Reigning Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw started the game for the Dodgers. Right from the start, he wasn't the same guy who went 21-5 last season.
"You could kind of tell that something wasn't quite right with him," said 3rd baseman Chase Headley. "He didn't have the same velocity he usually has and was pitching a little bit differently."
Kershaw had the flu, and only lasted 3 innings. After that the Dodgers used a committee, going with 5 pitchers over the last 6 innings. They threw just well enough.
L.A.'s bullpen allowed just 3 runs to get a 5-3 win on Opening Day at PETCO Park, in front of new owner Magic Johnson, who watched the game from the stands right next to the Dodgers dugout.
Padres starter Edinson Volquez got off to a great start, allowing just one hit through 3 innings. Then he had big trouble in the 4th. Cameron Maybin dropped a Dee Gordon fly ball after a long run to the warning track, Jason Bartlett misplayed a Matt Kemp grounder, and Volquez issued a pair of bases-loaded walks. It all added up to a pair of Dodgers runs, and they made the difference.
Maybin did redeem himself in the 8th inning. He crushed a 445-foot home run off the facing of the 3rd deck on the Western Metal Supply Building. It's the 7th-longest homer in PETCO Park history. Instead of talking about his home run, Maybin had a positive message about his entire team.
"We have a really good team with a lot of good hitters," said Maybin. "Teams are gonna have to work to come out here and beat us."
On Friday, Cory Luebke gets a chance to put the Padres in the win column. The left-hander starts against Chad Billingsley at 7:05 at PETCO.