Pirates (1-3) at Dodgers (2-2)
9:10 PM–Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
The Bucs will look to right the ship tonight out in Los Angeles, but the timing couldn’t be much worse for a matchup against the best pitcher in the NL. The many struggles on offense have been well chronicled so far, but here’s a quick summary:
OK, official offensive slashes: 127/.195/.161 .356 OPS. OPS+=8. Pirates have 19 total bases (last MLB) & only team in MLB that is homerless
— David Manel (@DavidManel) April 6, 2013
Ouch. It has to get better soon, but with Kershaw on the mound tonight, the Bucs are definitely on no-hitter alert.
MINOR LEAGUE UPDATE:
Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon made their first starts of the season last night and this afternoon. Cole (who’s with AAA Indy) sailed through three innings but had a rough fourth, and ended up with a line of 4 innings, 5 hits, 3 runs, 0 walks, 2 K’s. Not bad but not all that good either. Taillon (with AA Altoona) was better: 5 innings, 4 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 4 K’s, although 5 stolen bases were allowed under his watch. Decent debuts for both.
A.J. Burnett (0-1, 4.76) vs. Clayton Kershaw (1-0, 0.00)
A.J. will need to be on top of his game, obviously, but on Monday he showed that he’s still ready to lead the rotation this year. He’ll be on the road facing a tougher lineup tonight, though, and certainly doesn’t figure to get any more run support than he got in his first start. The last time he faced the Dodgers, he told Hanely Ramirez to STFD…unfortunately Ramirez is currently on the DL.
Like I said, Kershaw is probably the consensus best pitcher in the NL right now and showed it on Opening Day, tossing a shutout. Oh, and he also hit a homer to win the game. Not bad. The Bucs scored 4 runs in 15 innings (over 2 games) against him last year and lost both times.
Dodgers vs. A.J. // Bucs vs. Kershaw
Updated #Dodgers lineup: Crawford LF, M Ellis 2B, Kemp CF, Gonzalez 1B, Ethier RF, AJ Ellis C, Cruz 3B, Sellers SS, Kershaw P
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 6, 2013
Here’s the #Pirates lineup: twitter.com/Pirates/status…
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) April 6, 2013
Since Kershaw’s a lefty, Pedro moves down and Jones/Snider sit in favor of Tabata and Sanchez. Neil Walker is up in the #2 spot for the second night in a row.
LET’S GO BUCS!
Photo: Jayne Kamin Oncea-USA TODAY Sports