I awake to light rain and slightly cool temperatures this morning. Yesterday, multiple people Phoenix residents apologized to me in advance for this weather, trying to explain it away as though it were some personal failing. Many locals are having the “will we get the game in?” conversation that most of us have when violent weather systems pass through at game time. For a day with this forecast:
Gee, I hope I survive.
But don’t worry about me. I’ll try to tough it out. After all, today I’m going to Goodyear to see the Indians and the Reds, and that’s coverage that has to happen, my friends, because I can think of nothing more fun than an Ohio writer taunting people back in Ohio by texting and tweeting them pictures of Ohio-based ballplayers frolicking in the desert.
Even if there’s a threat of sub-60 temperatures and a chance of torrential cloudiness.
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.