Dodgers @ Braves April 21, 2016: Some baseball with your coffee

Baseball at 9 a.m. reminds me of Little League. But this morning, Clayton Kershaw takes on the Braves as the Dodgers are trying to win the series.

They came from behind on Wednesday night to even the series. Adrian Gonzalez hit his second home run of the season (and just the Dodgers’ ninth) and the team scored two in the 10th to go on to victory.

Dodgers
Braves
9:10 a.m. PT
Atlanta
2B
Utley
SS
Aybar
SS
Seager
2B
Castro
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Freeman
CF
Pederson
3B
Garcia
RF
Thompson
C
Flowers
LF
Hernandez
RF
Francoeur
C
Ellis
LF
Stubbs
3B
Culberson
CF
Smith
P
Kershaw (L)
P
Wisler (R)

Kershaw is coming off a good-not-great outing last time out, and it’ll be interesting to see how he handles an early morning game. I’m guessing he’ll be just fine.

Corey Seager‘s series has been interesting. While it isn’t showing up in the box score, he’s having solid at-bats. He had home run distance on a couple of fly balls that ended up being foul, but he’s just 2-for-20 in his last five games. It’s a mini-slump, but nothing he can’t figure out. He has struggled on the defensive side for seemingly the first time of his career, and he has errors in back-to-back games. Perhaps a day off at some point will do him some good, but that won’t happen today.

After the first three hitters, the lineup looks significantly different for this morning game. Birthday boy Joc Pederson is getting his first-ever start as a cleanup hitter, while Trayce Thompson is giving Yasiel Puig a day off. Charlie Culberson is in for Justin Turner, who like Seager, has also struggled a bit of late (and for most of the season, really).

In roster and injury news, Pedro Baez took a ball off the back of his head yesterday and was unavailable to pitch last night. But apparently, he’s feeling better today.

Yay? Seriously, it’s good to see he’s OK.

Hope everything works out OK for Louis Coleman. Here’s hoping Luis Avilan figured out his issues while with Oklahoma City (6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 9 K).

Scott Van Slyke‘s back injury is a bit more severe than previously believed. He was, originally, thought to come back for the weekend series with the Rockies, but now he’s probably a few weeks away (at least). That’s good news for all the guys filling the left field void at present. The Dodgers will probably continue to see Howie Kendrick out there while Van Slyke is out. That is, at least if Chase Utley is still hitting well. But it’d also be nice if Kendrick started to hit a bit better.

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.