Opening Night

Seth Smith

We counted down to Opening Day on this blog starting in January, we tracked all the firsts throughout MLB Opening Series at Sydney, and now we keep going through Opening Night and then all Opening Week extravaganzas. Join’s Mark Newman here, follow Dodgers-Padres live with Gameday and on ESPN.

First final and first game fireworks in North America: Padres 3, Dodgers 1.

Standings: San Diego 1-0, Los Angeles 2-1.

“The season opener is in the books,” says Padres radio play-by-play man Ted Leitner, after a perfect ending in a game without his longtime booth partner Jerry Coleman at his side. “What a ballgame, what a comeback by the San Diego Padres. . .. That was big-time country hardball. . . . What a night for baseball.”

Winning pitcher: Dale Thayer (1-0). Losing pitcher: Brian Wilson (0-1). Star: Seth Smith (above), solo homer in his first Padre AB tying the score and setting up Chris Denorfio’s decisive two-run single.

Save: Huston Street (1).

Sellout Petco crowd: 45,567.

Next up: 13 Opening Day matchups on Monday, all streamed live out-of-market on MLB.TV.

First time Dodgers trail in 2014: Then it gets worse for Wilson in every way, as he lacks command and composure and gives up a two-run single to Denorfia (below), making it 3-1, San Diego.

Everth Cabrera, Yasmani Grandal

First Padre run of 2014: Seth Smith’s first at-bat as a Padre, and BOOM. Brian Wilson leaves a 2-2 slider over the plate and Smith mashes it deep into the seats in right, tying the score. Fans on #GoYard immediately, entering for a chance to win a backyard makeover from Scotts. No 2-0 start for Ryu.

Now is a good time to make sure you have an MLB.TV Premium subscription. All 13 games openers on Monday will be streamed live out-of-market by the Internet’s longest-running and No. 1 sports streaming service. What are you looking forward to the most? How about Jose Fernandez’s season debut in Miami after his amazing rookie campaign?

Cashner struck out five and allowed four hits through six. Ryu still going strong in bottom of seventh, in line to go 2-0 before any other MLB club wins a game.

First “God Bless America” rendition of the season: Jessica Sanchez from “American Idol” Season 11, a local resident. Followed by “Take Me Out To The Ball Game.” Seventh-inning stretch.

Carl Crawford drives in the game's first run for L.A.

Carl Crawford drives in LA’s first run

First run in North America: Crawford singles to left with two out in the top of the fifth after striking out his first two times up against Cashner, driving in A.J. Ellis to put the first score on the Petco Park scoreboard. The Dodgers have scored first as a road team in each of their first three games this season.

Two really good club blogs to follow: Padres (Friar Wire) | Dodgers (Dodger Insider)

“In most other parks it’s a home run. But here in San Diego, it’s just a long fly ball.” — Dodgers radio play-by-play man Charlie Steiner on Gameday Audio, describing Chris Denorfia catching Adrian Gonzalez’s fly against the wall in right, keeping the game scoreless in the fourth. Don Mattingly just told ESPN that his Dodgers have to beat Cashner in the middle of the plate, because “he’s too good to beat him on the edges” right now.

Opening Night in San DiegoHow stunning does Petco Park look tonight? We rightly made a lot of fuss over the Sydney Cricket Ground transformation, so maybe the bar began a bit high, but we think Padres radio play-by-play man Ted Leitner was right when he just said on Gameday Audio: “Wow-ee, this place look beee-yooo-tiful!” Great job by grounds crew.

First looks around Here’s our guide to the season with the tech leaders in sports.

Just heard on ESPN: John Kruk loves the Cardinals’ bullpen. You can tell Cardinals fans are watching, because Kruk is Trending on Twitter. Everyone’s watching, as it’s the only game for just a while.

First Dodger hit in North America: Juan Uribe singles through right side after Cashner retired the first five in a row.

Navy SEAL Leapfrogs parachute over Petco Park with a flag in honor of former Padres announcer Jerry Coleman.

Navy SEAL Leapfrogs parachute over Petco Park with a flag in honor of former Padres announcer Jerry Coleman.

“Jerry, it’s never going to be the same,” Padres radio play-by-play man Ted Leitner says during San Diego’s first-inning rally, speaking about his longtime former mate in the booth.

First Padres baserunner: Everth Cabrera leadoff walk in the first. First “Beat L.A.” chant. First bases-loaded escape for Ryu, who gets Yonder Alonzo to ground into the ol’ 1-2-3 double play.

“You don’t get a playoff atmosphere by just Opening Day, or just a game against the Dodgers. Combine Opening Day and the Dodgers and you get a playoff atmosphere,” says Padres radio play-by-play man Ted Leitner on Gameday Audio.

First pitch: Andrew Cashner to Carl Crawford, 8:13 p.m. ET, 94-mph fastball outside for a ball. First strikeout, high heat and unsuccessful attempt to check swing. Second strikeout, three pitches to Yasiel Puig. Dodgers go down 1-2-3 on Hanley 9.

First time on DL in Clayton Kershaw’s career. Hyun-Jin Ryu starts for Dodgers — uniquely starting a second consecutive game for a club, having won the decision in Game 2 at Australia.

First ESPN Sunday Night Baseball action of 2014, first MLB regular season game in North America.

First camo jerseys: San Diego is a Navy town, and the Padres salute the military with camo each Sunday. Click here to order your own at the Shop now. Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres

First “Star Spangled Banner” in North America: Jessica Sanchez from “American Idol” Season 11, local resident. Click here to watch.

Nice tribute by the Padres to the late Jerry Coleman, the Hall of Fame broadcaster and former All-Star and war veteran who spent 42 years in the Padres radio booth, with the exception of one year when he left to manage the team. Padres players have a gold star on their left sleeve, with “JC” in the middle.

According to a Padres release just issued: For years, when the Padres made a great defensive play, all fans in the ballpark would look to the press box to see if Coleman’s gold star would be hung from the radio booth. Now, once again, fans will be able to look to the press box following a great play, to see if a star will hang. If it is, fans at Petco Park will also hear the playing of Coleman’s signature call: “Oh, Doctor! You can hang a star on that, baby!”

“Padres baseball will never be the same without Jerry,” said Padres President & CEO Mike Dee. “It feels foreign to begin a season without his physical presence at the ballpark, but he is always in our hearts and on our minds. No tribute will ever be enough to honor his extraordinary contributions to this country, this city and this organization.”

Before this game’s start, we got a little psyched by this photo from Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati — site of the traditional opener tomorrow:

Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati


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