R.A. Dickey couldn’t match Johan Santana’s feat on Saturday, but he did give the Mets back-to-back shutouts for the second time in eight days.
Dickey pitched a seven-hitter for his third career shutout as the Mets topped the Cardinals 5-0 on Saturday. He’s won six straight and is now tied for the major league lead in victories at 8-1 with a 2.69 ERA for the season.
Thanks to Santana and Dickey, the Mets have recorded four shutouts in seven games. Santana notched two of them by himself. The Mets also won 2-0 behind Dickey against the Padres last Sunday, though the bullpen got the final five outs that day.
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.