The Dodgers played baseball Saturday, some real, live, actual baseball. Or at least the version that passes for it during spring training.
Their first game of the spring wasn’t much to get excited about, their offense remaining in hibernation during a 9-0 loss to the White Sox at Camelback Ranch.
Clayton Kershaw started and went two innings. The good news: He did not walk a batter, he struck out three, and of his 28 pitches [corrected], 16 were strikes. The bad: He gave up two runs on four hits (two doubles) and had a throwing error on a pickoff attempt.
And horror rippled through Dodgers camp!
Or maybe not. Kershaw threw strikes, got in his two scheduled innings and called it a debut. It is about getting work in.
Spring is so much fun, the Dodgers are playing 40 of these little exhibition affairs this season. I have no idea why. The first of these games outfielders Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford are not even scheduled to play, as they smartly ease back from off-season surgery.
Come on, spring’s the best.
The Dodgers managed only two more hits.
The game also saw the spring debut of outfielder Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier getting a triple against a left-hander (Leyson Septimo), a rough one inning of work from Ronald Belisario (two runs on three hits and a walk) and the first error of the spring from shortstop Dee Gordon.
In Puig’s first of two at-bats, with a runner on first and no outs in the seventh, he was jammed and hit a comebacker to reliever Santos Rodriguez. Despite being built like a fullback, however, Puig had enough speed to beat out the relay for the potential double play.
In his second at-bat, he lined a doubled.
On the positive side, Matt Magill, a 23-year-old right-hander from Simi Valley’s Royal High who was 11-8 with a 3.75 ERA at double-A Chattanooga, struck out three in his 1 1/3 innings of work.