You know, one game is one game, and it’s not like anyone questioned Justin Sellers‘ defensive pedigree heading into the night. Don Mattingly said he liked Sellers because he was a quality defensive shortstop, and none of us disagreed with that. It’s an important fact to remember.
Still, when you’re not likely to offer much of anything with the bat, and you exist almost entirely for your glove… well, you better be pretty damned close to picture perfect out there. I think we can all agree that it’s safe to say that Sellers was far from that, because the seventh inning was his worst nightmare. With the Dodgers down 1-0 after six, he allowed Joaquin Arias to reach on a throwing error to begin the seventh. A single and an out later, it was first and third, and San Francisco pitcher Madison Bumgarner bounced up the middle. Sellers threw wide of the plate attempting to get Arias for his second error of the inning — and generously not his third of the night, because a botched play earlier in the game was scored a hit — allowing two runs to score. It was all the Giants would need.
Now, it’s easy to blame Sellers — fun, too — but it’s probably not entirely fair to put this on him, because a pretty key component in losing 3-0 is scoring zero runs. And even then, to say “scoring zero runs” is overselling it, because Bumgarner was absolutely dominant. No, Sellers didn’t redeem himself with a hit, but neither did Matt Kemp or Jerry Hairston or Adrian Gonzalez or Luis Cruz or really anyone except for Andre Ethier, who doubled in the second, and A.J. Ellis, who did the same in the eighth.
All of this offensive ineptitude overshadowed a less-than-pretty-but-ultimately-effective debut by Hyun-Jin Ryu, who allowed just a single run over 6.1 innings. That sounds great, as does the fact that he didn’t give up a single walk, but the 10 hits he gave up over that span should cool your enthusiasm somewhat. It helps, I suppose, that all were singles and several weren’t hit particularly hard, and for the first outing, I’ll take it.
Over 17 innings in the first two games of the season, the Dodgers have nine hits and four runs, one of each coming off the bat of Clayton Kershaw. That’s… not exactly what we were hoping for.