Apr 12

Game 9, 2017

After the first ten days of the season we can say the NL West is showing depth beyond the Dodgers and Giants. Whether the D-Backs and Rockies can keep up their good play remains to be seen, but so far the division looks more competitive than anticipated.

Dodgers at Cubs, 5:05PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MLBN (out-of-market only)

Brandon McCarthy (1-0, 2.00 ERA) goes for the Dodgers against John Lackey (1-0, 4.50 ERA) of the Cubs. McCarthy allowed two runs on four hits in six innings last Thursday against the Padres. Lackey went 7-4 with a 2.62 ERA at home last season; this is his first start at Wrigley this year.

The Cubs got their banner Monday; tonight they’ll get their rings.

Late news: Franklin Gutierrez goes on the 10-day DL with a strained left hamstring.

Lineup when available.

Apr 10

Game 8, 2017

Dodgers at Cubs, 5:10PM PT, TV: ESPN (No SPNLA today)

It’ll be lefty Alex Wood (0-0, 0.00 ERA) making the start for the Dodgers, replacing Rich Hill (on the 10-day DL with a blister). Wood has made one appearance this year, against the Padres April 5. He threw two scoreless innings in relief of Hill in the Dodgers’ 3-1 win that day.

He’ll face lefty Jon Lester (0-0, 1.80 ERA), who went five-plus innings on Opening Day against the Cardinals in a game the Cubs eventually lost 4-3. Lester’s only 33, but it feels like he’s been around forever. He’s 2-2 with a 3.06 ERA in five career regular-season starts against the Dodgers.

The Cubs get their World Series rings and the Championship banner today, and that’s nice, but Dave Roberts is less than enthusiastic:

“Is it inspiring to see? No,” he said. “I think it’s great for the Cubs and great for their fans, and it’s been a long time coming. But for our guys to be on the line for 45 minutes to watch the rings when it’s 40 degrees, I don’t know how inspiring that will be.”

Lineup when available.

Joc starting against this left-hander.

Apr 09

Game 7, 2017

Dodgers at Rockies, 12:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOTSRM

The Dodgers ask Kenta Maeda (0-1, 5.40 ERA) to keep the Rockies in check while they try to solve yet another lefthanded pitcher, this one named Tyler Anderson (1-0, 7.94 ERA). So far this season they’re 0-2 against lefties; they were 22-24 against them last year. Maeda is 2-2 lifetime against the Rockies; Anderson is 2-0 in three lifetime starts against the Dodgers.

Lineup when available.

Apr 08

Game 6, 2017

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOTRM

LHP Clayton Kershaw will attempt to get his second win of the season today as he faces RHP Jon Gray. Kershaw went seven innings and allowed only two hits and one run to get the win Opening Day. Gray struck out seven in the first four innings of his game against the Brewers but collapsed in the fifth when he gave up five runs and got no outs, but the Rockies bailed him out and he escaped the loss.

Lineup when available.

Apr 07

Game 5, 2017

Dodgers at Rockies, 1:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOTRM, MLBN (out-of-market only)

Hyun-Jin Ryu makes his first start of the season and first in two years, really. He’s had two surgeries on his pitching arm in the past two years. He had shoulder surgery in May of 2015 to repair the labrum, which kept him from pitching that season. Then in 2016 he came back and tried to pitch in July but had elbow discomfort and eventually had debridement surgery on the elbow in September. He had a minor groin injury this March but he’s recovered and posted a 2.57 ERA and 12/1 K/BB ratio across 14 Cactus League innings.

His opponent will be Kyle Freeland, a Denver native who’s making his MLB debut. He split time between Hartford of the AA Eastern League and Albuquerque of the AAA PCL last year, compiling an 11-10 record with a combined 3.89 ERA.

The Rockies have a new-to-them manager this year but a familiar one nonetheless. Bud Black managed the Padres from 2007-2015 and was fired in June, replaced for one game by current Dodger manager Dave Roberts, who’d been the bench coach.

Lineup when available.

Apr 06

Game 4, 2017

Padres at Dodgers, 1:10PM PT, TV: SNPLA, FSSD

The Padres are hoping Jared Weaver has something left in his right arm after losing velocity for the last couple of years while pitching for the Angels. He was consistently in the 80s on his fastball during spring training, which is no improvement over last year. Weaver had a 2.66 ERA against the Dodgers in 11 starts over his 11-year career with the Angels.

The Dodgers have a reclamation project of their own going for them tomorrow in Brandon McCarthy, who signed a four-year contract with the Dodgers in 2014 but has pitched just 63 innings while battling elbow and hip injuries. He’s 7-1 over his career against the Padres.

Lineup when available, or somebody post it in comments if I haven’t gotten to it by game time.

