This is the moment Dodger fans have all been waiting for. The highly anticipated Australia Opening Series will begin at 1:41 a.m. PST on Saturday morning and the Dodgers will finally take the field in their first regular season game at the Sydney Cricket Ground against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Despite their condensed Spring Training schedule, the Dodgers will kick off their 2014 season while many can’t even watch them play.
The biggest question going into Spring Training was who would be the Dodgers starting second baseman. While there’s no word on who will be the everyday starter or even if a platoon is still in the conversation, Justin Turner will get the start today. Most talks during Spring Training revolved around Dee Gordon and Alex Guerrero, but with the left-handed Wade Miley on the mound, it made sense to go with the right-handed Turner. Signed to a minor-league deal in the off-season, Turner hit an impressive .355 this spring and batted .280 with the Mets last season
Another addition to the starting lineup is Scott Van Slyke, who’ll be taking over in left field as Carl Crawford remains in the U.S. as he awaits the birth of his third child. With Adrian Gonzalez batting cleanup, Yasiel Puig will be the lead-off hitter for the Dodgers after a two-run homer in the exhibition game against Team Australia earlier this week.
The 2013 NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw will take the mound for the Dodgers. Although he may have had a shaky spring, there’s little doubt that the Dodgers ace will be just fine as the regular season kicks off. Patrick Corbin was originally supposed to take the mound for the DBacks, but he’s likely to undergo Tommy John surgery in the near future. Miley will start in his place and he’s posted solid numbers against the Dodgers in the past, going 3-1 with a 3.59 ERA in seven starts. Former Angels slugger Mark Trumbo will make his regular season debut with Diamondbacks as their starting left fielder. Trumbo will bat fifth and Gold Glove winning first baseman Paul Goldschmidt will be in the three spot.
A sell-out crowd of 45,000 will watch as the Dodgers and Diamondbacks bring in the regular season. After the two teams have met a handful of times during the spring, they’ll finally face each other in this highly anticipated Australia series. For Time Warner Cable and now Champion Broadband subscribers, the game can be seen on SportsNet LA . Unfortunately for all other fans, SportsNet LA has yet to make deals with other cable providers and while the game will be on MLB Network, it’ll be blacked out in the LA and Arizona markets.
LF: Van Slyke
ICYMI: Dee Gordon talked about the Dodgers trip to Australia, food and music