Beckett will be the Dodgers' sixth different starting pitcher in the team's 10th game, something the Dodgers have done four times in the last 15 years. In 2009, the Dodgers used six different starting pitchers in the first six games of the year.
Beckett makes his first start in 11 months, following surgery to relieve nerve pressure caused by Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. It wasn't anything related to the recovery from surgery that kept Beckett shelved once the season began. The right-hander bruised his right thumb in the clubhouse doors at Camelback Ranch, then rolled his ankle in the final inning of his rehab start last Friday with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga.
"I guess it's just part of getting old," the 33-year-old Beckett quipped.
Beckett had a limit of 80-85 pitches in his Friday rehab start, so he'll likely be limited to 90-95 pitches or so tonight, but that's nothing new. Outside of Clayton Kershaw's 102 pitches on Opening Day and Hyun-Jin Ryu's two-inning stinker in the home opener, Dodgers starters have thrown between 80-96 pitches this season.
On the mound for the Tigers is Anibal Sanchez, who was traded (along with Hanley Ramirez) for Beckett in a seven-player deal between the Marlins and Red Sox in November 2005. The trade ended up working out for both teams, as Beckett won a World Series in Boston and the Marlins got prime seasons out of Ramirez.
Sanchez threw a no-hitter as a rookie in 2006 and after three years limited by injuries came into his own in 2010. But after two solid years and free agency looming, Sanchez like Beckett was traded away. The Tigers lured Sanchez away from Miami, then re-signed him as a free agent for $80 million over five years.
In his first full year in Detroit, Sanchez tied his career high with 202 strikeouts and led the American League in both ERA (2.57) and adjusted ERA+ (162).
So Wednesday night, 3,058 days after they were traded for one another, Beckett and Sanchez finally meet on the mound. Both will be backed by former Marlins in the heart of the order, and maybe if the Dodgers are fortunate enough they can get another matchup between Miguel Cabrera and Kenley Jansen, the best at-bat of the 2014 season so far.
- The Dodgers are 9-3 in their last 12 interleague games at home, dating back to 2012.
- Dodgers relief pitchers at home this season have allowed three runs in 18⅔ innings, with 25 strikeouts and six walks.
- Only six current, active Dodgers have faced Sanchez in their career and they are a combined 6-for-32 (.188) with six singles against the right-hander. Justin Turner is 2-for-5 with two walks. Juan Uribe is 0-for-5.
- Torii Hunter is 9-for-28 (.321) with a home run, a double and two walks against Beckett, though the right fielder is likely to rest in the series finale after bruising his left knee crashing into the short right field wall in foul territory on Tuesday.
- In the battle of who might catch for the Tigers tonight, Alex Avila is 4-for-10 with a double, a homer and a walk (.400/.455/.800) against Beckett, while Victor Martinez is 7-for-22 with a home run (.318/.375/.455). Martinez played first base on Tuesday.
Time: 7:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA