It’s Opening Day, part two for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are already 2-0 on the season following a sweep of the Opening Series in Sydney, Australia. The Dodgers are coming off a loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Saturday, which had Dan Haren getting hit hard and all Dodger starters being pulled early in anticipation of Sunday’s game. The Dodgers are looking to again flex their power within the NL West, while the Padres are looking for better results than their 76-86 record last season.
Hyun-Jin Ryu takes the ball for the Dodgers in what has been a game of wait and see. Clayton Kershaw was originally scheduled to start, but inflammation was found in his back during the week, which led to him being scratched. Zack Greinke was unavailable as he started Wednesday’s exhibition game with the Angels in an effort to boost his pitch count. That left manager Don Mattingly down to two choices — Dan Haren and Ryu. As the third starter in the rotation, Ryu seemed to be the natural choice to be elected the starter, but he was dealing with a toenail injury he suffered in his first start this season.
Ryu completed a bullpen session on Friday and proved he’s recovered from the split toenail and is capable of pitching. Sunday marks the beginning of a busy week for the left-hander, as he will also start the home opener on April 4, due to Kershaw being placed on the disabled list. Ryu faced the Padres just once last season in a 9-2 Dodgers win. In the outing, the South Korean native struck out six and allowed one run in 6.1 innings of work.
Taking the mound for the Padres is Andrew Cashner, who is making his first career Opening Day start. The right-hander was just 10-9 last season and is coming off a 2-1 record in Spring Training with five starts. Casher had nine strike outs this spring, but allowed 19 hits, which is his highest total in six years of spring ball. Over the last five seasons, multiple Dodgers have fared well against Cashner. Carl Crawford, A.J. Ellis, Andre Ethier and Adrian Gonzalez are all batting over .300 against Cashner, and Juan Uribe is hitting .500 in eight at-bats.
The game is set for a 5:05 p.m. start and it can be seen nationally on ESPN. It’s the last of a four-game stretch where all Dodgers games are available on a network other than SportsNet LA. Time Warner has yet to come to terms with several other cable providers and with the regular season resuming, a resolution could either come quickly or discussions could linger as all parties seek the best deal possible.
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