The D-Backs send RHP Zack Greinke (0-1, 5.06 ERA, 14 Ks) to do battle with the Dodgers’ RHP Kenta Maeda (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 12 K). Greinke gave up five runs in five innings to the Cardinals his last time out. Maeda’s start tonight will be his first since March 31; he was in the bullpen last weekend thanks to off-day scheduling and the rainout last Friday.
Fun fact about Maeda:
After Scherzer, Lester, Strasburg, and Arrieta, guess who's tied with Kershaw and Greinke for most wins in the NL the last 2+ years?
Puig can legitimately complain that he’s hitting into bad luck so far. Take a look at the charts and analysis Allan Yamashige has done at Dodgers Digest. The guy is hitting the ball harder than Trout or Harper and harder than any of his teammates.
Puig so far is making contact on 80.7% of his swings, higher than all of his previous seasons and the league-average of 76.4%. He’s also striking out less, with a rate so far of 16.7% which would be the lowest of his career, and well below his career average of 19.8%.
1939 In a spring training game played in Norfolk, Virginia, Yankee first baseman Lou Gehrig, with apparent muscle loss, especially around his shoulders, goes deep twice in a 14-12 exhibition loss against the Dodgers. The second and ninth-inning home runs will be the last round-trippers the ‘Iron Horse’ will ever hit.
1993 Lee Smith passes Jeff Reardon to become the all-time major league saves leader when the Cardinals beat the Dodgers, 9-7. The right-handed reliever tosses a scoreless ninth inning at Chavez Ravine to record his 358th career save.
2009 In the LA home opener, Orlando Hudson completes his cycle with a sixth inning triple down the right-field line in the team’s 11-1 rout of the Giants. The second baseman becomes the first Dodger to hit for the cycle at Dodger Stadium, and the first franchise player to accomplish the feat in a nine-inning game since Gil Hodges did it in 1949.
2012 Aaron Harang, after surrendering a leadoff single to Cameron Maybin to start the game, strikes out the next nine consecutive Padres in L.A.’s 9-8 victory at Dodger Stadium. The 34 year-old right-hander’s performance is one more than Johnny Podres’ franchise mark of 8, but falls one short of the major league record held by Tom Seaver, who fanned 10 straight Friars for the Mets in 1970.
Lineup when available.
Tonight’s Dodger lineup vs. D-backs: Taylor CF Seager SS Kemp LF Bellinger 1B Grandal C Puig RF Forsythe 3B Hernández 2B Maeda P pic.twitter.com/Hshmv5u7x0
Old friend Aaron Harang starts for the Phillies. He had a stretch of bad luck (eight straight losses between May 24 and July 1) and then went onto the DL with a foot injury. He came off it on July 30 and got a win, but he’s still 5-11 with a 3.97 ERA. The Dodgers counter with Brett Anderson, who’s 5-6 with a 3.14 ERA but has missed only one start all season, a welcome change for a guy who’s missed parts of every year since 2010.
Lineup when available.
Tonight's #Dodgers lineup:
Anderson P #whiff
Getaway day comes early for the Dodgers, as game time is noon in Atlanta. One wonders how many fans will show up for daytime baseball in mid-week.
The Dodgers will ask Roberto Hernandez (6-8, 3.83 ERA) to repeat what he did in his first start for the team after arriving via trade last week. In that game he pitched six innings and gave up just two runs, both in the first. He got a no-decision. His opponent will be former Dodger Aaron Harang (9-6, 3.31 ERA), who pitched seven strong innings himself last time out for the Braves. He too got no decision. He’s had a 2.55 ERA in his last nine starts, so he’s been pitching well.
Josh Beckett goes back to the hill for the Dodgers, hoping his hip impingement has healed up and he can get back to the form which has him at 6-5 with a 2.52 ERA on the year. Getting back to the way he was the day he pitched his no-hitter is probably too much to ask for.
Beckett will face old friend Aaron Harang, who has been a savior for the Braves this season. He was signed only a week before the season started, and he’s got a 9-6 record with a 3.31 ERA, with 18 quality starts in 21 tries. In 16 of those starts he’s allowed two earned runs or fewer.
Lineup when available.
