand eight runners, and go 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
Chi Chi Gonzalez came in to relieve Marquez in the top of the fifth and promptly gave up a double to Bellinger.
Kershaw was efficient, not reaching his 50th pitch until the second batter in the fifth inning. But his defense really failed him. A single followed by a walk and a sac bunt that Max Muncy couldn’t get out of his glove to get the lead runner, settling for the out at first, had Rockies runners on second and third with one out. A grounder to second scored the run from third, and then an error on an easy grounder to short by Corey Seager allowed another run to score. Kershaw worked around more traffic, but the Rockies held a 4-2 lead.
Meanwhile, at the plate, Kershaw went 2-for-3 with two singles, including one in the top of the sixth. Betts followed with a double, and Seager walked the bases loaded. Turner hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Kershaw from third. Muncy hit a single scoring Betts, but Seager was thrown out trying to take third, breaking one of the Cardinal Rules of baseball. Still, the Dodgers tied the game.
The Rockies quickly took the lead in the bottom half of the inning on three consecutive singles. They later scored again on another single, ending Kershaw’s day, leaving runners on first and second. Corey Knebel came in a struck out Fuentes to blessedly end the inning.
Kershaw wasn’t bad, but he did give up a lot of contact that continuously found open holes in the defense. He only had five swings and misses. Still, he did not give up a home run at Coors, so do with that what you will. He finished the day at five and two-thirds innings, allowed 10 hits for six runs, five earned. One walk, and only two strikeouts, ending with 77 pitches.
Jimmy Nelson took over in the seventh, allowing a walk and a ground rule double. Charlie Blackmon scored from third on a wild pitch. C.J. Cron then scored on another wild pitch, with Austin Barnes barreling into him. Barnes was removed from the game, with Will Smith relieving him. Nelson then walked the next batter, and was replaced by Scott Alexander, who got a ground ball out to end the inning.
Zach McKinstry doubled in the eighth, and was driven home by a Seager single, but that was all the offense in the frame.
In the top of the ninth, Muncy lead off the inning with a triple. A walk and a hit by pitch loaded the bases. Edwin Rios was called out on strikes on a pitch six inches outside the strike zone for the first out. Matt Beaty inexplicably replaced McKinstry and was also called out on strikes. Betts then softy flew out to second, and the game was over.
The Dodgers went 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position, stranding 14 guys on base. Overall, they looked flat and were subject to a lot of bad luck and overall weirdness.