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.
Tonight’s pitchers: The Cardinals’ Michael Wacha (2-3, 3.12 ERA) will pitch against the Dodgers’ Ross Stripling (0-2, 3.82 ERA). They were teammates at Texas A&M for three years and were each drafted in 2012. That winter they even roomed together and they work out together in the off-season. Knowing how these things work, they’ll probably try to beat each other’s brains out on the diamond tonight.
Wacha has lost his last three starts and Stripling’s most recent was the best since his first of the year. In those starts the Cards’ pitcher has given up four home runs which cost him dearly. The Dodgers’ home run production seems to be picking up a little, so maybe…
Save us, Clayton! That’s what the Dodgers are saying to their superhero Mr. Kershaw, (4-1, 2.04 ERA) as they ask him to salvage a split in the series with the Mets. He’ll face Bartolo Colon, whose 3-1, 2.82 ERA record was overshadowed this week by the first home run of his career the other night.
Things to think about:
David Wright, Curtis Granderson, and Lucas Duda lead the current Mets in plate appearances against Kershaw. In 124 combined plate appearances, they’re hitting .142/.224/.150 against him. Wright holds the sole extra-base hit of the group, a double.
Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Gonzalez 1B Grandal C Pederson CF Puig RF Hernandez LF Kershaw P
It’ll be Noah Syndergaard (2-2, 2.58 ERA and 49 Ks) for the Mets and Kenta Maeda (3-1, 1.66 ERA only 35 Ks) for the Dodgers. Syndergaard hasn’t won in his last three starts, while Maeda has lost and gotten no decision in his last two. Something’s Gotta Give.
Utley 2B Seager SS Kendrick 3B Gonzalez 1B Grandal C Pederson CF Puig RF Crawford LF Maeda P
The Mets’ Jacob deGrom (3-1, 1.99 ERA) of the Flowing Locks starts against the Dodgers’ Alex Wood (1-3, 5.18 ERA) of the Moussed Pompadour. The right-handed deGrom only has 16 strikeouts in his four starts, which seems low. Lefty Wood would undoubtedly trade his 28 Ks for a couple of wins; he hasn’t had one in his last five starts.
Lineup when available.
Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Gonzalez 1B Grandal C Pederson CF Puig RF Crawford LF Wood P
It’s a battle of dueling lefties tonight at Chavez Ravine as Scott Kazmir (2-2, 5.68 ERA) of the Dodgers meets Steven Matz (4-1, 2.83 ERA) of the Mets. This is the first meeting of the two teams since last season’s Division Series, and the Dodgers had better have their hitting shoes on. After Matz they’ll face Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Bartolo Colon in this four-game series.
Lineup when available.
Hernandez LF Kendrick 2B Gonzalez 1B Turner 3B Puig RF Thompson CF Ellis C Culberson SS Kazmir P
Ross Stripling (0-2, 4.33 ERA) goes for the Dodgers and Marco Estrada (1-2, 2.64 ERA) goes for the Blue Jays. Estrada’s gotten only 10 runs to work with in his five starts this year while Stripling has seen his ERA climb every start since his first, when he threw 7 1/3 innings of no-hit ball and was pulled due to a predetermined pitch count. In two of his last three starts he hasn’t made it to the fifth inning. It’s not for lack of determination, though:
Gonzalez will be the Dodgers’ DH, but the first base job is between Utley and Turner. Meanwhile, Russell Martin returns to the catching position for the Jays; he took Dickey’s start off.
From pink bats to specially-designed uniform logos to honorary bat girls to “Pink Out” days in the stands all of MLB will celebrate Mother’s Day in one way or another.
Someone please post the lineup in the comments if I don’t get to it before the game starts (7:10AM my time).
Kershaw (3-1, 1.96 ERA) goes against R.A. Dickey (1-3, 5.73 ERA). This will be the Dodgers’ lefty’s first outing against the Blue Jays in his 9-year career. He still has the Orioles, Red Sox and Twins to go (barring expansion). Dickey was the guy who won the Cy Young Award the one time Clayton didn’t between 2011-2014. He’s not had a good start to this season, but the Jays are hopeful he’s turned it around.
Updated lineup: Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Gonzalez 1B Puig RF Kendrick LF Pederson CF Crawford DH Ellis C