Today marks the return of Clayton Kershaw after 75 days or so of inaction while he recovered from a herniated disk in his back. He was having a career year (11-2, 1.79 ERA) before the injury, which is saying something considering how good his first 8 years were. His opponent will be the Marlins’ own ace, Jose Fernandez (13-8, 3.03 ERA). Fernandez is even better at home: 10-2 with a 1.91 ERA at Marlins Park this year.
Chase Utley, who’s played 177 games against the Marlins in his career, has hit 30 HRs and gotten 125 RBIs against them.
Lineup when available.
Tonight's Dodger lineup: Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B González 1B Grandal C Reddick RF Pederson CF Toles LF Kershaw P
Today sees Zack Greinke’s (12-4, 4.17 ERA) return to Dodger Stadium to face Kenta Maeda (13-8, 3.38 ERA). Greinke beat the Dodgers in Phoenix on July 13 while Maeda has seen the D-Backs four times this year, going 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA with 20 strikeouts against just three walks. He’s been on a roll recently, going 5-1 in his last seven starts while posting a 3.71 ERA.
Scoreboard watch: the Giants play the Rockies in Denver at 1:10PM PT.
In case you missed it, here’s a great throw (Pederson) and tag (Utley) from yesterday’s game:
Brandon McCarthy (2-2, 3.00 ERA) goes for the Dodgers and Gerrit Cole (7-7, 2.94 ERA) goes for the Buccos. McCarthy hopes he’s solved the mysterious loss of control he’s exhibited over the last three games he’s started. Cole had a rough game his last time out against the Reds, but he’s 2-0 with a 4.05 ERA in his only two career starts at Dodger Stadium.
Chase Utley had made 409 plate appearances this season entering Friday’s game and had not hit into a double play in even one of them.
Today's Dodger lineup vs. Pirates: Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Reddick RF González 1B Pederson CF Kendrick LF Ellis C McCarthy P
The rubber match of the three-game series features Kenta Maeda (5-3, 2.84 ERA) for the Dodgers and Chris Rusin (1-4, 4.62 ERA) for the Rockies. Maeda has allowed but one run in his last 11 1/3 innings over two starts, and in Rusin’s last start he went seven innings and gave up three runs.
Remember the kerfuffle at the Mets’ stadium when the Dodgers wanted to mark the outfield in order to position their players out there, and the Mets said “Holy Tris Speaker, NO!” Here’s a discussion and an exhortation for MLB to recognize that this is the 21st century and technology is here to stay.
Lineup when available.
Hernández SS Turner 3B González 1B Thompson CF Van Slyke RF Kendrick LF Ellis C Barnes 2B Maeda P
Sunday Night Baseball in Queens features Clayton Kershaw (7-1, 1.48 ERA) starting for the Dodgers and Bartolo Colon (4-3, 3.44 ERA) starting for the Mets. Kershaw has already thrown three shutouts this month, so it’s not impossible he could get another.
Kershaw is 7-0 with a 1.17 ERA and has held Mets’ hitters to a .185 average over 10 career starts. Colon has had rather less success against the Dodgers: 2-6 with a 5.54 ERA. Of course, the rosters don’t remain static: if you were 3-0 against a team five years ago the odds are good that very few of the guys you beat then remain on the team this season. On the other hand, in Colon’s long career Utley (10 hits in 20 ABs, three for extra bases) and Gonzalez (12 for 27 with two home runs) have hurt him.
Lineup when available.
Corrected lineup: Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Gonzalez 1B Puig RF Pederson CF Kendrick LF Ellis C Kershaw P pic.twitter.com/Pd1CMjO7wv
The Dodgers’ 19-year-old rookie Julio Urias makes his first MLB start against the Mets’ Jacob deGrom (3-1, 3.07 ERA), who’s hit a bad patch: he’s 0-1 with a 4.63 ERA over his last four starts.
This will be Chase Utley’s first appearance in NYC since he slid into the Mets’ then-shortstop Ruben Tejada during the playoffs last year, a collision which resulted in a broken leg for the infielder. Tejada has since moved on to the Cardinals, but the Mets fans are still there and are expected to be loud in their displeasure toward the Dodgers’ second-baseman.
For those on the road or away from the West Coast, this will be “an MLB Network Showcase game, [which] can be seen free on MLB.TV and will feature MLB Plus — MLB.com’s data-driven online broadcast that uses Statcast™ and other analytical and broadcast elements to deliver an in-depth discussion about both the action on the field and the big picture.”
Here’s Vinnie reciting the “People Will Come” soliloquy from “Field of Dreams.”
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.
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).
Don Mattingly returns to Dodger Stadium with a team that’s lost 11 of its first 17 games. The Marlins are not very good right now, and they face the added burden of being in the same division as the Washington Nationals, so they’re already 7 1/2 games behind in the NL East. They do have Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez, and they have some guy named Bonds as their new hitting coach with Frank Menechino as his assistant. Fun fact: back in 2001 Bonds and Menechino swung at the lowest percentage of pitches of all major leaguers and still reached base at a combined .447 rate. One was more successful than the other: Bonds hit 73 home runs that season; Menechino’s slash line was .242/.369/.374.
They’ll send lefty Wei-Yin Chen to the hill. He’s 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA in three starts. When he was with the Orioles he faced the Dodgers in 2013 and got a win. The Dodgers will counter with the second of their two surprising starters, Ross Stripling, who has a 2.65 ERA in 17 innings but hasn’t gotten a decision yet. Stripling stumbled his last time out in Atlanta when he gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits with four strikeouts and two walks in 3 2/3 innings.
Lineup when available.
Hernandez LF Kendrick 2B Puig RF Turner 3B Grandal 1B Thompson CF Ellis C Culberson SS Stripling P
Huh. Utley gets a day off. Fine. Gonzalez gets a day off. Okay, but I didn’t know Grandal even owned a first-baseman’s mitt. Pederson and Seager also get days off, presumably because the Marlins are starting a lefty.