Shin-Soo Choo is out of the starting lineup for the fourth straight game this afternoon as he continues to nurse left hamstring tightness. According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, he won’t return until at least Tuesday when the Indians open a series against the White Sox.
Choo was originally scheduled to test his hamstring by running on the field this morning, but the Indians have decided to hold off until tomorrow due to the wet field conditions. Today’s game is currently in a rain delay. Choo has reported some improvement in the area, he told Hoynes that he “can still feel it.” While he’s expected to avoid the disabled list, the Indians won’t put him back in the lineup until the tightness has subsided.
After a nightmare year in which he was arrested for a DUI last May and injuries limited him to a .259/.344/.390 batting line in 85 games, Choo is hitting .237/.375/.322 with zero homers, nine RBI, three stolen bases and a .697 OPS over 72 plate appearances so far this season.
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.