Dodgers Fall Below .500 in Season Openers

Los Angeles' 53th opening day saw the Dodgers drop an 11-5 decision to the Pittsburgh Pirates and slip below the .500 mark with an overall 26-27 record. It was only the second time in the club's history they have opened against Pittsburgh.

However, opening Day, with all its pomp and curcumstance, has never really been the Dodgers thing. They lost their opening game in the National League 15-9 in 1890, lost their Ebbets Field opener 1-0, lost to the Giants 8-0 in the first game on the West Coast 8-0 and lost their opener in Dodger Stadium 6-3.

The Dodgers had topped San Francisco and 5-0 and San Diego 4-1 in their two previous opening games in 2008 and 2009.

Although Los Angeles is below .500 in opening day games, their record in Brooklyn was 36-31 (.537) --with one tie -- giving them an overall 62-58 record in franchise history, better, but still a middling .517 winning percentage.

While the Los Angeles and Brooklyn franchises are considered brothers or at least cousins, their tendencies show few family traits on opening day.

In Brooklyn, the club was 26-13 on the road for a spectacular .667 percentage but only 10-18 at home, a dismal .357, in cozy Ebbets Field.

Meanwhile their blood kin in Los Angeles, on the strength of a 15-10 record, have won at a sizzling .667 clip in the Coliseum and Dodger Stadium, while on the road they are only 11-17 or .407 for an overall 26-27 mark (.491).

Their opener in Pittsburgh this year was the first in Los Angeles history and only the second since they joined the National League in 1890.

While in Brooklyn, they met only three other teams in the East (New York, Philadelphia, Boston) on a regular basis.

They were 11-9 against the hatedgiants, including a 9-3 mark at home, were 11-10-1 when meeting the Phillies and 1-1 against Boston.

In 1919, the Dodgers swept the only Opening Day doubleheader in club history, winning 5-2 and 3-2 in Boston.

They stopped Baltimore twice (1892-1896). And they were more than a century ahead of the rest of the league by beating Washington 5-4 in 1897. They beat Pittsburgh in their first and only Brooklyn opener meeting in 1956, one season before moving West.

 BROOKLYN

year	score	w/l	opponent 	pitcher of record	
1891	14-8	W	@Philadelphia	Hemming		
1892	13-3	W	@Baltimore	Foutz		
1893	5-7	L	@Philadelphia	Stein		
1894	2-13	L	@Boston	        Kennedy		
1895	7-4	W	@New York	Kennedy		
1896	6-5	W	@Baltimore	Kennedy		
1897	5-4	W	@Washington	Payne		
1898	7-6	W	@Philadelphia	Kennedy		
1899	0-1	L	Boston	        Kennedy 
1900	3-2	W	@New York	Kennedy	 	
1901	12-7	W	@Philadelphia	Donovan	 	
1902	2-1	W	Boston	        Donovan 		
1903	9-7	W	@New York	Schmidt 		
1904	1-7	L	New York	Jones		
1905	8-12	L	Philadelphia	Jones		
1906	0-2	L	Boston	        McIntire		
1907	0-1	L	@Boston	        Stricklett		
1908	3-9	L	Boston	        Rucker		
1909	3-0	W	@New York	Wilhelm		
1910	2-0	W	@Philadelphia	Rucker		
1911	1-2	L	@Boston	        Barger		
1912	3-18	L	New York	Rucker		
1913	0-1	L	Philadelphia	Rucker		
1914	8-2	W	Boston	        Pfeffer		
1915	3-16	L	@New York	Pfeffer		
1916	1-5	L	Boston	        Chehey		
1917	5-6	L	Philadelphia	Dell		
1918	4-6	L	@New York	Marquard		
1919	5-2	W	@Boston (2) 	Cadore 
	3-2	W	@ Boston(2)	Pfeffer					
1920	9-2	W	Philadelphia	Cadore		
1921	5-4	W	@Boston	        Mamaux		
1922	4-2	W	@New York	Reuther		
1923	5-5	T	Philadelphia	Reuther		
1924	3-2	W	@New York	Reuther		
1925	3-1	W	Philadelphia	Vance		
1926	3-0	W	@New York	Petty		
1927	6-2	W	@Boston	        Petty		
1928	3-4	L	Philadelphia	Petty		
1929	12-13	L	@Boston	        Clark		
1930	0-1	L	Philadelphia	Clark		
1931	4-7	L	@Boston	        Quinn		
1932	3-8	L	Boston	        Hoyt		
1933	5-4	W	@Philadelphia	Clark		
1934	8-7	W	Boston	        Mungo		
1935	12-3	W	@Philadelphia	Mungo		
1936	5-8	L	New York	Earshaw 		
1937	3-4	L	New York	Mungo		
1938	12-5	W	@Philadelphia	Hamlin		
1939	3-7	L	New York	Evans		
1940	5-0	W	@Boston	        Wyatt		
1941	4-6	L	New York	Wyatt		
1942	7-5	W	@New York	Davis		
1943	5-2	W	New York	Head		
1944	1-4	L	@Philadelphia	Gregg		
1945	8-2	W	Philadelphia	Davis		
1946	3-5	L	@Boston  	Gregg		
1947	5-3	W	Boston	        Gregg		
1948	7-6	W	@New York	Barney		
1949	10-3	W	New York	Hatten		
1950	1-9	L	@Philadelphia	Newcombe		
1951	2-5	L	Philadelphia	Erskine 		
1952	3-2	W	@Boston	        Roe		
1953	8-5	W	Boston	        Black		
1954	3-4	L	@New York	Erskine	 	
1955	6-1	W	Pittsburgh	Erskine	 	
1956	6-8	L	Philadelphia	Newcombe		
1957	7-6	W	@Philadelphia	Labine		     	  

