The Pirates have laid an egg in the past month, and on Saturday owner Bob Nutting was expansive about the depth of his disappointment in the team:
Pirates owner Bob Nutting on Saturday called his team’s second-half collapse “incredibly, intensely frustrating” and vowed to do what’s necessary to prevent another.
“We’re all frustrated by and upset with the performance and seriously looking at what do we need to do both to finish the year appropriately and make sure this isn’t something we ever see again,” Nutting said.
But he went on to add that speculating on people’s jobs is not appropriate. General Manager Neal Huntington was more to the point about Clint Hurdle’s job:
General manager Neal Huntington responded with a terse “No” when asked whether manager Clint Hurdle’s job is in jeopardy.
I don’t think Clint Hurdle is the best manager in all of creation, but I also don’t see how this is somehow all his fault either. The Pirates’ swoon has been a total team effort.
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.