Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40 PM PDT, TV: FS-A, SPNLA
This is Clayton Kershaw’s second start of the season. He actually lost the first, the first loss the lefty has ever sustained in his eight Opening Day outings. He wasn’t exactly lit up, however, giving up only a Joe Panik home run in his six innings of work. He’s 0-1 with a 1.50 ERA. His opponent will be RHP Zack Godley, who’s making his first start of the year.
Here are some observations about Kershaw’s first outing from ESPN’s Buster Olney:
Kershaw threw inside at a higher rate than any pitcher in baseball in 2017, in keeping with a career-long habit of bullying hitters. But on Opening Day, his average fastball was down to a career-low 90.7 mph, and he attacked the outer half of the strike zone in his final few innings, often with off-speed pitches, and kept the Giants’ hitters off-balance, allowing one run in six innings. Some evaluators believe Kershaw would benefit from making the same transition CC Sabathia has made during his career; by consistently using both sides of the plate, he can be less predictable and more difficult for hitters to diagnose.
From ESPN Stats & Information research, no pitcher threw inside at a higher rate last season than Kershaw. He threw 40.2 percent of his pitches inside, a full 3 percent higher than any other player.
Another interesting note about Kershaw’s pitch locations: He threw 70.1 percent of his pitches in the lower half of the strike zone last season, more than 10 percent higher than he has thrown in any other season in the past 10.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
- 1968 The Tigers trade left-hander Hank Aguirre to the Dodgers for a player to be named later, minor leaguer Fred Moulder. The All-Star southpaw, better known for being the worst hitter in major league history, will compile a .085 batting average during his 16-year major league career, striking out in an astounding 61% of his 388 at-bats.
- 1974 The Indians trade Pedro Guerrero to Dodgers for pitcher Bruce Ellingsen. The 17 year-old infielder/outfielder will compile a .309 batting average and will be named to the All-Star team five times during his 11 seasons with the team.
- 2008 Twenty minutes before their game, the Dodgers announce reliever Hong-Chih Kuo will start in place of Chad Billingsley, who in turn will be in the bullpen. The unusual move, made due to the threat of rain at the start of the contest, is also employed by the Giants with Merkin Valdez beginning the game on the mound and the announced starter, and eventual winner Tim Lincecum entering the game in the fourth inning.
Lineup when available.
Giants at Dodgers, 5:08PM PT, TV: ESPN
Here we go again. The Giants have already swept two series from the Dodgers this season and they have a chance to do it again today in front of a national audience on ESPN. If they do, they’ll take over first place in the NL West by a half-game.
This is the only Sunday Night Baseball appearance the Dodgers make this year. They have a Wednesday game this week and a Friday game July 3. That’s it on “The Worldwide Leader in Sports.” For a team which was regarded as a lock to win its division and make it to the playoffs that seems a little short-sighted to me.
The Giants will send Tim Lincecum to the mound this afternoon. He’s 7-3 with a 3.31 ERA and is having a nice comeback so far from what have been several poor years following his Cy Young winning seasons of 2008-2009. The Dodgers can take some hope in the fact that Lincecum hasn’t had a quality start in his last five and he’s given up six home runs in those appearances.
The Dodgers counter with Brett Anderson, who’s gotten virtually zip in run support and has a 2-4 record and a 3.43 ERA to show for it. The Dodgers have scored two or fewer runs in 7 of his 13 starts this season. He and Greinke should file a class-action lawsuit against the team’s offense.
Yasiel Puig has owned Lincecum since he came into the league. He’s 10-17 against him with four extra-base hits.
Lineup when available.
Guerrero takes Ethier’s place in left field. Since Lincecum’s right-handed, I guess Mattingly just thinks Ethier needs a day off.
