The Cardinals’ RHP Michael Wacha (2-1, 2.74 ERA) will face the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda (3-2, 5.03 ERA) in the rubber game of the series.
In Wacha’s last start he went six innings and allowed four hits and no runs to the Giants. He’s gone into the sixth or longer in every start he’s made in 2017. He’s 1-2 with a 3.57 ERA against the Dodgers in four career starts. Maeda is coming off the 10-day DL for hamstring tightness, but in his last start prior to that he went 8 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on five hits to the Pirates. He’s faced the Cards only once in his career and got a win.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1919 Casey Stengel, traded by the Dodgers in the off-season to the Pirates, calls time, steps out of the batter’s box to give the razzing Ebbets Field fans the ‘bird’. The Pittsburgh right fielder doffs his hat, allowing a sparrow to fly out, much to the amazement and amusement of the fans.
2002 With four homers on Thursday (5/23), one on Friday (5/24), and two more on Saturday (5/25), Shawn Green becomes the first major leaguer to hit seven round-trippers in three games. The Dodger outfielder’s nine big flies in a week also breaks a National League record, established by Ralph Kiner with eight and tied by Ted Kluszewski and Nate Colbert.
The visitors send RHP Chad Kuhl (1-2, 5.54 ERA) out to face the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda (2-2, 5.81 ERA). Kuhl managed to beat the Dodgers twice last year despite posting a 4.09 ERA while doing so. Maeda’s last two starts were his best of the season (12 innings, three earned runs, 16 Ks).
Here’s a scheduling quirk: today’s game will be the third of 35 consecutive games the Pirates will play outside of the National League Central.
Today in Dodgers history:
1953 With a double and home run, Roy Campanella drives in all the runs in the Dodgers’ 5-0 victory over the Phillies at Ebbets Field. Campy’s total of 40+ RBIs in the first 30 games will not be matched until Tino Martinez accomplishes the feat in 1997 with the Yankees.
1955 Dodger right-hander Don Newcombe faces only 27 batters when he one-hits Chicago at Wrigley Field, 3-0. Newk’s bid for perfection is ruined by a fourth-inning single hit by Gene Baker, who will be thrown out trying to steal second base.
Toles has a torn right ACL. That was Roberts' fear last night.
RHP Kenta Maeda (2-2, 6.58 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. He lost to the Padres on April 4, but he’s since found a cut fastball and its use led to a very good outing against the Phillies last week: seven innings, five hits, two runs and a win. He’ll face RHP Jhoulys Chacin (3-3, 5.82 ERA), who hasn’t allowed a run in 14 2/3 innings at home this year.
The Dodgers are expected to activate Joc Pederson from the 10-day DL, which means someone has to be sent down to OKC to make room. Might be Bellinger, might be one of the relief pitchers. We’ll probably know by early afternoon.
On this day in Dodgers history:
1955 In his first major league start, Dodger rookie starter Tommy Lasorda ties a record, throwing three wild pitches in the first inning of the team’s 4-3 victory over St. Louis at Ebbets Field.
1962 Bo Belinsky throws the first no-hitter in Angels history and the first one ever tossed at Dodger Stadium, beating the Orioles, 2-0. The 25 year-old southpaw is only the tenth rookie to throw a no-hitter.
2009 The Dodgers tie the major league record of 12 consecutive wins at home to start the season with their 3-1 victory over Arizona. L.A.’s 12-0 start at home equals the mark set by the Tigers in 1911.
Kershaw, McCarthy and Bill Shaikin try their hands at financial analysis of the Dodgers’ methods of acquiring starting pitching.
Lineup when available.
Tonight's Dodger lineup at Padres: Toles LF Seager SS Turner 3B Grandal C Bellinger 1B Pederson CF Puig RF Utley 2B Maeda P pic.twitter.com/RMwL64bHIb
The Phillies start RHP Jerad Eickhoff (0-1, 2.55 ERA). This will be his second appearance against the Dodgers; he gave up four runs in a six-inning start last season. The Dodgers will counter with Kenta Maeda (1-2, 8.05 ERA), who had some extra days of rest and spent it working on his mechanics. Maeda leads the major leagues this season in an unenviable category: among the 17 runs he’s allowed in his 19 innings of work are seven home runs.
Surprising news (to me, anyway): Ethier won’t be back any time soon:
Ethier has still not been cleared to resume baseball activities, and manager Dave Roberts indicated there is no timetable for that process to begin. Given Ethier’s extended downtime, Roberts admitted on Thursday that Ethier will not be ready to rejoin the Dodgers until June — “at the earliest,” he said.
And arriving even that soon is predicated on Ethier making significant progress in the next week or so.
Puig, on the other hand, has shown plate discipline and a willingness to take walks that he hasn’t shown since 2014. He’s letting that low outside pitch go by so far this year, after a year or more of lunging after it.
Lineup when available.
Tonight's Dodger lineup vs. Phillies: Toles CF Seager SS Turner 3B González 1B Grandal C Utley 2B Bellinger LF Hernández RF Maeda P pic.twitter.com/heNaRXJR7E
Kenta Maeda (1-1, 7.07 ERA) goes for the Dodgers, YALHP Robbie Ray (1-0, 1.96 ERA) for the D-Backs. If you’re counting, Ray is the 10th lefty to start against the Dodgers in 18 games.
