Dodgers Look For Split In San Francisco
By Alex Campos
After dropping the first two games, the Dodgers have a chance to split their first series against their arch rivals.
For a while, it looked like today’s game would be the Dodgers’ attempt to not get swept, but timely hitting by Corey Seager and Charlie Culberson gave the Dodgers a win they absolutely did not deserve. It’s fair, as the Giants won game two, which they didn’t deserve. Baseball is weird.
The Dodgers look to salvage a split after dropping the first two games, and they send Scott Kazmir to the mound. He had a concerning spring, but looked great in San Diego. The Padres weren’t exactly crushing the ball all series, but a huge concern going into the season was wondering who was going to pitch behind Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers had another ace behind Kershaw for the last three seasons, but Kazmir got the unenviable task of taking Zack Greinke‘s spot in the rotation. He gave the Dodgers six shutout innings, with the lone baserunner coming on an infield single.
Today is Kazmir’s first real test, as he makes his third career start against the Giants. He’s had success against them in the past, allowing two runs in 12 2/3 combined innings. His first start against them was a seven inning, three hit shutout in 2014. His second went a bit worse, as he gave up two solo home runs in five 2/3 innings. This was his second start as an Astro last season, and Brandon Belt hit both of those homers.
Johnny Cueto gets the ball for the Giants, and he pitched up to his large contract in his first start at Milwaukee. It was the Brewers, so today will also serve as his first true test. The Dodgers didn’t face Cueto last season, but in 2014 Cueto allowed seven hits and one run in two starts against the Dodgers and finished second in Cy Young voting. He’s a phenomenal pitcher and should be a great fit in AT&T Park, but his arm health was concerning last season.
The first six look normal, and Trayce Thompson gets his second consecutive start with Carl Crawford on the DL and Scott Van Slyke leaving yesterday’s game with a sore back. The outfield of Trayce/Joc Pederson/Yasiel Puig is the best defensive outfield the Dodgers can throw out there, and if Thompson can hit the ball it should be great offensively as well.
Everyone on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster is either on the DL or on the active roster, so they needed some able bodies to fill in. It’s unknown where James Ramsey and Zach Walters will fit into the team, but both have options remaining. More depth is a good thing, and these guys might play the Chris Heisey/Justin Ruggiano role from last year.
First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.