Unless I’m missing something, there have been three good things for the Mets in the second half:
1. R.A. Dickey continuing to be R.A. Dickey;
2. The emergence of Matt Harvey; and
3. Yesterday’s spiffy debut of Collin McHugh, who tossed seven scoreless against Colorado.
Number three will be on hold for a while, unfortunately, because the Mets just shuffled him off to Buffalo to make room for Jeremy Hefner, who is coming back from paternity leave.
This is obviously not some problem. The Mets don’t need a fifth starter in the next week thanks to an off day and the rosters expand a week from Saturday. But it does kind of stink that a kid who just did something cool has to leave so quickly after doing it.
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.