Dodgers at Rockies, 1:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA
Kershaw v. Jorge De La Rosa. Clayton has a career 5-3 record at Coors Field, but that’s with a 5.24 ERA. De La Rosa is a lefty, and the Dodgers have had trouble with guys who throw from that side all year (207/.338/.282 slash line).
No Gordon (hip), no Puig (hip), no Ethier (see: lefthanded starter), no Turner (unknown). This is a makeshift lineup indeed!
Giants at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA
Madison Bumgarner for the Giants, Paul Maholm for the Dodgers. Seems like a mismatch, particularly when you read this data about the Dodgers’ outfielders past performances against the Giants’ pitcher: “Carl Crawford is 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Andre Ethier is 3-for-24 with nine strikeouts. Matt Kemp is 4-for-24 with seven strikeouts. Yasiel Puig is 4-for-15 with five strikeouts, while Scott Van Slyke is 2-for-5 with three walks.”
Bumgarner is 3-3 with a 3.18 ERA on the season; Maholm is 1-2 with a 4.70 ERA. Each pitcher did have a quality start in his last appearance.
Lineup when available.
Phillies at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA
It’s the Fightin’ Phils’ Cliff Lee (2-2, 4.00 ERA) against the Dodgers’ Paul Maholm (0-1, 4.97 ERA).
If we’re to take MLB’s Preview as gospel, the Dodgers should just forfeit.
Of his four big-name outfielders, Carl Crawford’s .212 (7-for-33) lifetime mark against Lee is the best of the bunch. Yasiel Puig is 1-for-7 vs. the lefty; Andre Ethier is 0-for-11 with five strikeouts; Matt Kemp, who generally wears out lefties, is 1-for-18 with 11 whiffs.
How’s Scott Van Slyke? He’s 0-for-5 with three strikeouts against Lee.
Jeff Passan wrote a good editorial column exhorting MLB to take action to better control the way Cuban athletes are allowed into this country when defecting. He rightly calls the current system a form of human trafficking.
Dodger Insider has a fascinating little story about the Dodgers’ franchise official win total: Elias Sports Bureau has it at 9,997 including the twelve wins this year, while the official Dodgers’ records have it at 9,984 including those wins. The discrepancy is owed to wins achieved with the help of an ineligible player in 1899 (!).
Lineup when available.
Dodgers at Giants, 12:45PM PST, TV: SPNLA.
One of the two de facto aces on the Dodgers staff while Kershaw’s out, Hyun-Jin Ryu brings his 2 – 1 record and his 2.57 ERA to this game. He’ll face Madison Bumgarner, who has a 2 – 0 record with a 3.31 ERA as well as a hot bat. He hit a grand slam and drove in five runs in his last outing.
Mattingly is going with an all right-handed outfield against Bumgarner, saving Ethier and Crawford for pinch-hitting duty.
Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 1:10 PM PST, TV: SPNLA.
Haren v. Cahill. On paper this shouldn’t be a contest. Haren is 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA in 12 innings over two starts. Cahill is 0-3 with a 7.90 ERA in 22 1/3 innings over three starts. “But that’s why they play the games,” says the aphorism.
I think this is the first time Ethier has started in left field this season.
Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 5:10 PM PST, TV: SPNLA and MLBTV (free game today). The D-Backs send out Wade Miley, who’s 2-1 with a 4.05 ERA, and the Dodgers counter with Zack Greinke, who’s 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA.
Miley faced the Dodgers in the opening game in Sydney when he gave up three runs in five innings. With him pitching, Mattingly sits Ethier and Crawford and generally loads up the lineup with right-handers.
Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40 PM PST, Hyun-Jin Ryu v. Brandon McCarthy, TV: SPNLA.
Ryu is 1 – 1 with a 3.86 ERA. He only lasted two innings in his last appearance against the Giants, giving up six runs in the process. McCarthy is 0 – 1 with a 7.82 ERA. He did well in his first outing through six innings and faded, and in his second start he gave up six runs in six innings.
In case you missed it, Magic Johnson caught (or otherwise came up with) a foul ball off Ethier’s bat Wednesday night and gave it to a fellow fan.
Lineups when they appear.
Giants at Dodgers, 7:10 PT, Prime Ticket and MLBN. The Dodgers send out Hyun-Jin Ryu to make his major league debut against Madison Bumgarner.
