I mentioned this in the recaps, but this is worth its own post: Giancarlo Stanton’s homer off Jamie Moyer last night was something to behold. For a couple of reasons.
First, it was a freaking shotgun blast. It left the bat at 122.4 miles per hour according to ESPN’s home run stats thingy. That’s the fastest since they began keeping track six years ago.
Second, it knocked out some lights on the scoreboard, as you can see in the pic to the right. Yes, it’s an LED thing and not old school light bulbs so it’s not exactly the same thing — it’ll probably be fixed with a simple reboot or something — but it’s still pretty impressive.
The official distance was 438 feet, but that’s just because it was stopped by an immovable object. One wonders what kind of distance the ball — which was still rising according to those who watched it — would have made had it been hit in a park with an open left field.
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.