 LOS ANGELES
1958	0-8	L	@San Francisco	Drysdale		
1959	1-6	L	@Chicago	Drysdale	
1960	3-2	W	Chicago 	Drysdale		
1961	6-1	W	Philadelphia	Drysdale		
1962	3-6	L	Cincinnati	Podres		
1963	5-1	W	@Chicago	Drysdale		
1964	4-0	W	St. Louis	Koufax	   
1965	6-1	W	@New York	Drysdale		
1966	3-2	W	Houston	        Osteen		
1967	1-6	L	@Cincinnati	Miller		
1968	0-2	L	Philadelphia	Osteen		
1969	3-2	W	@Cincinnati	Drysdale		
1970	0-4	L	Cincinnati	Osteen		
1971	2-5	L	@Houston	Singer		
1972	3-1	W	@Cincinnati	Sutton		
1973	2-4	L	@San Diego	Sutton		
1974	8-0	W	San Diego	Sutton		
1975	1-2	L	@Cincinnati	Sutton		
1976	2-4	L	@San Francisco	Sutton	 
1977	5-1	W	San Francisco	Sutton 	
1978	13-4	W	@Atlanta	Sutton 		
1979	3-4	L	San Diego	Hooton	 	
1980	2-3	L	@Houston	Hooton	 	
1981	2-0	W	Houston	        Valenzuela
1982	4-3	W	San Francisco	Reuss		
1983	16-7	W	@Houston	Valenzuela		
1984	7-11	L	St. Louis	Valenzuela		
1985	1-2	L	@Houston	Valenzuela		
1986	2-1	W	San Diego	Valenzuela		
1987	3-4	L	@Houston	Hershiser		
1988	1-5	L	San Francsco	Valenzuela	
1989	4-6	L	@Cincinnati	Belcher	
1990	4-2	W	San Diego	Hershiser	
1991	6-4	W	@Atlanta 	Belcher	
1992	1-8	L	San Francisco Martinez	
1993	3-6	L	@Florida	Hershiser		
1994	4-3	W	Florida	        Hershiser	
1995	8-7	W	@Florida	Martinez		
1996	4-3	W	@Houston 	Martinez		
1997	0-3	L	Philadelphia	Martinez		
1998	0-6	L	@St. Louis 	Martinez		
1999	8-6	W	Arizona 	Brown
2000	10-4	W	@Montreal	Brown	
2001	1-0	W	Milwaukee	Park	
2002	2-9	L	San Francisco	Brown	
2003	8-0	W	San Diego	Nomo	
2004	2-8	W	@Arizona	Nomo	
2005	2-4	L	@San Francisco	Lowe	
2006	10-11	L	Atlanta	        Lowe	
2007	1-7	L	@Milwaukee  	Lowe	
2008	5-0	W	San Francisco	Penny	
2009   	4-1	W     @San Diego 	Kuroda                
2010	5-11	L	@Pittsburgh	Padilla
Don Drysdale has won five of his seven starts on Opening Day. Don Sutton was 4-3, Fernando Valenzuela 3-3, Kevin Brown 2-1, Orel Hershiser 2-2 and Ramon Martinez 2-3. No other Dodger has won more than one start.

