Pitching porn tonight: Lincecum vs. Kershaw

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I’m probably going to be a bit drowsy tomorrow, because there’s a great pitching matchup tonight in Los Angeles: Tim Lincecum vs. Clayton Kershaw. When you’re a junkie like me you just can’t miss that kind of thing.

Lots of interesting stuff swirling around this one. The last start from each of these aces for one thing. Each had seven days rest, but Lincecum is the only one who looked it: he shut out the Mets in his best performance of the year. In contrast, Kershaw got slammed around by the Cardinals.  Another, and certainly more important angle to all of this is whether Kershaw can put his stopper pants on and arrest the Dodgers’ current slide which has them down to fourth place in the four-team race for the NL West crown.

Of course, every time I preview some great pitching matchup like this one guy ends up getting shelled and the other guy throws 104 pitches in five innings and the next hour and a half consists of increasingly anonymous relief pitchers.

But a boy can dream, can’t he?

Braves ink Blaine Boyer to a minor league deal

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 2:  Relief pitcher Blaine Boyer #48 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers to home plate during the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on October 2, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.

Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.

Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.

Report: Rays nearing a deal with Shawn Tolleson

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 18: Reliever Shawn Tolleson #37 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.

Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.