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.
MLB released its Top 100 Prospectslist and the Dodgers placed five guys on it. Only two are in the top fifty; 1B Bellinger at #13 and RHP Yadier Alvarez at #49. Bellinger is up 19 spots since the last list was released at mid-season last summer, while Alvarez is up 49.
Logan Forsythe is glad to be on a winning team. “I’m happy to just come over to a winning ballclub, organization and help some young guys if I can, jump in with the core guys and try to help these guys anyway I can,” Forsythe said.
On paper the pitching matchup looks to favor the Cubs; LHP Jon Lester (19-5, 2.44 ERA) faces RHP Kenta Maeda (16-11, 3.48 ERA). Lester has pitched 14 innings in the playoffs and given up just one run; Maeda hasn’t made it into the fifth inning in either playoff start and has a 9.00 ERA over the seven cumulative innings he’s pitched.
Said in Chris Berman’s affected voice: “That’s why they play the games.”
#Dodgers NLCS Game 5 lineup: Hernández 2B Turner 3B Seager SS Ruiz C Kendrick LF González 1B Puig RF Pederson CF Maeda P
I’m pretty sure when RHP Kenta Maeda (16-11, 3.48 ERA) signed with the Dodgers last off-season he didn’t expect to be starting Game One of the NLCS. Nonetheless, that’s what he’s doing. He’ll face LHP Jon Lester (19-5, 2.44 ERA) of the Cubs. Yes, another lefty. Maeda started Game Three against the Nats in the NLDS and gave up four runs on five hits in three innings. Lester started Game One of the other NLDS against the Giants and threw eight shutout innings to pick up the win.
We all know the history here: the Dodgers haven’t won a World Series since 1988, but that pales in comparison to the Cubs, who haven’t made it to a Series since 1945 and haven’t won one since 1908. What more needs to be said?
In case you missed it, yesterday Orel Hershiser posted this:
The Dodgers hand the ball to “rookie” RHP Kenta Maeda (16-11, 3.48 ERA) and ask him to hold the Nats at bay while they solve the lefthanded servings of Gio Gonzalez (11-11, 4.57 ERA). Maeda has never pitched in the postseason; he pitched for the Hiroshima Carp in the Japanese league, and it hasn’t made it above third place since 2000. He was the only Dodger starter who never missed a start the entire season, and the Dodgers were 19-13 when he took the mound. Gonzalez had a horrible year for him: he’d never had an ERA above 3.79 in his previous four years with the Nationals. The team went 14-18 in games he started.
Lineup when available.
#Dodgers NLDS Game 3 lineup: Kendrick LF Turner 3B Seager SS Puig RF González 1B Grandal C Culberson 2B Pederson CF Maeda P
ALDS Game Three between the Indians and Red Sox starts at 3:00PM PT and can be seen on TBS. It features RHP Josh Tomlin for the Indians and RHP Clay Buchholz for the Sox. See the previous post for further details about the pitchers.
NLDS Game Three between the Cubs and Giants starts at 6:30PM PT and can be seen on FS1. It features the reigning Cy Young winner RHP Jake Arrieta (18-8, 3.10 ERA) against LHP Madison Bumgarner (15-9, 2.74 ERA). Bumgarner is 5-1 with a 0.79 ERA in 68 2/3 innings over his last nine postseason appearances dating back to 2012. Arrieta’s gone 7-6 with a 4.44 ERA in his last 16 starts, and his last time out he allowed seven runs on 10 hits at Pittsburgh.
The Giants can claim the second wild-card spot in the National League and a one-game showdown with the New York Mets in the Big Apple on Wednesday with either a win Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers or a St. Louis Cardinals loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Cardinals can still force a one-game wild-card tiebreaker against the Giants on Monday in St. Louis with a win Sunday and a San Francisco loss.
As a result of Saturday’s loss the Dodgers locked themselves into the No. 3 seed in the NL playoffs. The second-seeded Nationals, winners of the NL East, have the home-field advantage in the best-of-five series. (The Cubs have the first seed).
Dodgers at Giants, 12:05PM PT, TV: SPNLA, KTLA, CS-BA, MLB.TV free game (out-of-market)
Kenta Maeda (16-10, 3.28 ERA) hopes to cap off an excellent MLB rookie season with his 17th win. He’s done very well against the Giants this year: 3-0 with a 2.65 ERA in three starts. He’ll face lefty Matt Moore (12-12, 4.21 ERA), who faced the Dodgers on September 21 and did not fare well: he gave up six runs on seven hits in one-plus innings.
Vin Scully will do all nine innings of the game, which will be simulcast on radio and TV in LA and in the Bay Area. It’s also going to be streamed live on MLB.com.
The Dodgers switched starters around for tonight’s game. They had scheduled Kenta Maeda (16-9, 3.20 ERA) to pitch Wednesday and Jose De Leon tonight, but they reversed the order. It may be that they want Maeda to pitch the last game of the season in San Francisco if home-field advantage for the playoffs is still undecided.
His opponent will be Paul Clemens (3-5, 4.48 ERA), who hasn’t given up a run in his last two starts but who has had trouble going deep into games; his last outing was his longest of the year at 5 2/3 innings.
In playoff opponent news, the Nationals’ All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos is out for the season; he suffered a torn ACL in his right knee in Monday night’s game.
The Dodgers ask Kenta Maeda (15-9, 3.24 ERA) to make a start on four days rest for the second time in a row. He’s only done that three times all season and is 1-2 when he does. Maeda hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a game since his first start after the All Star break. He’ll face the Giants’ Matt Moore (11-11, 4.06 ERA), who’s 4-1 with a 3.45 ERA in his last five starts for the team. He started off 0-3 after his acquisition from Tampa Bay at the trade deadline and held the Dodgers hitless for 8 2/3 innings until Corey Seager singled in the ninth August 25.
Tonight’s Dodger lineup: Kendrick LF Seager SS Turner 3B González 1B Puig RF Ruiz C Hernández CF Culberson 2B Maeda P
RHP Kenta Maeda (14-9, 3.28 ERA) goes for the Dodgers and RHP (and old friend) Zack Greinke (12-6, 4.54 ERA) goes for the D-Backs. It’s hard to believe Greinke’s ERA is nearly three runs higher this year than it was last year when he pitched for the Dodgers. He’s gone against them twice this year with vastly different results. On September 5 he gave up eight runs on five homers to them in just 4 2/3 innings, while on June 13 he gave up only two runs in 7 2/3 innings and got the win. Meanwhile, the Dodgers have won seven of Maeda’s last nine starts. He’s pitching on four days rest for the first time since August 9, which may have an impact on him.
Tonight's lineup: Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Gonzalez 1B Grandal C Reddick RF Kendrick LF Pederson CF Maeda P