DLD Recap: Dodgers, Hernandez rout Giants 8-1 in Unprecedented Opening Day

Photo Credit: J.P. Hoornstra/Southern California News Group

Postgame Briefing

A historic Opening Day featured a laundry list of firsts. Mookie Betts’ first game and hit as a Dodger, Dustin May’s first Opening Day start, and the first official game played at Dodger Stadium without a crowd. It also had an unprecedented show of unity.

Prior to the game, players and coaches lined up on the foul lines, held a long black cloth between them, and knelt for a prolonged moment of silence. While the national anthem was sung, some players, including Betts, knelt. Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger each put a hand on Betts’ shoulders in a show of solidarity. The pregame ceremony, part of a player-led social justice awareness movement, was the brainchild of Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen, according to The Athletic.

Dustin May became the first Dodger rookie to pitch on Opening Day since Fernando Valenzuela in 1981. The Dodgers won their fifth World Series title that year. May had a solid outing in place of announced starter Clayton Kershaw, who was scratched and placed on the inured list with back stiffness earlier this afternoon. May finished with 60 pitches and went 4.1 innings, 7 hits, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K.

May showed command of all of his pitches, especially his fastball, which hit 100 mph on the radar gun. He worked out of a tough jam in the 3rd inning when Giants first baseman Pablo Sandoval came to the plate with the bases loaded and nobody out. Sandoval hit a sacrifice fly to score the Giants’ first – and only – run of the game, but May was able to retire the next two batters to get out of the inning.

The game was tied 1-1 until the Dodgers opened it up in the bottom of the 7th. Betts got on base with his first hit in Dodger blue (he finished the night going 1-5 with a run scored). The Dodgers had Cody Bellinger on 2nd and Betts on 3rd with one out and Justin Turner at the plate. With the infield in, Turner hit a ground ball to Giants’ second baseman Donovan Solano and Betts broke for home, slid headfirst, and beat the throw to the plate. Kiké Hernandez, who had a monster day at the plate, made it 4-1 Dodgers with a 2-RBI single, his third hit of the night. By the time the inning ended, it was 6-1 Dodgers.

The Dodgers’ bullpen was absolutely dominant. After relieving May in the 5th, Caleb Ferguson, Pedro Baez, Adam Kolarek, and Brusdar Graterol (in his Dodger debut) blanked the Giants lineup rest of the way. The final score was 8-1, Los Angeles.

Scoring Plays

  • TOP 3RD: Pablo Sandoval sacrifice fly (1-0 SF)
  • BOT 4TH: Kiké Hernandez RBI single (1-1)
  • BOT 7TH: Justin Turner FC ground ball (2-1 LAD)
  • BOT 7TH: Kiké Hernandez 2-RBI single (4-1 LAD)
  • BOT 7TH: Austin Barnes FC ground ball (5-1 LAD)
  • BOT 7TH: Max Muncy BB with bases loaded (6-1 LAD)
  • BOT 8TH: Kiké Hernandez two-run homer (8-1 LAD)

DLD Play of the Game

It was a double play in the top of the 5th that killed a big inning for the Giants. In a 1-1 tie, the Giants had runners on first and third with one out and Ferguson on the mound in relief of May. Pablo Sandoval hit the ball back to the box; Ferguson spun and threw to Kiké Hernandez for the out at second. Then Hernandez caught Giants catcher Tyler Heinenman in a rundown between third and home. Heineman tried to get back to third, but Hernandez flipped the ball to Turner at third, who applied the tag to end the inning.

DLD Player of the Game

Kiké Hernandez accounted for the majority of the Dodgers’ offense, going 4-5 with a 2-run homer and 5 RBI. Hernandez singled to right in the bottom of the seventh, scoring Justin Turner and Corey Seager to give the Dodgers a 4-1 lead. In the bottom of the 8th, Hernandez hit a moonshot down the left field line for a two-run homer to make it 8-1 Dodgers.

Hernandez’s night was even more important considering top prospect Gavin Lux, favored to be the starting second baseman, was optioned to the Dodgers’ alternate site on Tuesday, giving Hernandez the chance to become the Opening Day hero.

Up Next

The Dodgers play the second of a four-game series vs. the Giants Friday night at 6:40 pm PST at Dodger Stadium. Ross Stripling takes the mound for the Dodgers, and as of Thursday night, the Giants have yet to announce a starting pitcher.