Tonight's Welcome Home #Dodgers lineup:
Pirates at Dodgers. A. J. Burnett v. Clayton Kershaw. Don’t forget it’s a 6:10 PM PT start time this evening. It’s on Prime Ticket.
We know what Kershaw did in his first outing. Burnett had a good one too, giving up three runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings while striking out ten and issuing just one walk.
Update: And why has no one mentioned this before? “the Victory Knot at Dodger Stadium is a megasized pretzel designed for four people, and is about 3,080 calories.”
Update: The Dodgers have traded Aaron Harang (and $4.25 million!) to the Rockies for backup catcher Ramon Hernandez. According to one report, it’s a salary dump on the Rockies’ part (Hernandez is due $3.2M this season). According to another report, the Rockies hope to flip Harang to another team.
Oh goodie. Another PVL. Hernandez hit .217 in 50-something games last season.
Lineups will be posted when available.
LF: Carl Crawford
2B: Mark Ellis
CF: Matt Kemp
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
RF: Andre Ethier
C: A.J. Ellis
3B: Luis Cruz
SS: Justin Sellers
SP: Clayton Kershaw
Update: Dodgers win! Dodgers win! Jon has a recap of the events at his place.
Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers made several roster moves today to set their 25-man roster as the season begins tomorrow. They placed Chad Billingsley and Ted Lilly on the 15-day disabled list and moved Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang to the bullpen. Hanley Ramirez and Scott Elbert are also on the DL. Billingsley’s placement on the list was backdated to March 22, so he’s eligible to come off no later than April 13. As Gurnick says, that means they’ll have to make another personnel decison on that date.
It looks as though Justin Sellers will start at shortstop for the start of the season, meaning Luis Cruz will likely be the starting third baseman. The two of them may rotate with Punto and Uribe (Yes, Uribe is still on the major league roster. The only reason I can think of is that he’s under contract and the team sees enough value in him not to release him outright and eat the last year of his deal).
Pitchers — Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Josh Beckett, Zack Greinke, Brandon League, Kenley Jansen, Ronald Belisario, J.P. Howell, Paco Rodriguez, Matt Guerrier, Capuano, Harang
Catchers — A.J. Ellis, Tim Federowicz
Infielders — Adrian Gonzalez, Mark Ellis, Sellers, Cruz, Juan Uribe, Nick Punto
Outfielders — Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, Skip Schumaker, Jerry Hairston
Matt Cain has a perfect game mixed into his 16 – 5 record this year. He’s taken over the #1 starter role from Tim Lincecum, at least this season. Aaron Harang had a late slump but recovered to win his last outing against the Padres on Wednesday. He’s 10 – 10 on the year.
It’s Giants – Dodgers with a playoff berth on the line. If you’re a Dodgers fan with a pulse, you’re either at the game or glued to the couch watching it on TV.
Ellis, M, 2B
Ethier, A, RF
Kemp, M, CF
Gonzalez, A, 1B
Ramirez, H, SS .256
Victorino, S, LF
Cruz, L, 3B
Ellis, A, C
Harang, A, P
With Matt Kemp leading the way, the Dodgers won a laugher 8 – 2 this afternoon in San Diego. Kemp was 4 for 5 with a home run and a double (his 20th of each on the season) good for four RBI, Nick Punto had three singles, and Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez and Juan Rivera all chipped in with two hits apiece. Even Aaron Harang, who had a no-hitter until two outs in the fifth in this game, also doubled.
That means the Dodgers are four back in the 2nd wild card chase, awaiting the results from the Houston – St. Louis game. Houston was leading 2 – 0 going to the bottom of the sixth in Houston as the Dodgers finished up their win. If Houston hangs on the Dodgers are 3 1/2 games behind the Cards with seven games to play. The Cards have six to play after tonight, and they’ll be off tomorrow while the Dodgers play the rubber game of the series with the Padres.
The Dodgers send Aaron Harang out to do battle with Clayton Richard. Harang hasn’t won a game since August 18 (not a surprise; if commenter scooplew’s math is correct, yesterday’s game was the 20th consecutive one in which the Dodgers’ starter did not get a win). Meanwhile, Richard’s been on a roll. In his last eight starts he’s 6-1 with a 3.25 ERA.
The game is televised by Prime Ticket today, so I’ll have an opportunity to watch. I’ll post the lineup later when Mattingly tells the media who’s starting.