Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: FS-A, SPNLA
This is Clayton Kershaw’s second start of the season. He actually lost the first, the first loss the lefty has ever sustained in his eight Opening Day outings. He wasn’t exactly lit up, however, giving up only a Joe Panik home run in his six innings of work. He’s 0-1 with a 1.50 ERA. His opponent will be RHP Zack Godley, who’s making his first start of the year.
Here are some observations about Kershaw’s first outing from ESPN’s Buster Olney:
Kershaw threw inside at a higher rate than any pitcher in baseball in 2017, in keeping with a career-long habit of bullying hitters. But on Opening Day, his average fastball was down to a career-low 90.7 mph, and he attacked the outer half of the strike zone in his final few innings, often with off-speed pitches, and kept the Giants’ hitters off-balance, allowing one run in six innings. Some evaluators believe Kershaw would benefit from making the same transition CC Sabathia has made during his career; by consistently using both sides of the plate, he can be less predictable and more difficult for hitters to diagnose.
From ESPN Stats & Information research, no pitcher threw inside at a higher rate last season than Kershaw. He threw 40.2 percent of his pitches inside, a full 3 percent higher than any other player.
Another interesting note about Kershaw’s pitch locations: He threw 70.1 percent of his pitches in the lower half of the strike zone last season, more than 10 percent higher than he has thrown in any other season in the past 10.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
- 1968 The Tigers trade left-hander Hank Aguirre to the Dodgers for a player to be named later, minor leaguer Fred Moulder. The All-Star southpaw, better known for being the worst hitter in major league history, will compile a .085 batting average during his 16-year major league career, striking out in an astounding 61% of his 388 at-bats.
- 1974 The Indians trade Pedro Guerrero to Dodgers for pitcher Bruce Ellingsen. The 17 year-old infielder/outfielder will compile a .309 batting average and will be named to the All-Star team five times during his 11 seasons with the team.
- 2008 Twenty minutes before their game, the Dodgers announce reliever Hong-Chih Kuo will start in place of Chad Billingsley, who in turn will be in the bullpen. The unusual move, made due to the threat of rain at the start of the contest, is also employed by the Giants with Merkin Valdez beginning the game on the mound and the announced starter, and eventual winner Tim Lincecum entering the game in the fourth inning.
Lineup when available.
Tonight's Dodger lineup at D-backs:
Kershaw P pic.twitter.com/uWhsoqkyGf
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 3, 2018