Link-O-Rama: DNA testing for everyone!

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* After being burned on the international market when a 16-year-old given a $570,000 signing bonus turned out to be a 19-year-old, the Indians are considering using DNA testing on all players offered more than $50,000. “If a kid and his family decide to decline, we’ll pull our offer and pass,” assistant general manager John Mirabelli said.
* They’d already clinched a spot in the final round of the World Cup, but the United States still pounded out 12 runs on 17 hits in yesterday’s win over Italy. Team USA is now 8-1 overall with one more preliminary game remaining until the quarterfinals begin.
* Charlie Manuel said last week that he didn’t view Brett Myers as a closer option and now it’s a non-issue, because Myers has joined the lengthy list of injured Phillies pitchers with a sore right shoulder.
* By going 1-for-4 with a homer and two walks yesterday Prince Fielder notched his 40th homer of the year, moved into a tie with Albert Pujols for the NL lead in RBIs, and broke the Brewers’ single-season record for both RBIs and walks. Fielder became an everyday player in 2006 and since then only Ryan Howard, Albert Pujols, and Adam Dunn have more homers.
* In what is proof that Circling the Bases has no jinxing power, Howie Kendrick stayed on a roll this weekend and now has his batting average over .300. He was at just .231 when the Angels demoted him to Triple-A in June.

Battle of the Aces: Max Scherzer takes on Clayton Kershaw tonight

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I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.

Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.

This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.

Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.