Matt Kemp unlikely to be ready for Opening Day

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Death, taxes, Matt Kemp suffering from ailments:

 

On the one hand, sure, an early start for the Dodgers due to the Australia trip and thus a short camp. On the other hand: when was the last time a veteran suffering from nagging ailments was actually ready to go when they say, well beforehand, they’d probably be ready to go? In light of history alone I’d be worried about that April 1 date.

Kemp underwent shoulder and ankle surgeries in October and is currently running and swinging at about 60 percent and “getting close” to feeling like himself. But as Gandhi famously said: Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

Max Scherzer reaches 300 strikeouts on the season

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Nationals ace Max Scherzer struck out his 300th batter of the season on Tuesday night against the Marlins. Austin Dean was the victim, swinging and missing at a 3-2 curve for the second out in the seventh inning.

Scherzer’s 2018 is the seventh 300-strikeout season since 2000. The others: Chris Sale (308; 2017 Red Sox), Clayton Kershaw (301; 2015 Dodgers), Randy Johnson (334; 2002 Diamondbacks), Curt Schilling (316; 2002 Diamondbacks), Randy Johnson (372; 2001 Diamondbacks), Randy Johnson (347; 2000 Diamondbacks). It’s the 67th 300-strikeout season dating back to 1883.

At the conclusion of the seventh, Scherzer had held the Marlins to a run on four hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts. He entered the start 17-7 with a 2.57 ERA across 213 2/3 innings. Jacob deGrom will almost certainly win the NL Cy Young Award, but Scherzer’s 2018 has been outstanding.