Today marks the Los Angeles Dodgers last exhibition game of their condensed spring schedule before they travel to Australia for their Opening Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The team is 6-10-4 so far and are looking to tack on one one last win against the Colorado Rockies today. This is the first time all spring the Dodgers will play their NL West foe despite playing the San Diego Padres and Diamondbacks multiple times this spring.
Yesterday, the Dodgers split their day-night doubleheader, beating the Padres 5-4, but losing to the Chicago White Sox by the same score. 17-year-old top pitching prospect Julio Urias made his spring debut, pitching one inning allowing zero hits with two strikeouts. Clayton Kershaw started in the loss against the White Sox. In his final outing before Australia, the Dodgers ace pitched 5.2 innings giving up eight hits and five runs. Kershaw ended his spring with an unsettling 9.20 ERA.
Hyun-Jin Ryu, the Dodgers starter for the second Australia game, hopes to have a better final outing than Kershaw did. In his last outing, he pitched five solid innings giving up only one run and striking out four. In three total starts this spring, the left-hander has a 2.45 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. If his spring stats so far are any indication, Ryu should have another solid start today to solidify his preparation for his first regular season start on Saturday.
Ryu faces Rockies starting pitcher Jordan Lyles who up until this year has been a long time member of the Houston Astros organization. This spring he’s pitched in an impressive eight innings giving up only one earned run while striking out seven batters. The 23-year-old righty strives for another impressive outing as he looks to secure a spot in the Rockies rotation.
Yesterday, the organization learned that Carl Crawford won’t be making the trip to Australia due to the impending birth of his son. This begs the question of who’ll be playing left field during the Australia series. Mattingly said that Scott Van Slyke is a definite candidate, but the decision will ultimately come down to who is pitching. Mike Baxter, Joc Pederson and Chone Figgins may all be considered for the spot, but Crawford gets the start in the finale.
Today, the Dodgers will go with what’s presumed to be their stateside opener lineup. Yasiel Puig looked better in his at-bats last night while Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier are both in there this afternoon.
Today’s game will begin at 1:05 PM PT. For fans who have Time Warner Cable as a provider, the game will be on SportsNet LA. Fortunately for the rest of Dodgers fans, this spring finale will be broadcasted on AM 570 Radio. Despite the long-term uncertainty regarding other providers picking up SportsNet LA, fans shouldn’t be too worried since Time Warner believes deals could be made the day before Opening Day.
ICYMI: Clayton Kershaw is honored to pitch Game 1 for the Dodgers in Australia