Game 3 of the Rockies-Phillies Series ought to be fun

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Back when John Elway still roamed the Earth and the Broncos still got a lot of prime time games, the best night each year was that inevitable mid-to-late October Monday Night game in Denver. You know the one: where the snow fell down, the crowd went nuts and you sat on your couch and enjoyed the living hell out of football at altitude.

I wonder if we’ll get the same charge out of baseball under those conditions. Snow. Wind. High of 34 tomorrow.  The showers are supposed to tail off towards the evening, but my old man was a meteorologist and he’d be the first to admit that determining the exact time snow showers will stop and start is more art than science.  We could have squall on our hands, kids!

Pedro Martinez is poised to start for the Phillies tomorrow night.  After last year’s World Series his teammates are probably prepared for less-than-ideal conditions, but it’s not exactly Pedro’s element. J.A. Happ pitched college ball at Northwestern and based on the Big Ten baseball I’ve watched, there’s no doubt he has pitched in snow before. Too bad Charlie Manuel mismanaged the living hell out of his pitching staff yesterday, because now neither he nor Blanton are likely available.

Thumpity thump-thump, thumpity thump-thump, look at Pedro go . . .

Clayton Kershaw might return to the Dodgers’ rotation next week

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Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.

Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.

Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.