| Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin will start the 2014 season against the Arizona Diamondbacks at 7 p.m. PDT Saturday night (11 a.m. on Sunday, Korean time).
Usually, pitchers overpower batters early in a season. Fielders` batting forms are shaped later than pitchers` throwing forms. Pitchers join spring trainings about a week earlier than batters. Baseball experts predict that the Dodgers` two opening games in Sydney, Australia come earlier than other teams` games, pitchers will likely have even more evident superiority over batters.
The Dodgers was the first team to conclude its district championship among six districts in the Major League Baseball. In last season, the Diamondbacks, the Dodgers` newly emerging rival, finished second 11 games behind the Dodgers, while the former won 10 games and lost nine against the latter.
The two teams are not on friendly terms with each other after having brawls over bean balls last season. When the Dodgers clinched the district title, the team celebrated its victory at the Chase Field pool on the Diamonds` home turf.
Ryu performed relatively poorly against the Diamonds last year, winning one game and losing two with an earned run average of 4.65 in five games, the highest among the National League West division. The relatively poor performance was due mainly to Paul Goldschmidt, a Diamondbacks first baseman, who hit seven hits out of 14 at-bats (.500) with one home run and one double. Goldschmidt is called a "Dodger killer," hitting .338 with six home runs and 21 runs batted in. Clayton Kershaw and Ryu, the Dodgers` starters for the second game in Australia, should neutralize Goldschmidt to put on smiles of victory on their faces.