That is the last time Clayton Kershaw picked up a win. Including the playoffs, Kershaw made 15 appearances, including 13 starts, since his win over the Astros last July. In those games, Kershaw had a 3.13 ERA and struck out 91 batters (and walked 38) in 77 2/3 innings, but never picked up a W. What better time for him to pick up a win than today against the Pirates?
Manager Joe Torre has said Kershaw is a special pitcher, but he doesn't think it's fair to put extra pressure on the 22-year old. Tempering expectations is fine, but forgive me if I get excited when thinking of what Kershaw is capable of. Here's a look at the best age 22 seasons in Dodger history (minimum 100 innings):
|Van Lingle Mungo||1933||248.0||2.72||118|
Would anyone really be surprised to see Kershaw atop this list?
After giving up just two runs in his two months as a Dodger, putting up a Dodger record 0.65 ERA in his 27 2/3 innings, reliever George Sherrill gave up three runs in his first game of 2010. From MLB.com Gameday, here are each of Sherrill's 24 pitches:
|12||Jones||75||14"||8"||Slider||Ball in dirt||Slider|
|16||Jones||77||12"||5"||Slider||Ball in dirt||Slider|
|17||Jones||88||6"||6"||Fastball||Ball (wild pitch)||Fastball|
It seems like a few pitches were mislabeled in Gameday, given the speed and the break. FanGraphs shows that Sherrill threw 17 fastballs and seven sliders, which seems to matchup with the speeds in the table above. After the game Sherrill spent 15 minutes with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt looking at video, per Tony Jackson of ESPN LA:
"It's just a hair off,'' Sherrill said. "It's just a matter of getting it ironed out and getting my consistency back."
The point is that Sherrill's fastball averaged just 87.4 miles per hour, after hovering right at 90 for almost all of his career. Sure, this is a small sample size, but that's what Sherrill is working on. That, and better control, as Sherrill threw 10 of his 24 pitches outside the strike zone, and nine more were fouled off.
- In other bullpen news, Ramon Troncoso is back with the team after the birth of his daughter, and is available to pitch tonight.
- Normally the first former Princeton pitcher the Dodgers face each year is Chris Young of the Padres, but tonight that distinction goes to Ross Ohlendorf, who was 11-10 with a 3.92 ERA, and a 4.72 FIP for the Pirates last season. Ohlendorf has faced the Dodgers just once in his career, last September 15. He took the loss after allowing three runs and nine baserunners in three innings, throwing 70 pitches.
- The Dodgers have four non-roster invitees that made the club: Garret Anderson, Jeff Weaver, Ramon Ortiz, and Russ Ortiz. The last time that happened was 2005, when Buddy Carlyle, Scott Erickson, Kelly Wunsch, and Steve Schmoll made the club.
- In case you missed it yesterday, long-time Dodger Jason Repko has signed a minor league contract with the Minnesota Twins, per Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Repko will play center field for the Twins' Triple A affiliate in Rochester.
- On Monday, Garrett Jones became the first Pirate in the 124-year history of the franchise to hit home runs in his first two at-bats of the season.
- Former Dodger Fernando Valenzuela will be honored tomorrow, along with former Laker James Worthy, at the Central City Association (CCA) of Los Angeles’ 16th Annual “Treasures of Los Angeles” luncheon. Past Dodgers honored at this event include Tommy Lasorda and Don Newcombe.
Here are the lineups, per Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Xeifrank's simulation of today's game is here.
TV: Prime Ticket