Clayton Kershaw (6-1, 1.67 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers and Brandon Finnegan (1-2, 4.44 ERA) goes for the Reds.
The Reds can be excused if they feel overmatched: in his last six starts Kershaw’s had at least 10 strikeouts and one walk or fewer. The left-handed Finnegan has struggled in his last three starts, not getting past the sixth inning in any of them while posting a 5.52 ERA over 14 2/3 innings.
Chase Utley's 13 assists Sunday tied L.A. Dodgers record for any position (Davey Lopes 4/12/80, Willie Randolph 8/23/89) — via @DodgersPR.
The Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda (3-3, 2.87 ERA) started his career in American baseball like a house on fire, posting a 0.31 ERA in his first four starts. In his next four starts he gave up 14 earned runs to bring his ERA and W-L record down to earth. He’ll face the Padres’ Colin Rea (3-2, 4.37 ERA), who has had trouble getting past the fifth inning this season, doing so in only three of his eight starts so far.
Utley 2B Seager SS Kendrick 3B Gonzalez 1B Thompson LF Pederson CF Puig RF Ellis C Maeda P
Starting for the Dodgers today is lefty Alex Wood (1-3, 4.17 ERA), who has been pretty successful recently: in his last four starts he’s gone 24 1/3 innings, striking out 30 and posting a 2.59 ERA. The Padres send out righthander Cesar Vargas, who’s 0-2 with a 3.55 ERA and may be pitching to stay in the big leagues, as Andrew Cashner will come off the DL this week and the Padres will have to make room for him.
Adrian Gonzalez is expected to return to the Dodgers’ starting lineup tonight after several days off with back tightness. Matt Kemp has made trouble for Wood in the past, going 5-for-9 with a home run and double against him.
Lineup when available.
Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Gonzalez 1B Thompson LF Pederson CF Puig RF Grandal C Wood P
Scott Kazmir (3-3, 4.89 ERA) hopes to continue the pitching which got him within an out of a complete game win last time out. He’ll face Christian Friedrich (0-1, 1.50 ERA), who made his Padres debut last week, going six innings and throwing 116 pitches while walking six. He’s a callup from AAA El Paso to replace Andrew Cashner and his balky hamstring.
Dodger manager Dave Roberts says Adrian Gonzalez won’t start but will be able to pinch-hit tonight and get back in the starting lineup tomorrow.
Danger, Will Robinson! Matt Kemp is hitting .317/.371/.463 in 89 plate appearances against the Dodgers.
Tonight's lineup: Hernandez LF Turner 3B Seager SS Kendrick 2B Thompson CF Puig RF Grandal 1B Ellis C Kazmir P
Ross Stripling (1-2, 4.26 ERA) goes for the Dodgers against Jhoulys Chacin (1-2, 4.81) of the Angels. Chacin spent six years with the Rockies before the Angels acquired him from the Braves on May 11. He’s thrown 110 2/3 innings against the Dodgers in his career, and several of them have hit him pretty hard. Adrian Gonzalez is the only one with more than 10 ABs against him, though, so small sample sizes must be considered.
Lineup when available.
Utley 2B Turner 3B Seager SS Kendrick 1B Pederson CF Thompson LF Grandal C Puig RF Crawford DH (Stripling P)
The Dodgers’ Mike Bolsinger makes his season debut tonight. He’d been sidelined with a strained oblique muscle since Spring Training and has made two starts for AAA Oklahoma City, with no decisions and a 2.25 ERA. The Dodgers say they’ll have him on a pitch count of about 80. His Angels’ counterpart will be Nick Tropeano (1-2, 3.68 ERA). Tropeano’s a puzzle: he’s allowed fewer than two runs in five of his seven starts but hasn’t gotten past 5 2/3 innings in any of them.
Lineup when available.
Utley 2B Turner 3B Seager SS Kendrick 1B Pederson CF Thompson LF Grandal C Puig RF Crawford DH (Bolsinger P)
Clayton Kershaw (5-1, 1.74 ERA) makes the 251st start of his career (he also has two relief appearances; I didn’t remember that) on a roll. He’s struck out more than ten batters and walked no more than one in each of his last five games. His K/BB ratio is a ridiculous 19.25 for the season. He’ll face Jered Weaver (3-2, 6.10 ERA), whose last start climbed the heights and sank to the depths in just four innings. He got the first 11 hitters in order and then put 9 of the next 10 on base, giving up 8 runs on 9 hits and losing the game.
Utley 2B Turner 3B Seager SS Kendrick 1B Pederson CF Thompson LF Puig RF Ellis C Kershaw P
The Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda (3-2, 2.30 ERA) makes his first-ever Freeway Series start against the Angels’ Matt Shoemaker (1-5, 9.12 ERA). With that record you might wonder why the Angels are putting him on the mound. Well, he
finished April with a 9.15 ERA, was sent down to Triple-A Salt Lake, came back up because the Angels have four injured starting pitchers and struggled against the Cardinals on Wednesday, allowing four second-inning runs and being unable to record an out in the fifth. The 29-year-old right-hander pitched six innings of two-run ball in his only other start against the Dodgers in 2014.
Four injured starters! Not even the Dodgers can match that!
Utley 2B Seager SS Kendrick 3B Gonzalez 1B Grandal C Pederson CF Thompson RF Crawford LF Maeda P
It’s Sunday Night Baseball! If ESPN’s producers were smart they’d go back to something the network did years ago; it would pick up the local TV feed (if there is one) or ask the team broadcaster to come into the booth and do play-by-play so the national viewer could get a taste of what the home teams’ fans hear every day. Baseball lovers all over the country should get a half-inning of Vin Scully, particularly in his last year.
The Cardinals send out Mike Leake (1-3, 5.10 ERA) to try for his second win as a Redbird. It took him six starts to get his first, which he did his last time out. He’ll face the Dodgers’ Alex Wood (1-3, 4.58 ERA), who’s been a much better pitcher at home than on the road so far this season, posting a 1.33 ERA at Dodger Stadium and a horrible 8.05 ERA elsewhere.
In other baseball news and notes, congratulations to Marcus Stroman of the Blue Jays, who graduated and took part in the customary ceremonies at Duke today.
And then there’s this amazing scoring play in a softball game between Notre Dame and Army yesterday:
Lineup when available.
Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Gonzalez 1B Grandal C Kendrick LF Puig RF Pederson CF Wood P
Cardinals at Dodgers, 6:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-M (HLKLA, take notice!), MLBN (out-of-market only)
The Dodgers hope Scott Kazmir (2-3, 5.54 ERA) can right his ship. He showed signs last outing, coming within one out of a quality start (5 2/3 innings, three earned runs against the Mets). He’ll face Carlos Martinez (4-2, 2.61 ERA). The Cardinals hope Martinez has recovered from a respiratory illness which caused him to lose 15 pounds in ten days and pushed this start back two days.