The first two games of the season could not have gone better for the Dodgers. They search for a sweep in game three.
The Dodgers have played 18 innings of baseball this season and have scored 18 runs on 23 hits. They still haven’t given up a run and have only surrendered six hits, only two of which coming off a Dodger starter. The Dodgers are good (probably not this good), the Padres are bad (probably not this bad), but this has been a fun start to the season.
Scott Kazmir‘s Dodger debut went well last night, as he allowed an infield single in the first and proceeded to retire the next 17 Padres before being lifted in the seventh. Tonight marks another Dodger debut, as Kenta Maeda will take the hill for the first time in an MLB game.
Maeda was stellar in the spring. He allowed six runs in 23 spring innings, many of which came towards the end of his appearances. He walked five batters and struck out 20, and showed off his pinpoint control. Today will be his first true test, and he has the chance to make the Dodgers the first team since 1994 to have three straight starters not allow a run to start the season (h/t True Blue LA). Essentially, Clayton Kershaw, Kazmir and Maeda are the new Maddux/Glavine/Smoltz. Don’t @ me.
Andrew Cashner will get the ball for the Padres in the first start of the final year of his contract. Cashner should be highly motivated, as a weak free agency class could make Cashner the second best pitcher available. He arguably had the worst season of his career last year, as he posted a 6-16 record and 4.34 ERA/3.85 FIP in 185 innings for the Padres. He faced the Dodgers four times last season and went 0-3, giving up nine runs and four homers in 24 innings.
Cashner pitched the third game of last season as well, and Adrian Gonzalez took him deep three times at Dodger Stadium en route to a 7-4 Dodger victory. The Padres lost each of his four starts against the Dodgers in 2015, but he had three quality starts against them.
A.J. Ellis is back behind the plate, and it seems Ellis and Austin Barnes will alternate days behind the plate until Yasmani Grandal returns from his forearm injury. Yasiel Puig has been tearing the cover off the ball, with each of the five balls he’s put in play registering over 100 MPH in exit velocity. The first seven have been the same in each game this season, so it’ll be interesting to see what changes when Grandal and Howie Kendrick return from injuries.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.