Home Runs A Rare event
Opening Day homers occur in less than half their openers, as just 45 have been hit in 120 years; 29 were in Brooklyn and 33 in Los Angeles. Only eight players have added their name to the list a second time; six of them in Brooklyn and two in Los Angeles, although Raul Mondesi did it twice.

Roy Campanella leads the all-time Dodger Opening Day list with five and Mondesi is close behind with four. Two each have been hit by Harvey Hendrick, Dolph Camilli, Carl Furillo, Jackie Robinson, Jim Gilliam and Don Drysdale.

Drysdale hit the first Los Angeles Opening Day homer in 1959 and added another in 1965. The only other pitcher to record a homer was Brooklyn's Curt Davis in 1945.

The only Dodger to hit two in a single opener, Raul Mondesi, accomplished it on two occasions, 1995 and 1999. The latter two homers were perhaps the most dramatic in franchise history -- a three-run shot against Arizona to tie in the ninth and a two-run shot to win in the 11th.

Mondesi's six runs batted in tie Ken Landreaux for the most RBI in an opener. Landreaux had driven across six in 1983 without the aid of a homer.

Babe Herman, Del Bissonette and Harvey Hendrick each homered in 1930, the first time more than a single Dodger hitter connected for a round-tripper and the first time three got into the act. Dolph Camilli, Cookie Lavagetto and Ernie Koy each hit one in 1938, with Koy's coming on his first major league at-bat.

Carl Furillo, Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella turned the trick in 1949 and Don Zimmer, Gil Hodges and Gino Cimoli each hit one out in 1957, the Dodgers final year in the City of Churches. Devon White teamed with Mondesi's two on April 5, 1999 to record the only time Los Angeles had three home runs in an opener.

From Opening Day in 1890 until 1945, Dodger hitters recorded 15 home runs, just three of them coming in the first 29 years. The Boys of Summer added another 14.

Homers of special note include Gino Cimoli's 1957 clout in the 12th inning to give the Dodgers a victory at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn's final opener and Chuck Essigian's pinch-hit shot in the 11th that won the opener in Los Angeles in 1960.

Frank Howard hit the first in Dodger Stadium history on Opening Day in 1964, the third season in the new park, and Candy LaChance's out-of-the-park shot, a feat rare enough that the papers took particularly note of it, was the first-ever in 1898.
 
 OPENING GAME HOME RUNS

  Brooklyn (29)
1898—Candy LaChance	
1908—Tim Jordan	
1928—Harvey Hendrick	
1929—Babe Herman, Del Bissonette, Harvey Hendrick	
1934—Hack Wilson, Danny Taylor	
1935—Lonny Frey	
1938—Ernie Koy, Dolph Camilli, Cookie Lavagetto	
1939—Camilli	
1942—Pee Wee Reese	
1945—Curt Davis	
1949—Carl Furillo, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella	
1951—Robinson	
1953—Campanella, Duke Snider	
1954—Campanella	
1955—Jim Gilliam, Carl Furillo	
1956—Gilliam, Campanella	
1957—Don Zimmer, Gil Hodges, Gino Cimoli	

  Los Angeles (33)
1959—Don Drysdale 	
1960—Chuck Essegian	
1961—Wally Moon	
1964—Frank Howard	
1965—Willie Davis, Drysdale 	
1966—Duke Sims	
1973—Joe Ferguson	
1974—Jimmy Wynn	
1976—Dusty Baker	
1978—Reggie Smith	
1979—Ron Cey	
1982—Steve Yeager	
1983—Pedro Guerrero	
1984—Terry Whitfield	
1986—Mike Marshall	
1988—Steve Sax	
1989—Kirk Gibson	
1990—Hubie Brooks	
1993—Tim Wallach	
1995—Raul Mondesi (2) 	
1999—Devon White, Mondesi (2) 	
2000—Todd Hundley, Eric Karros (gslam)	
2001—Gary Sheffield	
2003—Brian Jordan	
2004—Shawn Green	
2007—Jeff Kent	
2008—Jeff Kent	
2009—Matt Kemp 

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