Dodgers at Cubs, 5:05PM PT, TV: WGN, SPNLA
This the first time the Cubs and Dodgers have played each other this season. The Dodgers send lefty Clayton Kershaw out to face the Cubbies’ lefty Tsuyoshi Wada. Kershaw is 5-4 with a 3.29 ERA. He’s given up as many home runs this year as he did all of last year, which hasn’t helped. On the other hand, his last five appearances have been quality starts. He’s struck out double-digit batters in his last three starts and five of his last seven. Wada is 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA in six starts. He played nine years in Japan before signing with the Orioles in 2011, but he’s had injury troubles including Tommy John surgery, which has made for a slow start to his American MLB career. He’s 34 years old.
Lineup when available.
The only notable thing about this lineup that I see is that it’s Turner’s fourth consecutive start, something Mattingly has said he’d prefer not to do. Ethier’s undoubtedly out of the lineup because the Cubs’ starter is a lefty. Rollins’ absence may be just a needed day off.
Dodgers at Cubs, 5:05PM PT, TV: SPNLA
Greinke, save us!
Okay, that’s a little heavy on the hyperbole. Nonetheless, the Dodgers’ pitching needs to improve over its results in the last two games, and the only one who can do it better than Zack is Clayton Kershaw, who pitches tomorrow. Greinke is 15-8 with a 2.64 ERA on the season, 4-2 with a 3.92 ERA in six career starts against the Cubbies.
The Cubs send Tsuyoshi Wada to the mound. Wada was 4-3 with a 3.34 ERA in his first 11 Major League starts but has struggled in his last two, going 3 1/3 and 4 1/3 innings. Those two outings ballooned his ERA; it had been 2.79 before the Pirates whacked him around twice. He pitched against the Dodgers back on August 2, going 5 2/3 innings, giving up six hits and two runs and striking out six in a game the Dodgers won on a Hanley Ramirez walk-off HR in the twelfth inning.
Speaking of Ramirez, the Dodgers “hope” to have him back for this series.
The Giants are off today. With a win the Dodgers would be up 2 1/2 games in the NL West.
Lineup when available.
Cubs at Dodgers, 6:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA
It’s the Dodgers’ Korean import Hyun-Jin Ryu versus the Cubs’ Japanese import Tsuyoshi Wada this evening, an hour earlier than the usual start time. Ryu will be pitching on five days’ rest; when he does that he’s 11-2 with a 2.80 ERA. He’s 12-5 with a 3.44 ERA overall. Wada is a former Japan League MVP who spent two years in the Orioles’ farm system after nine years in the Japanese major leagues. This will be his third major league start; he got his first win against the Rockies on Monday, throwing seven innings of six-hit one-run ball while striking out six and walking only one.
In medical news, Paul Maholm tore the ACL in his right knee while covering first base last night; if he opts for surgery he’s probably out for the season. Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig are both day-to-day. Mattingly says Gonzalez will probably sit today’s game out and Puig will be available to pinch-hit.
Update: Paco Rodriguez has been called up to take Maholm’s spot on the roster.