After last night’s rain-aided marathon of a game, the Dodgers and Twins are back this morning to finish up their 2-game series. Clayton Kershaw — making his season debut — takes on new Twin and familiar foe Chris Paddack.
|10:10 a.m.||Minneapolis, Minn.|
|1B||Freeman (L)||2B||Arraez (L)|
|DH||Muncy (L)||SS||Polanco (S)|
|2B||Lux (L)||LF||Kirilloff (L)|
Kershaw, 34, had his debut pushed back due to the shortened Spring Training. He threw a 5-inning side session five days ago to prepare for his debut. While it’ll be overcast, it seems the weather might hold out for the two squads to get this one in.
Here’s an interesting tidbit about Kershaw and Target field.
I knew Kershaw shouldn’t have gone to Australia.
Kershaw had a strong spring, posting a 3.09 ERA in 11 2/3 innings in the Cactus League. He fanned 13 hitters against just three walks. Spring Training stats don’t mean much, but Dave Roberts seemed impressed with the future Hall-of-Famer’s performance.
How about a 27-strikeout perfect game, preferably on 81 pitches.
After last night’s 5 1/2-hour affair, there wasn’t a big change to the Dodgers’ lineup. Austin Barnes is in at catcher (as he’s, basically, Kershaw’s personal catcher) for Will Smith, who’s getting the night off. Other than that, it’s the same personnel in the lineup, with Justin Turner at third base and Max Muncy at designated hitter. The fans who hate platoons must be giddy that the Dodgers are using “a more consistent lineup” or whatever.
The Twins are countering with Paddack, whom they acquired just before Opening Day along with Emilio Pagan, for Taylor Rogers. Normally, landing a starter for a reliever is a good move (but I’ll never be OK with the Duaner Sanchez-for-Jae Weong Seo trade from 16 years ago — congrats, you’re old too!), but this seemed like a bit of a desperate move for the Twins, who had been searching for starting pitching all winter. With old friend Kenta Maeda recovering from Tommy John surgery, they needed someone to throw innings. We’ll see how Paddack’s fastball-changeup heavy arsenal plays in the American League and an underrated AL Central.
Bryon Buxton gets a day off from the field and Carlos Correa gets a day off from the game. Last night’s Dodger MVP Luis Arraez is at the keystone instead of the hot corner, so maybe he’ll have a better defensive showing today.
There’s a bit of late-breaking news with the Twins’ lineup.
Speaking of Dee…
First pitch is set for 10:10 a.m. Grab your coffee.