Maeda pitched against the Diamondbacks Saturday night, giving up four runs on four hits in four innings. He has yet to settle in this season; the Dodgers are hoping extra bullpen and two extrad days of rest will get him on the right track. Ray faced the Dodgers Monday night, went six innings, gave up two runs, walked four, struck out ten and got no decision for his trouble.
So apparently Joc’s deemed not likely to succeed as well against the lefty Ray as he did leading off against the righty Walker last night. No Toles, no Utley, no Seager: I don’t quite understand Dave Roberts’ reasoning here.
Lefty Patrick Corbin (1-1, 1.80 ERA) goes for the D-Backs and righty Kenta Maeda (1-1, 6.30 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. In Corbin’s last appearance he went six scoreless innings and gave up just four hits against the Indians. Maeda hasn’t gotten past the fifth inning in either of his outings so far this season but got the win last time out despite giving up four runs.
Today’s big event won’t be the ball game, really. It will be the unveiling of a statue of Jackie Robinson at the Left Field Reserve Plaza entrance, where nearly 20% of all fans enter the stadium.
Jackie’s widow, Rachel, and children, Sharon and David, will attend the ceremony. Hall of Famer Frank Robinson will also be there, along with Dodgers icons Tommy Lasorda, Sandy Koufax, Vin Scully and Jaime Jarrin.
Lineup when available.
Tonight's Dodger lineup vs. D-backs: Forsythe 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Puig RF González 1B Thompson CF Hernández LF Barnes C Maeda P pic.twitter.com/iZMusoY5kn
The Dodgers ask Kenta Maeda (0-1, 5.40 ERA) to keep the Rockies in check while they try to solve yet another lefthanded pitcher, this one named Tyler Anderson (1-0, 7.94 ERA). So far this season they’re 0-2 against lefties; they were 22-24 against them last year. Maeda is 2-2 lifetime against the Rockies; Anderson is 2-0 in three lifetime starts against the Dodgers.
Lineup when available.
Today's Dodger lineup at Rockies: Forsythe 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Gutierrez LF Puig RF González 1B Hernández CF Barnes C Maeda P pic.twitter.com/BcYaGZooRH
The visiting Padres send lefty Clayton Richard to the mound in hopes he’ll continue pitching as well as he did over the last two months of last season, when he induced ground balls at a 64 percent clip. The Dodgers hope Kenta Maeda does as well in his first start of 2017 as he did in his major league debut in Game Three of last season; he shut out the Padres for six innings and hit a home run. The Dodgers say he’s added a cutter to his repertoire this year.
A couple of interesting things about the Dodgers pitcher:
Maeda tossed three perfect frames and struck out four Angels in his Spring Training finale on Thursday. He needed just 29 pitches. In five spring starts, Maeda posted a 3.00 ERA and a .182 batting average against.
Among pitchers who gave up at least 300 batted balls last season, Maeda led the way by allowing just 28.2 percent to be hit with an exit velocity of 95 mph or harder. Teammate Clayton Kershaw was fourth in that category, at 31.0 percent.
Lineup when available.
Forsythe 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Gutierrez LF Puig RF Gonzalez 1B Grandal C Hernandez CF Maeda P
The Dodgers and Angels put on their annual Freeway Series three-game show to end spring training for both teams starting Friday night. Opening Day is Monday, April 3 against the Padres at Dodger Stadium.
Brandon McCarthy earned the #4 spot in the rotation. He’ll be preceded by Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda and Rich Hill and followed by Hyun-jin Ryu. At least that’s the plan today.
Roberts added that Alex Wood, a finalist for the rotation, would share the long relief role with Ross Stripling. Rounding out the bullpen are closer Kenley Jansen, set-up man Sergio Romo, Grant Dayton, Luis Avilan and Chris Hatcher.
Barnes will likely be the backup catcher, although that’s not been formally announced. Kiké Hernandez hurt his wrist the other day and is questionable for the backup infielder spot until he shows it’s healed. If he can’t go, it’ll probably be Chris Taylor, and that might mean Van Slyke stays up too, since he can play center field and Taylor doesn’t. Additionally,
The Dodgers trimmed the roster before leaving Arizona on Wednesday, sending out seven players. Infielder Rob Segedin was optioned and reassigned were outfielders Tyler Holt and O’Koyea Dickson, pitcher Brandon Morrow, first basemen Cody Bellinger and Ike Davis, and infielder Charlie Culberson.
“It’s a doggy-dog world out there.” I have seen that written on the Internet more times than I care to mention, and it apparently applies to the Dodgers’ starting rotation competition this spring. There are seven proven pitchers trying to fit into the two spots for fourth and fifth starters. Kershaw, Hill and Maeda look to be locks for the first three slots, but after that you’ve got McCarthy, Wood, Kazmir, Ryu, Stripling, Stewart and Urias hunting for work.
“As we look around here today, we have a lot of starting pitching depth, but as we finish spring training, guys like Alex Wood, Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir, they’re going to have to pitch somewhere,” Roberts said. “So whether it is out of the rotation or potentially out of the pen, I don’t know that answer right now.”
Oh, and once they get the starting pitching set, they can start on their “eight outfielders for three positions” problem.