|SAN FRANCISCO ( CAIN )|
LA DODGERS ( KERSHAW )
|909||SAN FRANCISCO||+140||Ov 6,-120||+145||Ov 6,-115|
|910||LA DODGERS||-150||Un 6,+100||-155||Un 6,-105|
|vs Left-handed Starters||40-19||+22.1||32-25||4.7||0.273||0.319||3.9||0.252||0.315|
|Past 7 Games||7-0||+8.7||3-3||5.1||0.257||0.315||1.0||0.173||0.234|
|vs Right-handed Starters||50-50||-5||44-51||3.8||0.252||0.314||3.6||0.235||0.305|
|Past 7 Games||6-1||+4.2||3-4||5.3||0.314||0.354||1.7||0.221||0.290|
|4/1/2013||CAIN(R)||@ LA DODGERS||KERSHAW(L)|| |
|4/2/2013|| ||@ LA DODGERS|| || |
|4/3/2013|| ||@ LA DODGERS|| || |
|4/5/2013|| ||ST LOUIS|| || |
|4/6/2013|| ||ST LOUIS|| || |
|4/7/2013|| ||ST LOUIS|| || |
|4/8/2013|| ||COLORADO|| || |
|4/1/2013||KERSHAW(L)||SAN FRANCISCO||CAIN(R)|| |
|4/2/2013|| ||SAN FRANCISCO|| || |
|4/3/2013|| ||SAN FRANCISCO|| || |
|4/5/2013|| ||PITTSBURGH|| || |
|4/6/2013|| ||PITTSBURGH|| || |
|4/7/2013|| ||PITTSBURGH|| || |
|SAN FRANCISCO: HITTING: The Giants scored the second-fewest runs in the majors. But the additions of OF MELKY CABRERA (.305 BA, 18 HR, 87 RBI, 102 runs) and OF ANGEL PAGAN (32 SB) at the top of the order will certainly help. C BUSTER POSEY's surgically repaired ankle should be fully healed for the start of the season, and the 25-year-old's .368 OBP is certainly needed. 3B PABLO SANDOVAL was the team's best hitter in 2011 (.315 BA, 23 HR, 70 RBI) and was the only legitimate power source. The right side of the infield consists of veteran players past their prime. 1B AUBREY HUFF had his worst season, hitting .246 with 12 HR, but the 35-year-old will continue to bat in the middle of the lineup. 2B FREDDY SANCHEZ, 34, missed 50+ games for the third straight year as he suffered a torn labrum. SS BRANDON CRAWFORD has a slick glove but he's not close to being a legitimate major-league hitter (.204 career BA). OF BRANDON BELT, 23, has future star potential, but will be in a reserve role. OF NATE SCHIERHOLTZ (.756 OPS) provides a reliable bat in right field. |
STARTING PITCHING: San Francisco ranked second in the majors in ERA (3.28), strikeouts (5.4 per game) and Opp. BA (.237). TIM LINCECUM was the ace once again with a 2.74 ERA and 220 strikeouts, but carried a sub-.500 record (13-14). Including playoffs, Lincecum has thrown an average of 230 innings per season since 2008. MATT CAIN also had a phenomenal year, carting a 2.88 ERA, team-best 1.08 WHIP and fanning 179 batters. He allowed only nine home runs in 221.2 innings of work. 22-year-old lefty MADISON BUMGARNER had a solid first full season, finishing with a 3.21 ERA, and a 4.2 K-to-BB ratio (191 strikeouts, 46 walks). RYAN VOGELSONG was an unbelievable story, returning to the majors for the first time since 2006 and going 13-7 with a 2.71 ERA. Although he's 34, his arm has plenty of innings left. BARRY ZITO will likely earn the final spot in the rotation as prospect ERIC SURKAMP gets more seasoning in Triple-A. Zito posted a career-worst 5.87 ERA while Surkamp carted a 1.84 WHIP in six starts.
RELIEF PITCHING: The success of the San Francisco bullpen hinges on BRIAN WILSON, who had a down year (1.47 WHIP, 54 K, 31 BB) because of elbow problems. Surgery was not required for his ailment, so expect a nice bounce-back season from this elite closer. If Wilson gets injured again, SERGIO ROMO could get called upon in the late innings. But even if he doesn't save a game, he still has plenty of value as a set-up man, notching a gaudy 13.1 strikeout rate and 0.71 WHIP last year. In 48 innings, he struck out 70 batters and only walked five. JEREMY AFFELDT is the top lefty in the Giants pen. He notched a strong 2.63 ERA and also tallied a career-best 1.15 WHIP last year.
