Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Dodgers-Padres Opening Day notebook

Presenting the #Dodgers 2016 #OpeningDay lineup.

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By Jon Weisman

With less than an hour to go before first pitch, here are some last-minute Opening Day notes …

  • Not that this move needed defending, but Dave Roberts explained his choice to bat Corey Seager second, saying that Seager a) was a good matchup with Padres starter Tyson Ross, b) would give good at-bats and c) had the experience of batting high in the order during last year’s National League Division Series. Roberts also noted that Seager was not up there to bunt.
  • As for Chase Utley batting leadoff, Roberts said that he trusted the veteran’s at-bats and believes he can get on base.
  • Howie Kendrick is soon moving back to live batting practice and continues to aim for a return to active duty at next week’s home opener.
  • The Dodgers are facing five straight right-handed starting pitchers to open the season, but Roberts said right-handed batters Kiké Hernandez, Scott Van Slyke and Trayce Thompson would see action before they presumably start against Madison Bumgarner in San Francisco on Saturday.
  • One quirk I liked about this year’s lineup: It’s the first in Los Angeles Dodger history where all four infielders batted before all three outfielders (with the catcher and pitcher finishing things off).
  • Do you think of Petco Park as a tough place to play for the Dodgers? Los Angeles has won the majority of games there for five consecutive seasons, going 30-17 (.638) since 2011.
  • Here’s a profile of Ross from Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

This next batch of notes is courtesy of the Dodgers’ public relations department …

  • The Dodgers are 31-27 on Opening Day since moving to Los Angeles in 1958.
  • With five consecutive Opening Day wins, the Dodgers and Orioles have the second-longest active streak in MLB, behind Seattle (nine).
  • The Dodgers have an active six-game win streak against the Padres. The last time the Dodgers beat the Padres seven times in a row was when they won 16 in a row over the Padres from September 9, 1973-September 20, 1974.
  • Clayton Kershaw’s career Opening Day ERA of 1.14 is the second-lowest in the big leagues for pitchers with at least five season-opening starts since 1920, behind Rick Mahler (0.92).
  • Austin Barnes, Louis Coleman (who turns 30 today), Ross Stripling, Kenta Maeda, Seager, Thompson and Hernandez will take part in their very first Opening Day.
  • Roberts and Padres manager Andy Green form the first Opening Day meeting of two rookie managers since Fredi Gonzalez (Florida) and Manny Acta (Washington) in 2007.
  • Pitching matchups for the next two nights: Scott Kazmir vs. James Shields on Tuesday, Kenta Maeda vs. Andrew Cashner on Wednesday.


On the first day of baseball, my true love gave to me


Clayton Kershaw nearly perfect in season debut


  1. leekfink

    I am surprised that this is the first line-up where all infielders batted before the outfielders. I became a fan in 1982, but I thought that the line-up with the infield was Lopes-Russell-Garvey-Cey in the 1-4 positions. Certainly, at least once in their 8 opening days together.

    • Jon Weisman

      Nope, not with guys like Bill Buckner, Dusty Baker and Reggie Smith to bat high in the order.

  2. jpavko

    NOw that’s an opemimg day!

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