Pirates at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA
So what does Josh Beckett (3-1, 2.43 ERA) do for an encore? Pull a VanderMeer? It seems unlikely, but yaneverknow. His opponent will be Francisco Liriano, who’s 0-5 with a 5.06 ERA. That’s disconcerting to the Pirates since he had a 16-8 record with a 3.02 ERA last year. Oddly, Drew Butera caught Beckett’s no-hitter last week and he caught Liriano’s no-hitter when they were with the Twins in 2011.
Adrian Gonzalez gets the night off and Van Slyke plays first for him.
Giants at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA
Madison Bumgarner for the Giants, Paul Maholm for the Dodgers. Seems like a mismatch, particularly when you read this data about the Dodgers’ outfielders past performances against the Giants’ pitcher: “Carl Crawford is 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Andre Ethier is 3-for-24 with nine strikeouts. Matt Kemp is 4-for-24 with seven strikeouts. Yasiel Puig is 4-for-15 with five strikeouts, while Scott Van Slyke is 2-for-5 with three walks.”
Bumgarner is 3-3 with a 3.18 ERA on the season; Maholm is 1-2 with a 4.70 ERA. Each pitcher did have a quality start in his last appearance.
Lineup when available.
Phillies at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA
It’s the Fightin’ Phils’ Cliff Lee (2-2, 4.00 ERA) against the Dodgers’ Paul Maholm (0-1, 4.97 ERA).
If we’re to take MLB’s Preview as gospel, the Dodgers should just forfeit.
Of his four big-name outfielders, Carl Crawford’s .212 (7-for-33) lifetime mark against Lee is the best of the bunch. Yasiel Puig is 1-for-7 vs. the lefty; Andre Ethier is 0-for-11 with five strikeouts; Matt Kemp, who generally wears out lefties, is 1-for-18 with 11 whiffs.
How’s Scott Van Slyke? He’s 0-for-5 with three strikeouts against Lee.
Jeff Passan wrote a good editorial column exhorting MLB to take action to better control the way Cuban athletes are allowed into this country when defecting. He rightly calls the current system a form of human trafficking.
Dodger Insider has a fascinating little story about the Dodgers’ franchise official win total: Elias Sports Bureau has it at 9,997 including the twelve wins this year, while the official Dodgers’ records have it at 9,984 including those wins. The discrepancy is owed to wins achieved with the help of an ineligible player in 1899 (!).
Lineup when available.
Dodgers at Giants, 12:45PM PST, TV: SPNLA.
One of the two de facto aces on the Dodgers staff while Kershaw’s out, Hyun-Jin Ryu brings his 2 – 1 record and his 2.57 ERA to this game. He’ll face Madison Bumgarner, who has a 2 – 0 record with a 3.31 ERA as well as a hot bat. He hit a grand slam and drove in five runs in his last outing.
Mattingly is going with an all right-handed outfield against Bumgarner, saving Ethier and Crawford for pinch-hitting duty.
Two of the most exciting players in baseball combined for one heckuva play this afternoon when Mike Trout hit a ball to Yasiel Puig in center field. Puig dove inadvisedly, but then retrieved the ball from the wall and threw a strike to Hanley Ramirez who relayed the ball on one hop to A.J. Ellis, who stayed off to one side and tagged Trout as he attempted to score on an inside-the-park home run.
Thank heaven for video. I’ve have been very sorry to miss this play.
Update: Two video highlights in one day! Scott van Slyke hit the Dodgers’ second grand slam in two days after Guerrero did it yesterday:
Update II: The MLB Network did a “30 Clubs in 30 Days” tour during this year’s Spring Training, and here’s the Dodgers’ episode at Camelback Ranch. Click the Wilson video if only to see his hair (not beard, hair).