Dodgers at Giants, 1:05PM PT, TV: SPNLA, CSN-BA
Scott Kazmir of the Dodgers tries to build on his first start of the season in which he went six shutout innings, gave up only one hit, walked none and struck out five. He’s 1-1 with a 1.42 ERA in two career starts against the Giants. Johnny Cueto pitches for the Giants. He’s 2-5 with a 2.79 ERA in eight career starts against the Dodgers. He went seven good innings in his first start, giving up one run on six hits, striking out four while walking none.
Lineup when available.
Happy Birthday to one of yesterday’s heroes: Charlie Culberson is 27 today. Barnes caught Kazmir in his first game, and A.J. has played two in a row, so the younger guy’s playing today. Van Slyke left yesterday’s game with back tightness he says isn’t serious but is persistent.
Dodgers at Padres, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD
The Dodgers began their quest for NL West domination with a 15-0 shutout of the Padres yesterday, the largest Opening Day shutout by any team in Major League history. Clayton Kershaw got off to a superlative start (but that’s not surprising anymore, I guess), going seven innings, striking out nine, giving up no runs and only one walk.
Today is another day, and so we see Scott Kazmir go for the Dodgers against James Shields of the Padres. Kazmir faced them once last year as a member of the As and went five innings, giving up three runs, two earned, getting a no-decision for his troubles. Shields started four games against the Dodgers last year and pitched well, going 1-0 with three quality starts.
Lineup when available.
Okay, so it was just the first game of spring training. Still it’s a win, and they all count toward October, right?
Oh. Exhibition games don’t count? Aw rats.
Scott Kazmir starts for the Dodgers tomorrow against the Texas Rangers.
Rob Neyer at FoxSports:
The Dodgers were expected to spend WHATEVER IT COSTS to retain the services of Zack Greinke. Absent Greinke, or maybe even with Greinke, the Dodgers were expected to acquire one of the other big-time pitchers out there: David Price or Johnny Cueto.
Greinke signed with the Diamondbacks, Price with the Red Sox, and Cueto with the Giants. Ergo, the Dodgers had (or are having) a lousy winter. Right?
Before exploring that question in some detail, we should start with this salient fact: The Dodgers won 92 games last season.
Thank you, Mr. Neyer. The pundits and fans do somehow forget the team has won three titles in a row, and only two of them were Greinke-aided. It can survive without him.
Neyer points out that the Dodgers re-signed Anderson, who was pretty good and figures to be close to that again. They signed Kazmir, who figures to be better than Anderson. They signed Maeda, who only has to be an average pitcher for him to replace the 12 guys who tried to fill that role at the back end of the rotation last year. They also still have Wood, who’s young and whose history is better than his performance with the Dodgers last season. They’ll get Ryu back, and we don’t know yet how complete his recovery might be. Finally, they’ll get McCarthy back mid-season, and if he’s recovered most of his form that will be the equivalent of getting a mid-season trade for a starter done without giving up a player or two.
Neyer thinks the Dodgers will be pretty good this season. So do I.
Speculation remains the currency of choice among the beat reporters, it seems.
Dodgers meet with Maeda, says MLB.
The Dodgers met with Japanese free-agent pitcher Kenta Maeda on Thursday, according to several Japanese media outlets.
The Dodgers are believed to prefer a trade for Miami ace Jose Fernandez or Tampa Bay fourth starter Jake Odorizzi, but don’t want to deal such top prospects as Corey Seager or Julio Urias to do it.
They also reportedly have some interest in Scott Kazmir, one of the few remaining free agents who could crack their rotation.
Early game: It’s really early. Rangers at Blue Jays, 9:30AM PT, TV: MLBN
Mid-season pickup and playoff veteran LHP Cole Hamels (13-8, 3.65 ERA) will pitch for the Rangers. He’ll face RHP Marcus Stroman, who posted a 4-0, 1.67 ERA after recovering from an ACL he tore in spring training. The Jays’ Josh Donaldson was hit in the head with Rougned Odor’s knee, but he’s passed the concussion protocols and may start. The Rangers’ Adrian Beltre strained his lower back but hopes to play.
Late game: Astros at Royals, 12:30PM PT, TV: FS1
Midseason pickup Scott Kazmir will pitch for the Astros. He’s 7-11 with a 3.10 ERA overall this season, 2-6 with a 4.17 ERA for Houston. The Royals counter with their own trade deadline pitcher, Johnny Cueto. He’s 11-13 with a 3.44 ERA overall and 4-7 with a 4.76 ERA for Kansas City.
Dodgers at Astros, 4:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA
Zack Greinke has been emulating Superman recently. He’s made 11 consecutive starts without a loss, and he’s now 13-2 with an MLB-leading 1.58 ERA. He’s also the second-best hitting pitcher in the NL behind Madison Bumgarner of the Giants. His opponent will be left-handed Scott Kazmir (6-8, 2.43 ERA), who’s given up nine earned runs in his last three starts. He’s 1-3 with the Astros after coming over from the As at the trade deadline.
Puig’s back in right, Utley’s at second, and Kiké is in center. Van Slyke’s in left because Kazmir’s a lefty and neither Crawford nor Ethier hit southpaws well at all.