Apr 05

Game 3, 2017

Padres at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

The Padres’ righthander Trevor Cahill makes his first start of the season against the team he’s faced more often than any other in the big leagues: he’s pitched against the Dodgers 20 times with a 6-5 record and a 3.86 ERA. He spent the last two years with the Cubs and went 4-4 in 50 games with a 2.74 ERA in 65 innings. He hasn’t been a full-time starter since 2014.

The Dodgers will counter with lefty Rich Hill, who signed a three-year $48M contract after coming over from the As at the trade deadline last year. He pitched well for the Dodgers despite ongoing blister problems, going 3-2 with a 1.83 ERA in six starts.

Lineup when available.

Apr 04

Game 2, 2017

Padres at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

The visiting Padres send lefty Clayton Richard to the mound in hopes he’ll continue pitching as well as he did over the last two months of last season, when he induced ground balls at a 64 percent clip. The Dodgers hope Kenta Maeda does as well in his first start of 2017 as he did in his major league debut in Game Three of last season; he shut out the Padres for six innings and hit a home run. The Dodgers say he’s added a cutter to his repertoire this year.

A couple of interesting things about the Dodgers pitcher:

Maeda tossed three perfect frames and struck out four Angels in his Spring Training finale on Thursday. He needed just 29 pitches. In five spring starts, Maeda posted a 3.00 ERA and a .182 batting average against.

Among pitchers who gave up at least 300 batted balls last season, Maeda led the way by allowing just 28.2 percent to be hit with an exit velocity of 95 mph or harder. Teammate Clayton Kershaw was fourth in that category, at 31.0 percent.

Lineup when available.


Let the platooning begin. Joc sits against a lefty, Kiké plays. Toles sits against lefties too? I dunno. Certainly against this one.

Apr 03

Opening Day, 2017

The LA Times has a special Baseball 2017 section in its Sunday, April 2 edition.

Padres at Dodgers, 1:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ESPN (out-of market only), FSSD

The Padres send Jhoulys Chacin out to do battle with the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw. Chacin will make his second Opening Day start; the first was for the Rockies in 2013. He was with the Angels last year and finished strong: he had a 0.75 ERA in his last four starts for them. He did well for Venezuela in this year’s World Baseball Classic as well. This will be Kershaw’s seventh straight Opening Day start for the Dodgers. That ties him with Drysdale and Sutton for the team record. This will be the fourth time he’ll face the Padres on Opening Day; he gave up three runs on nine hits in the previous 16 innings on those occasions.

The Padres have two potential Rookie of the Year candidates, “outfielders Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe, ranked No. 23 and No. 42, respectively, among MLBPipeline.com’s Top 100 prospects.”

Renfore and Margot excelled for Triple-A El Paso last year en route to a Pacific Coast League championship. Margot batted .304 and stole 30 bases, while Renfroe earned PCL MVP honors by hitting .306 with 30 home runs.

Lineups when available.

Here’s the Opening Day roster. The interesting part is probably the Disabled List, where six guys will start the year:

Pedro Baez, RHP (10-day, right wrist contusion, retroactive to March 30); Andre Ethier, OF (10-day, lumbar disk herniation, retroactive to March 30); Yimi Garcia, RHP (60-day, right elbow surgery); Scott Kazmir, LHP (10-day, left hip strain, retroactive to March 30); Josh Ravin, RHP (10-day, right groin strain, retroactive to March 30); Brock Stewart, RHP (10-day, right shoulder tendinitis, retroactive to March 30)

Here’s the lineup:

Mar 29

Freeway Series begins

The Dodgers and Angels put on their annual Freeway Series three-game show to end spring training for both teams starting Friday night. Opening Day is Monday, April 3 against the Padres at Dodger Stadium.

Brandon McCarthy earned the #4 spot in the rotation. He’ll be preceded by Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda and Rich Hill and followed by Hyun-jin Ryu. At least that’s the plan today.

Roberts added that Alex Wood, a finalist for the rotation, would share the long relief role with Ross Stripling. Rounding out the bullpen are closer Kenley Jansen, set-up man Sergio Romo, Grant Dayton, Luis Avilan and Chris Hatcher.

Barnes will likely be the backup catcher, although that’s not been formally announced. Kiké Hernandez hurt his wrist the other day and is questionable for the backup infielder spot until he shows it’s healed. If he can’t go, it’ll probably be Chris Taylor, and that might mean Van Slyke stays up too, since he can play center field and Taylor doesn’t. Additionally,

The Dodgers trimmed the roster before leaving Arizona on Wednesday, sending out seven players. Infielder Rob Segedin was optioned and reassigned were outfielders Tyler Holt and O’Koyea Dickson, pitcher Brandon Morrow, first basemen Cody Bellinger and Ike Davis, and infielder Charlie Culberson.