Tonight the Dodgers and fans worldwide will celebrate the historic career of the greatest sportscaster to ever live. Vin Scully Bobblehead night presented by Farmer John will feature the tenth bobblehead in the Dodger Stadium Greats bobblehead series. Earlier this week, Vin Scully announced that he was to return to the broadcast booth for a record 64th season with the Dodgers. This will be the first and possibly only time a bobblehead will be given away in his honor. The fans with the first 50,000 tickets will receive their own mini Vinny to cherish. Vin Scully’s granddaughter, Mackenzie Luderer, will sing both the National Anthem and “God Bless America.” Members of the Hall of Famer’s family will commence the game by saying Vin’s iconic phrase, “It’s Time for Dodger Baseball!” Mr. Scully, himself, will also throw out the commemorative first pitch. It should be a night to remember for the ages. I feel honored that myself and Scott will be in attendance to pay tribute to the most important and inspirational Dodger of all time.
It is fitting that Clayton Kershaw will take the mound tonight on such a special occasion. Kersh has now won five of his last six decisions, and he will be
vying for his 13th win. Last time out against Miami, Kershaw once again was dominant over eight innings of work, but he did allow two earned runs on just three hits while striking out eight Fish. Kershaw has been successful against the D-backs in his career, and he sports a 7-3 record with a 2.41 ERA against them. He also has struck out 84 Snakes in 71 innings.
Arizona will counter with right-hander ace Ian Kennedy who is looking for his twelfth win of the season. Kennedy has been stung by homeruns this season, and he has already allowed 26. In comparison, Kershaw has allowed 14 homeruns this year (which is a lot in Kersh standards). Kennedy lost last time out against the Padres by allowing 6 earned runs on 4 hits in 5 1/3 innings. He has a career record of 3-2 with a 4.46 ERA against the Dodgers. The injured Matt Kemp does have two homeruns against him in the past.
The D-backs/Dodger matchups have been heated in the past couple of seasons. In an earlier Kershaw/Kennedy battle back on May 14th, both pitchers pitched inside at each other resulting in hostility. No one was hit, and each pitcher drew a walk off the opposing hurler. Then in early August, Paul Goldschmidt slid into Jerry Hairston Jr. at second base which really angered JHair. Jerry thought Goldschmidt slid late intentionally, and Hairston even called for him to be suspended. You can’t blame Hairston for being riled up over the incident since Mark Ellis was severely injured on a similar slide earlier in the season. Arizona is fighting to keep their head above water in the standings after losing six straight games. The Dodgers, who just won their 70th game, are also aiming to make a playoff run despite losing two of three in Colorado and dealing with rampant injury. They remain 3 1/2 games back of the San Francisco Giants in the NL West.
The Dodgers may have to continue without their best bullpen pitcher Kenley Jansen who is out indefinitely with a reoccurring heart condition. Kenley was sent to an area hospital in Colorado before Tuesday’s game after suffering an irregular heartbeat. Last season Kenley missed four weeks when he was placed on blood thinners. He also had an issue during Spring Training this year, but it was said to be mild. If Kenley has to be prescribed blood thinners again, he may have to miss the remainder of the season. It would be a huge blow to the Dodger bullpen, but Kenley’s health is of most importance. We wish him well.
Tune into Prime Ticket at 7:10 pm for first pitch, but you may want to check in earlier in case they televise some of the Vin Scully festivities.