And now without further interruption, we return you to the regular season.
The Dodgers, undefeated for an entire week now, finally get back to business — their real business — when they play the San Diego Padres on Sunday night at Petco Park.
It’s their other opener, Major League Baseball’s national opener, as opposed to that international opener they already underwent in Australia.
It’s made for a long, somewhat bizarre spring, full of early starts with the added bonus of an extra week of spring training after the Dodgers had already started their season in Sydney.
Now they’ve left the koala bears and kangaroos behind, have not appeared to suffer from that dreaded jet lag and managed to get in three extra exhibition games against the Angels.
“We feel like we’ve started already,” Manager Don Mattingly said. “These were games that really, were just in a sense trying to stay sharp. At this point it’s just get in the groove. I feel like we’re ready and it’s time to go.”
The Dodgers will start Hyun-Jin Ryu on Sunday night, and if his sore toe holds up, bring him back Friday in the Dodgers' home opener. Monday is an off-day, with Zack Greinke scheduled to start Tuesday and Dan Haren will go on Wednesday.
The Dodgers had expressed some concern over how they would play this past week after returning from Australia, yet things went without hitch (unless, you know, you count having to place Clayton Kershaw on the disabled list).
“I’ve been OK with it,” Mattingly said. “We seem to be back on our feet as far as making the time adjustment, and I feel we’ve played with decent energy. The guys have given us an honest effort as far as their work and concentration, and that’s all we can ask.”
Most pundits have the Dodgers pegged as favorites in the National League. They have 160 more games to find out, starting tonight.