Most of the focus, as the Dodgers jumped out to a hot 3-0 start to the 2016 season, was actually on the Padres who were so offensively inept that they scored exactly zero runs in their first three games facing the Dodgers. Starters Clayton Kershaw went seven scoreless innings, while Scott Kazmir and Kenta Maeda delivered six scoreless each.
Alex Wood took the bump for the Dodgers on Thursday against the Giants with the opportunity to pitch his team into the history books. If he made it through the fifth inning without allowing a run, he would help the Dodgers match a major league record with 32 consecutive scoreless innings to begin a season. The only other team to do so was the 1963 Cardinals, who relented a run with no outs in the sixth inning of their fourth game.
Wood got through the first four innings without relenting a run as the Dodgers went up 4-0, but he quickly found himself in trouble in the fifth inning. He issued a leadoff walk to Brandon Crawford, then was victimized by a perfectly placed bunt single by Kelby Tomlinson, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Angel Pagan moved both runners up a base with a soft grounder to third base. Denard Span brought home the first run with a ground ball to second base, with Chase Utley choosing to get the sure out at first base. That ended the Dodgers’ scoreless streak to begin the season at 31 1/3 innings. The offense continued as Joe Panik then drilled a Wood offering over a diving Joc Pederson in center field, bringing home Tomlinson. Buster Posey followed up with a double to score Panik. The trouble continued as Wood walked Hunter Pence, but he was able to get Brandon Belt to ground out to second base to end the inning.
Hard to think of a better way to start the season. The Dodgers’ pitching was a bit of a concern given all of the injuries they’ve endured, but things are looking pretty good for the moment.
NEW YORK — Yankees star Aaron Judge was placed on the injured list with a right calf strain before Friday night’s game against Boston and manager Aaron Boone is optimistic the outfielder will not miss significant time.
The move was retroactive to Wednesday and Boone described the strain as mild after an MRI revealed the injury. To replace Judge on the roster, Thairo Estrada was recalled from the Yankees’ alternate site in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Judge began Friday leading the majors with nine homers and tied with Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon for the major league lead with 20 RBIs.
“It’s something that I think he really wants to try and work through here and kind of wants to be out here and feels like it’s a day-to-day thing which it may very well be, but I just think obviously it goes without saying how important a player Aaron is to us,” Boone said.
Boone had said last weekend’s series on the artificial turf in Tampa Bay took its toll on the 6-foot-7 outfielder.
Judge joined Giancarlo Stanton as the second Yankees slugger to land on the injured list this. Stanton was placed on the IL with a strained hamstring after getting hurt in the second game of last Saturday’s doubleheader.
“We’ve lost two MVP-caliber players,” Boone said. “Obviously that is a blow, especially two guys that playing well as they are right now.”
Judge was pulled for a pinch hitter during Tuesday night’s win over Atlanta and didn’t play Wednesday. The Yankees were off Thursday.
The 28-year-old All-Star missed time during July’s training camp because of a stiff neck.
The 2017 AL Rookie of the Year hit 27 homers in each of the last two seasons, both of them interrupted by injuries. His right wrist was broken when he was hit by a pitch in 2018 and he went on the injured list for two months last year with a left oblique strain.
Judge was diagnosed with a broken rib in March and would not have been ready for the season opener if the season began as scheduled on March 26.