LOS ANGELES - Last Opening Day, Madison Bumgarner rewrote the record books for what a pitcher can do at the plate. On Thursday, Joe Panik and the pitching staff accomplished a few "firsts" as well.
It turns out winning 1-0 at Dodger Stadium on Opening Day is pretty rare. As in, the Giants had never done it before.
The win was their first 1-0 win at Dodger Stadium, period, since Sept. 21, 2008, and the first time they did that with the only run coming on a home run since 1960, per Chuck Nan of SABR. According to Elias, Thursday marked the second time the Giants started a year by shutting out the Dodgers. They also did it 60 years ago in the first ever MLB game played in California.
Finally, Panik became the second Giants second baseman all-time to provide the only scoring of the game with a solo homer. On Sept. 17, 1968, Ron Hunt led the way with a solo shot off Bob Gibson of the Cardinals.
Panik's blast off Clayton Kershaw came on a good pitch, one that was pretty far inside. It stunned Kershaw and both dugouts, as it appeared to be headed foul.
"He dropped down a little bit and that thing was running in on my hands, but I guess I got my foot down and was able to get the barrel to it," Panik said.
The homer gave the Giants a winning record for the first time since Oct. 2, 2016, the last game of that season. They have a share of first for the first time since August 20, 2016.
--- Here are my two stories from last night: On Ty Blach and his lack of fear in a big spot, and Hunter Strickland leading a new-look bullpen through the late innings. And if you want some behind-the-scenes stuff, I posted a lot of videos and photos to my Instagram story: @pavlovicnbcs
--- Minor league rosters are starting to trickle out and Heliot Ramos and Jacob Gonzalez are headed to Low-A Augusta. The Giants usually let prospects play a full season there, but we don't know how David Bell operates yet, and there's a chance that one or both of these guys is allowed to move quickly. They talked about that on a recent episode of the Giants Insider Podcast.
--- It got lost in the shuffle last night, but Brandon Belt snapped an 0-for-37 off Kershaw. "I think they got the ball," manager Bruce Bochy said later. "They tried to get the ball."