Dodgers Win Major League's Season Opener In Australia

Former Lookouts' Star Scott Van Slyke Is Hitting Hero

Saturday, March 22, 2014
Scott Van Slyke
Scott Van Slyke
- photo by Tim Evearitt

SYDNEY -- Clayton Kershaw put on his typical Opening Day show for the Aussies on Saturday while fill-in left fielder Scott Van Slyke homered and doubled as the Dodgers beat the rival D-backs, 3-1, at the hallowed Sydney Cricket Ground, which held its first baseball game in 100 years to become the oldest stadium to host an MLB game.

In four Opening Day starts spread over two hemispheres, Kershaw is 3-0 with a 0.35 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings.

This opener was on a converted cricket pitch in front of an enthusiastic, if not baseball savvy, crowd of 38,266 that Kershaw said "really loves foul balls, I've noticed," one that Van Slyke said "had a lot more people with beer in their hands" than games back home.


A.J. Ellis conceded the game didn't have the feel of a traditional opener.

Although Kershaw pitched deep into October last season and this game marked the earliest start in Major League history, he stayed in the game to bat in the top of the seventh inning, singled sharply to left field, then was thrown out tentatively trying to stretch it for a double.

He made 102 pitches and allowed one run on five hits over 6 2/3 innings, striking out seven with a walk and receiving a standing ovation when Mattingly pulled him because of pitch count. Kershaw is 8-6 lifetime against the D-backs.

Kershaw's biggest scare came in the third, when the wind knocked down a Paul Goldschmidt blast to center field that went from a potential two-run homer to the third out when it died in Andre Ethier's glove. Goldschmidt had two of the five hits, as Kershaw relied on his slider to keep the rest of the "super-aggressive" fastball-hitting D-backs off balance.

Chris Perez made his Dodgers debut and finished off the seventh inning, then Brian Wilson and Kenley Jansen closed it out, a "six-inning game" just the way the Dodgers drew it up over the winter when they loaded the bullpen by bringing back Wilson and acquiring Perez.

Van Slyke padded the lead in the fourth. With one out, Gonzalez took advantage of the real estate between the plate and the backstop when he swung at a strike-three pitch that bounced away from catcher Miguel Montero, Gonzalez reaching first base without a throw.

Van Slyke then sent an opposite-field home run that the jet stream curled just inside the right-field foul pole for a 3-0 lead. It was his second home run in nine career at-bats against Miley.

While Van Slyke carried the offense for the Dodgers, the Yasiel Puig leadoff experiment got off to a bad start. Puig, who hit .122 this spring, went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts and seemed to tweak his left shoulder during a seventh-inning at-bat, but he played the entire game, driving a ball to center in the ninth inning that was held up by the wind and caught.

Van Slyke won the Southern League batting title in 2011 by finishing the season with a .348 clip. He was the fourteenth Lookout in the modern era (1976-current) to lead the Southern League in batting average.

The Atlanta Braves open the 2014 season on the road, March 31, in Milwaukee. Their home opener will be Tuesday, April 8, at Turner Field. Game time is 7:10 p.m.

--- Source: MLB.com

Scott Van Slyke
Scott Van Slyke
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt

Griffey, Piazza Are Newest Members of MLB Hall Of Fame

The National Baseball Hall of Fame inducted two legends of its grand game Sunday afternoon in Cooperstown, N.Y., as Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza become the newest members of one of the most iconic groups in the world. More than 50,000 fans and 50 Hall of Famers were on hand at Clark Sports Center to welcome Griffey and Piazza into the Hall of Fame. Piazza, who went in as ... (click for more)

Complete Results From 2016 Scenic City Scorcher

**** OVERALL FEMALE **** Place Name                     Ag Div   Hometown             Guntime Pace      ===== ======================== == ===== ==================== ======= =====      1  Rachel Mason            30 FOPEN Hixson, ... (click for more)

Hixson Man Charged With Sending Threatening Emails To General Sessions Court Judge

A 30-year-old Hixson man has been charged with making threats to kill General Sessions Court Judge Lila Statom after police said they found evidence to tie him to recent threats against the judge. David Lee Graham, of 1730 Colorado St., is charged with retaliation against a judge. His bond was raised to $100,000. Detective Ric Whaley said he had been conducting an investigation ... (click for more)

Rescuers Carry Injured 15-Year-Old Boy Out Of Pocket Wilderness

First responders spent Sunday afternoon rescuing an injured 15-year-old boy at the Pocket Wilderness at the foot of Mowbray Mountain. At 1:20 p.m. , a 911 call was made reporting a teenager had injured his ankle from cliff jumping at the "Blue Hole " at the Pocket Wilderness. Tennessee State Parks and the Mowbray Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene and immediately ... (click for more)

Make America Good Again

“No people can be great, who have ceased to be virtuous.”   Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784) Last week I witnessed first hand the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. As I observed the happenings within the Quicken Arena, the one theme that continued to pop up again and again, was  Make America Great Again .  Of course, that being ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Jerika’s Last Dance

There is a horrifying disease called spinal muscular atrophy type 2 that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. What happens is the nerve cells in a person’s brain stem and spinal cord slowly die and, without the ability to voluntarily control your muscles, your body withers away in one of the most painful ways you can imagine. Jerika Bolen, age 14, can’t stand it any longer, nor ... (click for more)