The Dodgers of the Seventies were noted for the constancy of their infield, running the same four guys out there for years and years. By contrast,
Monday was Andre Ethier’s sixth Opening Day start in right field for the Dodgers, the most in Los Angeles history. His 959 games played in the outfield also are the third-most as a Los Angeles Dodger, trailing only Willie Davis (1,906) and Dusty Baker (1,092).
I had forgotten the outfield has been somewhat of a revolviing door. It may end up that Kemp and Ethier (if the latter isn’t traded at some point in his current five-year contract) set a similar standard for Dodgers’ outfielders as the Cey, Russell, Lopes and Garvey foursome did for the infield.
This amused me when I read it in the preview: “Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was impressed with Ryu’s camp and said the youngster pitched his way behind ace Clayton Kershaw.”
The “youngster” is a year older than Kershaw.
This will be the Game Thread. Lineups will be posted when they’re available.
LF: Jerry Hairston
2B: Mark Ellis
CF: Matt Kemp
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
3B: Luis Cruz
RF: Andre Ethier
C: A.J. Ellis
SS: Justin Sellers
SP: Hyun-Jin Ryu
Cruz hitting fifth has to be a rare thing in his career, I’d think. Crawford’s absence is a bit of a puzzle, although these lifetime stats for Jerry Hairston Jr. may explain it (Crawford has no record against Bumgarner):
“Juan Uribe had the first hit for the Dodgers, a line single, and Andre Ethier the first extra-base hit, a triple off left-hander Leyson Septimo.”
Well might you ask “what the hell is Juan Uribe doing in the lineup at all?” A question, unfortunately, that I can’t answer.
Kershaw started, gave up two runs in two innings, and came out for Belisario. He too gave up two runs in the Dodgers’ eventual 9 – 0 loss to the White Sox.
Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu make their Dodgers exhibition debut Sunday against the White Sox at noon PT on Gameday Audio.
Update: Ownership in the form of Mark Walter and Stan Kasten was present for the game, and had some thoughts for Barry Bloom of MLB.com:
Expectations are high now for the Dodgers, and criticism could follow if they don’t win.
“I suppose people will say we were foolish or something and maybe they’ll even be right, if that’s the case,” Walter said. “I know Stan is going to do everything possible for the long term. We know that you can’t be a perennial strong team, strong franchise, without a farm system and player development. Stan is going to build that.
“I feel that especially in L.A., where there’s been a down period we’ll say, we needed to do something to tell the fans we cared and wanted to be back. Whether that results in a World Series ring right away or not, there’s really no guarantee of that. But it does tell people we care a lot.”
It’s not every day you see a manager pull a double switch which involves pulling the guy who hit a two-run home run earlier in the game and putting a relief pitcher in his spot. That’s what Don Mattingly did in this game, however, taking Andre Ethier out of the number-two spot and replacing him with closer Brandon League while putting little-used utility-man Elian Herrera in the number-nine spot. It paid off in spades when Herrera came up with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning and lined a single off the glove of the drawn-in Marco Scutaro at second base, scoring Hanley Ramirez to give the Dodgers a 3 – 2 win and keeping their slim playoff hopes alive.
This was a tight game all evening, with the Dodgers falling behind 1 – 0 on a double by Buster Posey in the very first inning, scoring Scutaro, who’d walked. Ethier got the run back and one more with a booming home run to center field after a Mark Ellis single. The Dodgers had a chance to score an insurance run in the sixth inning, but Adrian Gonzalez’s career-high 47th double of the year was wasted when he was out at the plate on an excellent throw by
Dodger cast-off Xavier Nady after a single by Shane Victorino. Then in the eighth inning the Giants tied the game on a double by Angel Pagan and a single by Scutaro, who took second on Victorino’s ill-advised throw to the plate. Fortunately for the Dodgers, pitcher Kenley Jansen got the next two Giants out with no further damage. League got the Giants out in the ninth, allowing a single by Aubrey Huff but no further damage. That set the stage for Herrera’s heroics in the bottom of the inning.
St. Louis defeated Cincinnati 4 – 2 earlier in the evening, reducing its magic number to one. The Dodgers’ only hope is to win the final two games against the Giants while the Reds defeat the Cardinals in the final two games of the season. That would leave the Dodgers and Cardinals with identical 87 – 75 records and force a one-game playoff between the two teams to determine which goes on to another one game playoff against the Atlanta Braves, who won the National League’s Wild Card #1.