Dodgers at Giants, 7:15PM PT, TV: SPNLA, NBC Bay Area
Brett Anderson goes to the mound for the Dodgers. He’s 2-1 with a 3.50 ERA, and his last two starts have been his best for his new team. He’ll face Tim Lincecum, who’s 3-2 with a 2.43 ERA, in somewhat of a rebound from his poor showings of the last three seasons. He’s 10-8 with a 3.45 ERA in his career against the Dodgers, which is pretty good compared to Anderson’s 0-3 with a 6.10 ERA against the Giants.
Fun fact: The Dodgers and Giants entered Tuesday night’s series opener 69-69 in games played at AT&T Park.
Non-funny fact: LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu will undergo left shoulder surgery tomorrow. The arthroscopic surgery will be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in LA.
Further info on Ryu: this is exploratory surgery to try to determine the cause of the inflammation he’s had all spring.
Giants at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MLBN
This is a rematch of the pitchers in last Tuesday’s game against the Giants. Brett Anderson gave up nine hits in only four innings, giving up four runs and taking the loss, 6-2. It’s small consolation that five of the nine hits were infield singles. Tim Lincecum went six innings and got four double plays behind him, giving up one run and five hits and getting the win.
In other news today the Dodgers traded
LHP Xavier Cedeño to the Rays for cash.
In late news, Brandon McCarthy has a torn ulnar collateral ligament and will probably need Tommy John surgery. Scott Baker will stay on the roster and Adam Liberatore will come back up to fill McCarthy’s spot.
Dodgers at Giants, 7:15PM PT, TV: SPNLA
Brett Anderson has started two games for the Dodgers so far this season, going six innings in one game and five innings in the other. He got a no-decision in the first game and picked up a win in the second. He’s got an ERA of 3.27. He’s only made three starts against the Giants in his career, and he’s 0-2 with a 5.25 ERA.
Anderson will face two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum, who hasn’t looked like the same pitcher he was in 2008 and 2009 when he won those awards in quite a while. He’s started two games this year. In his first outing he looked like a throwback to those years, though; he went 7 scoreless innings, walked 3, struck out 5 and gave up 4 hits. Unfortunately he didn’t get a decision. His second outing was similar: he went 5 innings, giving up 6 hits and 3 runs while walking only 1 and striking out 4. In that one he got a loss. Lincecum is 9-7 with a 3.38 ERA in 24 career starts against the Dodgers.
Puig is in the lineup, which means his hamstring is better. It also means that Mattingly knows he’s 8 for 14 against Lincecum in his short time in the big leagues.
Dodgers at Giants, 7:15PM PT, TV: SPNLA
The end of July is probably a little early to be declaring a series crucial, but this one feels important because the Giants and Dodgers have been trading first place between them for the past three weeks or so, with the largest margin no greater than the two games it was before the Giants lost to the Phillies yesterday. In light of that, the Dodgers set their rotation early; it will be their top three starters Greinke, Kershaw and Ryu to face the back end of the Giants’ rotation: Tim Lincecum, Ryan Vogelsong and Yusmeiro Petit.
Notes: Puig may start tonight. He took extra BP Wednesday. Ramirez is probably not going to start until later in the series, if at all. The Giants have won 7 of the 10 games the two ancient rivals have played so far this season. The Sunday game will be televised on ESPN at 8:07PM ET.
Lineup when available.
Pffft. Ramirez is starting and hitting cleanup, despite what I said above. I based that on his not taking any batting practice, unlike Puig. Thanks, Don!
Dodgers at Giants, 7:15 PST, TV: SPNLA.
Josh Beckett takes the mound for the Dodgers. His previous start, his first since May of last year, was against the Tigers on April 9th. He went four innings, threw 85 pitches, gave up five hits and five runs (four earned), and struck out five while walking only one. Facing him will be Tim Lincecum, who’s 0 – 1 with a 9.90 ERA. In his two starts so far, Lincecum has given up 11 earned runs on 15 hits and a walk in 10 innings. However, he’s 9 – 6 in his career against the Dodgers with an ERA of 2.94.
Lineup when it appears.