The Royals send RHP Jason Hammel (4-7, 5.08 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda (6-4, 4.56 ERA).
Hammel hasn’t gotten past the sixth inning in either of his last two starts. In his most recent one he gave up seven runs (six earned) on nine hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings in a loss to the Twins. He is 2-7 with a 5.00 ERA in 18 career games (14 starts) against the Dodgers. Maeda had a rough time in his last start when he gave up five runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings in a loss to the Padres. In his previous four appearances he had a 1.06 ERA. Maeda has never faced the Royals before.
In case you missed it, Scott Van Slyke was recalled from OKC to replace Grant Dayton, who went on the 10-day DL with a stiff neck. Also, as expected, Alex Wood will replace Clayton Kershaw at the All Star Game.
Another thing you might have missed: yesterday was Dave Roberts Bobblehead night, and his kids had a big part in it. Daughter Emme sang the National Anthem and his son, Cole, threw out the ceremonial first pitch — a strike. Then the two kids teamed up to say “It’s Time for Dodger Baseball!”
This date in Dodgers’ history:
1953 The Dodgers set a major league mark for the most consecutive games with a home run by a team with a least one round tripper in their 24 contests. Brooklyn starter Preacher Roe hits the record-breaking homer with a third-inning blast in the team’s 9-5 victory over Pittsburgh at Forbes Field.
1998 Jeff Shaw becomes the first player to participate in an All-Star game wearing a uniform for a team he hasn’t yet played for when he works an inning, allowing three hits and a run pitching for the National League squad before appearing in a regular season game for the Dodgers. The 32 year-old closer, who posted a 1.81 ERA along with 23 saves in the first half of the season for the Reds, was traded three days by Cincinnati to Los Angeles for Paul Konerko and Dennys Reyes.
2004 Kazuhisa Ishii tosses a one-hitter in the Dodgers’ 11-0 defeat of Arizona. The 30 year-old Japanese southpaw retires the first 12 batters he faces before issuing a leadoff walk to Luis Gonzalez, which is followed with a single by Shea Hillenbrand, but then the left-hander proceeds to mow down 15 consecutive D-Backs to finish his masterpiece.
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.
The Dodgers put RHP Kenta Maeda (10-7, 3.22 ERA) on the hill to face RHP Vince Velasquez (8-3, 3.33 ERA). Maeda has now exceeded Kershaw in number of innings pitched this season with 125 2/3. Velasquez has walked 17 in his last 36 innings, which is not ideal.
Wily veteran Scott Kazmir (8-3, 4.30 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers in the rubber match of this three game series against a longtime (like, 1890 longtime) enemy. The Dodgers have gone 8-3 in Kazmir’s last 11 starts, and he’s had a 3.84 ERA during that stretch. The Cardinals are asking a rookie named Mike Mayers to make his ML debut tonight. He’s 8-5 with a 2.62 ERA between AA and AAA ball this season, so he’s not chum thrown to the sharks.
A tale of two pitching staffs: Mayers will be the sixth starter for the Cardinals all season long. The Dodgers have used a dozen.
Lineup when available.
Tonight's Dodger lineup at Cardinals: Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B González 1B Kendrick LF Grandal C Toles RF Pederson CF Kazmir P
Julio Urias (0-0, 10.13 ERA) gets the start which would normally be Kenta Maeda’s, but Maeda’s hand is still a little sore from getting hit with a line drive his last time on the mound. He’s expected to start Friday against the Braves in Los Angeles. Urias’s opponent today will be right-hander Kyle Hendricks (3-4, 2.93 ERA), who got a complete game win over the Phillies on May 28. Urias lasted only 2 2/3 innings in his major league debut against the Mets May 27.
Alex Wood has a posterior impingement of his elbow and will need four weeks of rest. After that he’ll start a throwing program and then pitch in a rehab assignment. Hyun-Jin Ryu threw a 90-mph fastball in Fresno last Wednesday and woke up with shoulder soreness, so the team has slowed his rehab down. Brandon McCarthy threw 45 pitches in two innings of bullpen work and hit 89 mph. Scott Van Slyke is expected to come off the 15-day DL this weekend in LA.
Lineup when available.
Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Gonzalez 1B Pederson CF Thompson RF Crawford LF Ellis C Urias P
The visiting D-Backs send Patrick Corbin (0-1, 5.14 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda (1-0, 0.00 ERA). The next run Maeda gives up will be the first one of his American MLB career. All the runs Corbin gave up in his first start were via home runs; the Dodgers only have three so far this season so he may be safe. On the other hand, Maeda has one of the Dodgers’ HRs; Corbin may need to be careful pitching to him.
The Dodgers are expected to activate Howie Kendrick and Yasmani Grandal from the disabled list for this game, which means they’ll have to put two players on it or send two down to Oklahoma City. I hope I don’t have to type that too often. I still think of Albuquerque as the location of the AAA affiliate, even though Las Vegas was the site for a few years recently.
Lineup when available.
Hernandez LF Puig RF Gonzalez 1B Turner 3B Kendrick 2B Thompson CF Seager SS Ellis C Maeda P
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.
Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Gonzalez 1B Puig RF Pederson CF Thompson LF Barnes C Kazmir P
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.
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.
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.
Today's #Dodgers lineup:
Van Slyke LF