When Rich Hill got scratched for tonight’s game, the Dodgers penciled in Clayton Kershaw to face Max Scherzer making this the match-up of the Cy Young winners of 2013 and the aces of all aces. Scherzer has won the last two Cy Young awards and in 2013 Scherzer was the AL winner while Kershaw took the honor in the NL that year. Each pitcher has earned 3 Cy Young’s a piece and will compete again this year for the honor. In the early race for ERA leaders, Scherzer is ranked 3rd and Kershaw is ranked 7th. This is a rare match-up indeed as it is only the 10th time in Major League history that two 3-time Cy Young winners have faced-off.
While these games are early season must-see television, you can expect Dodgers Stadium will be sold-out. Both teams have come into the season in rather lackluster fashion and are currently both at one game under .500. The Nationals can claim the excuse that they are missing 4 starters on most days, and the line-up looks like a Spring Training split-squad game as Daniel Murphy and Adam Eaton are both on the disabled list with Anthony Rendon missing extended time.
The Dodgers are only missing Justin Turner from their line-up. Both teams have their share of Mendoza level players, but the Dodgers are getting great production from their oldest players in Matt Kemp (.347) and Chase Utley (.343). It’s Yasmani Grandal who is leading the Dodgers, and he is a +1.0 WAR batting .352.
For the Nationals, Adam Eaton is eligible to come off of the disabled list today from an injury he sustained on a slide into homeplate 10 days ago and injured his ankle. Whether Eaton comes off the disabled list today is still an unknown at this time. Anthony Rendon has been day-to-day with a bruised toe suffered on a foul ball. Additionally, Matt Wieters has been day-to-day with a sore wrist. For the longer term, Brian Goodwin and Daniel Murphy will remain on the disabled list. Murphy is currently rehabbing at extended Spring Training at the Nationals’ West Palm Beach facility. Goodwin is nursing a sore wrist.
Washington Nationals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Stadium: Dodgers Stadium, Chavez Ravine, California
1st Pitch: 10:10 pm EDT
TV: MASN2; MLB App out-of-market
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app
Line-ups subject to change without notice:
- Trea Turner SS
- Howie Kendrick 2B
- Bryce Harper RF
- Ryan Zimmerman 1B
- Moises Sierra LF
- Matt Wieters C
- Michael Taylor CF
- Wilmer Difo 3B
- Max Scherzer RHP
UPDATE: The Nationals have designated A.J. Cole for assignment and Carlos Torres will take his place on the roster. Several times in the off-season general manager Mike Rizzo affirmed his support for Cole as his 5th starter. After just two starts and two relief appearances, Cole is gone.
In other news, Rendon is now up to 6 1/2 consecutive games missed. Unfortunately for DL purposes, you can only backdate a DL stint 3 days which puts the Nationals in a tough situation. If they place Rendon on the DL now he would have to sit out at least 7 days. Dave Martinez says he could be available off the bench tonight and should play Saturday or Sunday.
Adam Eaton was not taken off the DL today. He will swing the bat today. No time-table for his return.