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Tuesday marked the golden anniversary of historic Dodger Stadium, on April 10, 1962 the Los Angeles Dodgers played their very first game in Chavez Ravine. Now just 50 years later, with new ownership, and a new attitude the Dodgers (3-1) looked to continue upward against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Dodgers began the 50th Anniversary celebration of Dodger Stadium with various tributes to the stadium while welcoming back several members of their 1962 roster, including Maury Wills and Tommy Davis. Former Dodger Manager Tommy Lasorda was on hand, however absent for all of the festivities was Hall Of Fame Dodger Broadcaster Vin Scully, who was at home recovering from flu like symptoms. And new Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson, who had a scheduled engagement in New York, where he promoted the stage play Magic vs. Bird.
With Dee Gordon already on base, MVP hopeful Matt Kemp attacked the plate, as he connected only to ground out, yet allowing Gordon to score that put the Dodgers up 1-0 int he first inning.
Kershaw continued in Cy Young stride as he continued to punish the Pirates inning after inning reminding everyone why he was is the Cy Young award winner. Until the seventh, when things seemed to break open for the Pirates, the Dodger failed to score runs in the previous innings. Pirates slugger Alex Priestly reached on a single, where he stayed at first base. Then outfielder Andrew McCutchen hit a huge single to left advancing Priestly to second. Matt Hague judged Kershaw’s pitch well yet grounded out to short, causing Priestly to score and moving McCutchen to third. Kershaw was able to get out of the inning, with no additional runs allowed.
In the eight inning Kenley Jensen came in to relieve Clayton Kershaw who still had a much better & healthy outing than he did in San Diego battling stomach flu. Kershaw left the eight where he allowed four hits and struck out seven, and one earned run.
For the Pirates, Jason Grilli replaced Juan Cruz, which seemed to be an impressive upgrade as got A.J. Ellis to watch as he struck him out, then cause Kemp to swing and strike out. Next up was the birthday boy Andre Either, who had to do something epic on this with it being the 50th anniversary and his 30th birthday. Either stepped up and hit a huge home run, that caused the Dodger fans to erupt in relieve and joy as the Dodgers took the commanding 2-1 lead.
Javy Guerra came in the ninth and secured the save, for the Dodgers to win in dramatic fashion at their home opener. The Dodger being 4-1 are the hottest team in baseball, and smiles were all around the Dodger locker room. Either spoke about giving us Dodger fans the greatest gift on his birthday “I guess that’s a good birthday present for this stadium, too.”
Former Dodger and current Pirates catcher Rod Barajas discussed the tough loss and facing Kershaw “we’ve had some tough matchups: Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and then we get Clayton Kershaw, but we’re competing day in and day out. So no matter who’s on the mound, we’re going to battle. It was tough today.”
Jansen gets the win, Kershaw has a no decision, as Jason Grilli gets the loss for the Pirates.