"It was a little different over there," first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said of the two-game series with the Dodgers in Australia. "Guys have been looking forward to this. It was a little different playing some games that counted, then coming back and playing a couple that didn't count. But we've been looking forward to this so you can just get into the season to where we're just back to the normal routine."
Of course, there was nothing routine about Opening Day for left-handed reliever Ryan Rowland-Smith.
The 31-year-old native of Australia was not on the roster for the team's two games against the Dodgers and had not appeared in a big league game since 2010. But an injury to setup man David Hernandez and the team's decision to carry 13 rather than 12 pitchers opened up a spot for Rowland-Smith.
"I was really excited," Rowland-Smith said. "It's been a long time coming. You want something so bad and you work your butt off and wait and be patient and finally it feels like all the hard work you've done, that people recognize it. It's just a special feeling."