The forecast isn’t exactly dire — most of the people down in Texas think the game will be played even if it’s delayed a bit — but there’s probably going to be rain tonight for Game 6 of the ALCS. My last check of Weather.com had it as a 40% chance of scattered thunderstorms.
But even if the chance of a postponement is remote, I am trying to think of what I’d do if I was Ron Washington and there was a postponement. Let’s just call it a mental exercise: would I pitch Cliff Lee in a Saturday Game 6, going with my best shot at victory first, or would I stick with Colby Lewis, comforted by the knowledge that I had Cliff Lee in my back pocket for Game 7 on Sunday? Oh, and making sure that, if we did win, I’d have Lee available for Games 1, 4 and maybe even Game 7 of the World Series?
One of my favorite Leo Durocher quotes is “you don’t save a pitcher for tomorrow. Tomorrow it may rain.” But what if it rains today?
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.