Dodgers Giants Game 3 Preview
By Alex Campos
Weather permitting, the Dodgers-Giants matchup today should be fun. And everyone gets to watch it. Yay!
We just don’t need to talk about last night’s game right? I already wrote about it. I don’t want to re-live it. Today is a new day.
Today is also the first (of probably many) matchup between Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner this season. That should be fun. The Dodgers’ ace has outlasted two Giant aces (Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain), but MadBum seems to stick around a little longer.
Kershaw is already one of the best pitchers to ever touch a baseball, but he’s been especially tough against the Giants in the past. In 31 career games (30 starts) against the Giants, Kershaw has thrown 227 1/3 innings. He owns a 1.54 ERA against them and the Giants are slashing 1.84/2.25/2.50 against him. His 16 wins against the Giants are his second-most wins against any team (17 against the Rockies), but his seven losses are also his second-most (eight against the Diamondbacks).
Kershaw has been especially tough in his 109 innings pitched at AT&T Park, as he owns a 1.16 ERA in his career there. He lost his first three starts against the Giants last season, but those all came in the “What’s Wrong With Clayton Kershaw” part of the season. He threw two complete games against the Giants last September, with the last one coming on a 13-strikeout masterpiece to clinch the division up north.
Bumgarner is no slouch, as he owns a 2.45 career ERA in 139 innings against the Dodgers in his career. The Dodgers only slash .219/.265/.344 against him, so runs should come at a premium today. He had a horrible spring and didn’t look good in his first start (possibly due to a flu), but regardless of my personal feelings toward him, he’s a damn good pitcher and could give the Dodgers fits.
One of the keys to his success against the Dodgers last season was the Dodgers’ tendency to steer a bit too hard in the matchup direction. Manager Don Mattingly would feature all-righty lineups, leaving Joc Pederson out of the lineup when he was raking or leaving Adrian Gonzalez out of the lineup.
Gonzo is in the lineup, but Chase Utley, Corey Seager and Joc Pederson all sit. It makes sense to play matchups and new manager Dave Roberts shouldn’t be judged by one matchup against a lefty, especially in an early game after a late game last night. To my surprise, A.J. Ellis is in the lineup. It makes sense with Kershaw on the mound, but this breaks the string of alternating starts between him and Austin Barnes. He also caught every inning of last night’s game, so I figured a day off was in store for the 35-year old. He also turns 35 today, so Happy Birthday A.J!!
Carl Crawford is also out of the lineup, but he was placed on the DL with a back issue. He was announced as a pinch hitter last night but never hit, but the announcement means his DL time will start from yesterday instead of Thursday. Micah Johnson, who had been getting reps in the outfield, will take his roster spot.
First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 and will be shown on FS1. The game will not be blacked out in LA.
Damn it, mother nature.