Word is out now, but in case you check here before anywhere else, Vicente Padilla will start us off in Pittsburgh on April 5 and Clayton Kershaw will be the starter at the home opener on April 13 against the D’backs.
Joe Torre’s reasoning: “We just decided to line them up that way.”
That means the second game will be Kershaw in Pittsburgh, then Billingsley and then Kuroda.
More from Joe: “We have 4 guys you could put their names in a hat. I had no problem with Clayton starting the Home Opener.”
Meanwhile, if you didn’t see the Dodgers Media Network piece on Clayton and his boyhood friend, Matthew Stafford, check it out here.
Here’s a cool note from Jayson Stark of ESPN…
Not sure if you’ve noticed, but 21-year-old Dodgers phenom Clayton Kershaw seems to be under this nutty impression that he’s never supposed to give up a hit. He’s now made SEVEN starts this year in which he’s gone at least five innings and allowed either two hits or one.
And according to baseball-reference.com’s fabulous Play Index, only one other pitcher, age 21 or younger, in the last 55 years has cranked out that many starts of two hits or fewer in a season. That was the Giants’ Matt Cain, who also had seven in 2006.
But no one else that young has had more than FOUR in a season. The group at four: Dennis Eckersley (1976), Storm Davis (1983), Steve Avery (1991) and CC Sabathia (2001).
And in case you’re wonder about the most starts like that by a pitcher of any age in the division-play era, it’s 10, by Nolan Ryan – age 44 at the time – in 1991.
Here’s the lineup for tonight’s opener at Arizona…
Posting from a box at Isotopes Stadium, where Manny Ramirez will start his rehab assignment this evening here in Albuquerque. It’s a really nice facility…the last time I was here was in 1998 and Paul Konerko and Dennys Reyes were the top prospects playing for the Dukes. They’ve got a new stadium and are expecting a sellout crowd tonight due to Manny’s arrival. Should be an interesting few days.
Meanwhile (and more importantly), the team is in Chicago for a three-game set against the White Sox. Clayton Kershaw will host a web chat at 1 p.m. PT/3 p.m. CT today on dodgers.com from the clubhouse at US Cellular Field, so be sure to login and catch up with him.
Also, for those of you who have a few minutes, you’ve heard us talk about the People All-Stars Among Us program…well, it ends tomorrow night so you only have a little bit of time to vote for one of the three people who will represent the Dodgers at the All-Star Game in St. Louis.
That’s about it for now…will try to post the lineup for the game in Chicago later in the day but it could be busy around here. MLB Network will be here providing live look-ins of all of Manny’s at-bats and there’s quite a bit of media that has made the trip to Albuquerque.
We arrived in Dallas a bit ago and it’s warm…supposed to be over 100 tomorrow. Any ITDers in Dallas that check out the site on a regular basis? Surely there have got to be some of Clayton Kershaw’s old buddies on here somewhere…
And of course we’re bummed that OldBrooklynFan/PierreEastMeetsWest can’t take Frank McCourt up on his offer of a free trip out to Dodger Stadium for the ITD Tour but we’ll keep working at it. No one should be a fan that long and not get a chance to see Blue Heaven on Earth.
And from Mark Langill, here’s a cool note:
Congratulations to former Dodger third baseman Dick Gray who will be inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame on June 12 (tomorrow). Gray was a rookie in 1958 and made his Major League debut in the team’s first game on the West Coast, at San Francisco on April 15.
Gray hit the first home run in Los Angeles team history on April 16 during a 13-1 victory at Seals Stadium. He also hit the first Dodger home run at the Coliseum on April 18 in a 6-5 victory over the Giants. Injuries limited Gray to just 58 games in 1958 and he batted .249 with nine home runs and 30 RBI.
The Dodgers traded Gray to the Cardinals in June 1959 in exchange for outfielder Chuck Essegian. Gray, who joined the Buena Park School District after his baseball career, today is retired and lives in Anaheim and Louisiana.
Rumor has it, June gloom started early in Los Angeles but so far here in Miami, it’s sunny, warm and muggy, which is par for the course in this town.
Clayton Kershaw takes the mound today and hopefully can turn things around a bit. While we were in Philadelphia last week, former Dodger Joe Moeller was there keeping an eye on Clayton. Joe is an advance scout for the Marlins and he’s one of the few people in the world who knows what it’s like to be in Clayton’s shoes. Moeller was the youngest starting pitcher in Los Angeles Dodger history back in 1962 when he was just over 19 years old.
Meanwhile, It’s hard to even fathom how well Juan Pierre is playing these days. I know that he’s been a lightning rod for discussion in this two-plus years here but I’m personally thrilled to see him making the most of this opportunity. He works harder than just about anyone I’ve ever seen and he’s handled the changes of the last year and a half with class. Now, he’s helping keep us atop the standings and today, he’s atop the lineup yet again.
Ausmus, C (day off for Martin)
Paul, RF (first big league start)
Castro, SS (day off for Furcal)