Carlos Beltran had gone two months without using his glove, as A.J. Hinch had happily penciled him in as the Astros DH in every game he’d played since his last stint in left field on May 16. In light of that, the Astros held a ceremony for the apparently useless piece of leather.
Specifically, they held a mock funeral for Beltran’s glove before batting practice, with the players all wearing black shirts and Brian McCann wearing a black robe as the officiant. The players formed a semicircle around McCann and knelt as the glove was placed in a shoe box and little tombstones with “R.I.P.” written on them were placed around it:
It was a somber occasion, I’m sure. But now it’s terrifying! Because . . . BELTRAN’S GLOVE HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE!
Don’t let it near your brain, Carlos!
RIP George Romero.
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.