Have at it. Who’s on first? Which pitchers are on the roster, and whose dreams are crushed? Should Yasiel Puig be on the first-round roster? What about the injured Scott Van Slyke? Should Seager start at shortstop or should it be Rollins? Should Utley be on the 25-man roster?
Do the Mets’ starting pitchers hold a candle to the Greinke/Kershaw combination? Should it be Wood as the number three starter, or should it be Anderson? It’s ironic that gaining home field advantage means the Dodgers’ #3 starter, whether Wood or Anderson, will start on the road. Anderson was 7-4 away from Dodger Stadium with a 3.07 ERA while Wood was 2-4 with a 6.14 ERA.
Dodgers at D-Backs, 5:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A
Mike Bolsinger makes another spot start for the Dodgers. He’s been pretty effective for them this season at 6-3 with a 2.97 ERA. He once played for the Diamondbacks and has faced them twice this year, giving up two runs and six hits in eleven innings. Rubby De La Rosa will pitch for the Arizona team; he’s 12-7 with a 4.49 ERA. He pitched for the Dodgers in 2011-2012, going 4-5 as a starter before being traded to the Red Sox in the Crawford-Gonzalez deal.
Grandal’s shoulder has seemingly improved enough to play, while Rollins’ finger has not.
Dodgers at Padres, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD
The Dodgers start Mike Bolsinger (5-3, 2.38 ERA), back up from OKC. According to Mattingly he will remain in the rotation “beyond Friday.” His opponent will be James Shields (10-6, 3.78 ERA), who’s looking for his third win in his last four starts.
Justin Turner gets the day off at third base, and young Mr. Seager will replace him there. Jimmy Rollins is expected to play shortstop.
Lineup when available.
For scoreboard watchers: Giants at Rockies
Dodgers at Cardinals, 4:15PM PT, TV: Fox
The Dodgers hope Carlos Frias does better today than he did in his last appearance when he gave up 10 runs to the Padres in just four innings. He’s 3-2 with a 5.34 ERA after that game, which pushed his ERA up from a very good 2.55. He’ll face Michael Wacha, who has emerged as St. Louis’s new ace in Adam Wainwright’s absence. Wacha is 7-0 with a 1.87 ERA.
Note that Grandal has returned from OKC (Heisey was sent back) and Van Slyke’s back has seemingly healed enough for him to play. Also note that Rollins has been dropped to 8th in the order and Turner is now hitting second.
Dodgers at Brewers, 10:40AM PT, TV: SPNLA
Carlos Frias brings his 2-0, 0.00 ERA (over 7 2/3 innings) to the hill for the Dodgers to face the Brewers’ Mike Fiers, who’s 1-3 with a 4.74 ERA this season but is coming off a 2 walk, 12-strikeout performance over 6 innings against the Cubs in which he got the win.
The Dodgers plan to sit Jimmy Rollins and Justin Turner in this game and to have Yasmani Grandal do the catching. Juan Uribe will be back at third with his 13-game hitting streak.
Lineup when available.
Padres at Dodgers, 7:10PT, TV: SNLA Spanish, SportsNet LA, ESPN2
Each team has won one game in the opening Clash of the Titans of the NL West, so tonight is the rubber match. The Padres send out Andrew Cashner, who’s 1-2 lifetime against the Dodgers. Don’t let that fool you, though. He’s got a 1.53 ERA with 45 Ks in 53 innings against the home team. His opponent will be Brandon McCarthy, who last year had a 2.61 ERA against the Padres in two starts for the D-Backs, giving up one run in 14 innings.
Adrian Gonzalez is 6 for 9 (.667) to start the season, with 2 singles, 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 4 runs scored. Jimmy Rollins and Howie Kendrick are each 3 for 8 (.375), Carl Crawford is 2 for 6, and nobody else has more than one hit.
Padres at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SNLA Spanish, SportsNet LA
In their Opening Day game the Dodgers came back to win a game, something they had a terrible time doing last year. Better, they won it on the strength of a home run from one of their newcomers, Jimmy Rollins. Rollins went 2 for 4 on the day. Another Jimmy, Mr. Wynn, started his Dodger career the same way, going 3 for 5 with a home run in his first game in Blue back in 1974.
Today’s pitching matchup pits Zack Greinke for the Dodgers versus Tyson Ross (isn’t that name better suited for a prizefighter?) for the Padres. Greinke is 4-0 with a 1.84 ERA in his career against the Padres, while Ross was 0-4 against the Dodgers in four starts last year, albeit with a 2.67 ERA. He didn’t get a lot of help from his offense, obviously. Overall, Ross had a good year on a bad team. He was 13-14 with a 2.81 ERA. He struck out one batter per inning and gave up 30 fewer hits than innings pitched.
Padres at Dodgers, 1:10pm PT, Dodger Stadium
Here it is at last, the first day of the new season, with the changes the new management made over the winter soon to be on display.
Will Jimmy Rollins play better defense than Hanley Ramirez? Will Howie Kendrick hit better than Dee Gordon? Will Kershaw win a fourth Cy Young Award? Can he lead the National League in ERA for the fifth consecutive year? Will Hyun-Jin Ryu recover from his shoulder woes and win more than fourteen games? Can Kenley Jansen come back from his foot woes and regain his form as an elite closer? Will the Dodgers miss Matt Kemp’s bat more than they’ll be helped by Puig’s play in right field? Can Uribe play up to his standard of the past two years while remaining healthy enough to play 125 games or so? Can Justin Turner keep up his torrid hitting from last year while coming off the bench and playing all over the infield? Will Joc Pederson keep up the hitting he did in spring training? What’s going to happen with André Ethier?
Questions, we have questions. Today we start getting answers.