Jake Peavy hopes to be ready for Opening Day

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Jake Peavy hasn’t resumed throwing yet following July shoulder surgery, but told Scott Merkin of MLB.com that he plans to play some “easy catch” for the first time next month with an eye toward throwing at full strength at some point in December.

His goal is to “not be behind at all when camp starts” next spring, but that’s far from a sure thing:

My goal is to be there and be there from the get-go and pull my weight, and we’ll work as hard as we can to make that a reality. Once the time is right, I believe I will be there. If I do have to miss a start or two at the beginning and can’t start the season with the boys, I can’t believe I would be much behind.

Peavy is owed $16 million in 2011 and $17 million in 2012, with a $22 million option or $4 million buyout for 2013. He posted a 4.16 ERA in 20 starts for the White Sox prior to being shut down with shoulder problems, and the move from the NL and pitcher-friendly Petco Park to the AL and hitter-friendly U.S. Cellular Field made him a relative question mark even before the injury.

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.