Dodgers defeat Padres 5-2 in sparkling debuts for Shohei Ohtani, Tyler Glasnow

The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres opened the 2024 season on Wednesday with MLB's first regular-season game in South Korea, and what began as a slow, low-offense game ended as a bit of a ripper for the Dodgers, as they scored four runs in the eighth inning to prevail 5-2 over the Padres.

Pitcher Tyler Glasnow made his first start as a Dodger and looked good over five innings, allowing two runs on two hits and four walks while throwing some serious filth.

Although the Dodgers trailed for about half of Glasnow's outing, he never panicked, and the four relievers who came after him didn't allow another run to cross the plate, and that includes Evan Phillips, the Dodgers' likely closer.

The pitching for the Padres wasn't quite as solid. Yu Darvish allowed just one run on two hits, but he didn't make it through the fourth inning. As a staff, the Padres allowed nine walks and were charged with four pitch clock violations. (To be fair, the home plate umpire had a very small strike zone and was serious about enforcing it.) They managed to hold the Dodgers to just one run until the eighth inning, when the reliever trio of Wandy Peralta, Johny Brito (who got the loss) and Adrian Morejon let the Dodgers get the best of them.

While the Glasnow-Darvish matchup was interesting, that's not why this game was a big deal. Shohei Ohtani made his debut for the Dodgers, and it didn't take long for him to show why he was worth $700 million.

Ohtani went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a walk and positively contributed to the win. But he also committed his first mistake with the Dodgers, failing to tag second base before heading back to first in the eighth inning. At least he got it out of the way early, right?

Being a dome, the Gocheok Sky Dome is enclosed, and that dampened the speed of a few fly balls. Mookie Betts and Fernando Tatis hit some long ones that simply died in the outfield, but the Dodgers were able to get it done without the long ball. Even though they didn't get their first hit with a man on base until the top of the eighth, they took advantage of the Padres' wildness and the small strike zone to load the bases in two separate innings and managed to score a knot of runs.

The Dodgers also owe a debt to the glove of Padres first baseman Jake Cronenworth. In that wild eighth, Gavin Lux hit a chopper toward the first-base side that Cronenworth technically caught. The ball went directly into Cronenworth's glove, but unfortunately for him, the glove didn't actually stop the ball. It tore through the webbing, turning an inning-ending double-play into a late rally for the Dodgers.

As they say, baseball is a game of inches. A few inches one way or the other, and this game looks completely different. But that's why there are 161 more games for both teams to play: At some point, those inches will go the Padres' way.

As they say in baseball, there's always tomorrow.