Dodgers @ Giants April 9, 2016: Kershaw vs. Bumgarner, weather permitting

It wouldn’t be a Dodgers-Giants series without it also being a Clayton KershawMadison Bumgarner game, and we get the first one of the season

Dodgers
Giants
1:05 p.m. PT
San Francisco
2B
Hernandez
CF
Span
RF
Puig
LF
Pagan
3B
Turner
C
Posey
1B
Gonzalez
RF
Pence
LF
Van Slyke
3B
Duffy
CF
Thompson
1B
Belt
C
Ellis
2B
Tomlinson
SS
Culberson
P
Bumgarner (L)
P
Kershaw (L)
SS
Adrianza

Weather permitting (and this might be more of an issue than it was last night), this promises to be a back-and-forth affair. Both pitchers are really good and both pitch particularly well against the opposing rival.

It’s not terribly surprising to see most of the Dodger left-handed hitters out today. Joc Pederson, Corey Seager and Chase Utley are all getting the day off. While I’d like to see Pederson and Segaer get as many opportunities against lefties as possible to improve, I completely understand sitting Utley in favor of Enrique Hernandez. Pederson and Seager haven’t been given a chance to prove whether they can hit left-handed pitching. Both have been successful in the minors, and Pederson even showed a little pop against them last season (including a home run against Bumgarner late in the season at Dodger Stadium). A.J. Ellis is starting back-to-back games for the first time this season. That’s no surprise with Kershaw on the bump, but it would have been nice to see Austin Barnes get a shot at catching him.

The Giants have made similar changes in their lineup, sitting Brandon Crawford and Joe Panik. Newly extended Brandon Belt draws the start at first base because the options behind him (save Buster Posey) aren’t appealing.

The Dodgers made a roster move.

Shocking, really. It was reported on Friday that Carl Crawford had been dealing with a lower back issue since the middle of spring training. That didn’t stop him from playing the rest of spring training and starting the first two games of the season. But now he’s DL-bound, which is something he’s quite familiar with. Micah Johnson played left field for Oklahoma City last night. It was also the first time he has done that as a professional baseball player. Scott Van Slyke should get the lion’s share of the playing time, with Trayce Thompson backing him up. Johnson will be third or fourth (Hernandez) on the depth chart in that regard.

The Dodgers made a signing.

Sean Burnett is a former top pitching prospect-turned-reliever who was good but also has a history of injuries. With J.P. Howell being the only lefty on the active roster, this gives the Dodgers a chance to have another southpaw in the bullpen (if he performs well, obviously). This also takes some pressure off Luis Avilan, allowing him to work through whatever issues he is having.

And one final note on last night’s game…

As if you needed more proof Roberts made the right call.

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.