|LA DODGERS: HITTING: The Dodgers were ravaged with injuries in 2010 and finished in the bottom third in the majors in runs (4.00 per game), homers (117) and OPS (.697). None of these poor numbers were the fault of OF MATT KEMP, who finished second in MVP voting with a .324 BA, 39 HR, 126 RBI and 40 steals. He says he wants a 50-50 season in 2012. 1B JAMES LONEY had the second-most homers (12) of any returning player, and batted .357 with a .608 SLG after August 1. If speedy SS DEE GORDON learns to be more patient at the plate (7 BB in 224 AB), he could score 90 runs from the top of the order. OF ANDRE ETHIER made headlines with a 30-game hit streak, but was once again dominated by lefties (.563 OPS). The team is counting on two veterans to drive in runs. 3B JUAN URIBE has been a walking infirmary lately, but still has 15-HR power, and OF JUAN RIVERA had 46 RBI in 219 AB after coming to the Dodgers. Two guys named Ellis, 2B MARK ELLIS and C A.J. ELLIS, will bat at the bottom of the order. |
STARTING PITCHING: The Dodgers remain one of the better rotations in baseball, placing third in the majors in ERA (3.41) and fourth in opponents' BA (.242). The biggest reason for the success was the NL Cy Young and Triple Crown-winning performance of CLAYTON KERSHAW, who tied for the NL lead in wins (21) and topped all NL pitchers in ERA (2.28) and strikeouts (248). Fellow southpaw TED LILLY had a down year overall (12-14, 3.97 ERA), but had a fantastic final two months of the season (2.09 ERA, 0.93 WHIP). CHAD BILLINGSLEY notched his fifth straight season of double-digit wins, despite sporting a mediocre 4.21 ERA and 1.45 WHIP. AARON HARANG signed a two-year, $12M deal to join the Dodgers rotation. He won 14 games for the lowly Padres last year and finished with a career-best 3.64 ERA. CHRIS CAPUANO left the Mets for richer pastures (2-yr, $10M) of Los Angeles. Although he pitched well at spacious Citi Field (3.82 ERA, 1.21 WHIP), he was terrible on the road (5.42 ERA, 1.51 WHIP).
RELIEF PITCHING: Jonathan Broxton is gone, ending any kind of closer controversy the Dodgers may have been trying to avoid. JAVY GUERRA is the closer, and for good reason. He converted 21-of-23 save chances while posting a 2.31 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and allowing just two homers in 46.2 innings. If Guerra falters, manager Don Mattingly can afford to have a short leash with KENLEY JANSEN as his set-up man. Jansen led the majors with an insane 16.1 K-per-9 ratio and limited opponents to a .159 BA and .228 slugging percentage. At age 24, his upside is extremely high. MATT GUERRIER is a usually reliable reliever, but he is coming off a subpar 2011 campaign (4.07 ERA, 1.27 WHIP).
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (SAN FRANCISCO-LA DODGERS) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Giants-Dodgers Preview* ========================
San Francisco (0-0) at Los Angeles (0-0), 4:10 p.m. EDT
LOS ANGELES (AP) - It won't take long for the Los Angeles Dodgers to find out how their $215 million payroll stacks up against baseball's elite.
They'll test it out against the World Series champion San Francisco Giants on Monday, when former Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw makes his third straight opening-day start against Matt Cain.
"They are definitely the team to beat," Kershaw said of the Dodgers' long-time rivals. "We can talk about it until we're blue in the face, but until we start winning some games and be in first place for the majority of the season, there's really not much we can say about it."
The oddsmakers favor the Dodgers to win their first NL West crown since 2009, but Los Angeles knows its stiffest competition may come from San Francisco.
"We're pretty excited to be playing against the World Series champs, and hopefully we can come out and play the game we know how to play," slugger Matt Kemp said. "It is a rivalry, but that's more for the fans, not for us. We're just trying to beat every team out there."
Cain is excited to get the opening-day start, regardless of facing the Dodgers.
"It'd be just as memorable if it was against anybody," he said.
The Giants enter the season with two World Series titles in three years, and they return all their key players.
"I have to feel good about it because they did a good job last year, they did a great job," manager Bruce Bochy said. "To have the same group back, sure, it's made it easier for us. We knew who we had and things they could do."
San Francisco won the season series 10-8 last year and knocked the Dodgers out of NL wild-card contention in the next-to-the-last game of the regular season.
The Dodgers' lineup will be missing a key component to start the season. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez is on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 22, along with pitchers Chad Billingsley and Scott Elbert. Pitcher Ted Lilly is on the 15-day DL, retroactive to March 28.
Ramirez is expected to be out two months while recovering from right thumb surgery, with Justin Sellers getting the nod as his replacement.
Carl Crawford, recovering from elbow surgery, will start in left field for the Dodgers. He's one of the high-profile players who was acquired in the middle of last season, along with Adrian Gonzalez, Ramirez, starter Josh Beckett and closer Brandon League.
"He's one of the most athletic guys in the game, and it's good to have him at the top of the lineup with his combination of speed and power," Kemp, who is coming off major shoulder surgery, said about Crawford. "It's never fun to face a guy that can take you deep and steal a base as the first batter of the game."
It's the Dodgers' first season opener under new ownership that includes Mark Walter, Stan Kasten and Magic Johnson.
While there have been a few updates in Los Angeles - not the least of which is the $100 million invested into the major leagues' third-oldest ballpark - the Giants immediately concentrated on not breaking up their key contributors.
It started with bringing back lefty reliever Jeremy Affeldt on a three-year contract, then Angel Pagan for four years. Marco Scutaro, the NL championship MVP, reached agreement on his three-year deal a day after Pagan got his multiyear deal in December.
There are so many key returners for the Giants, who pulled off remarkable rallies in the division series and NL championship series before a four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers to capture another improbable championship.
The Giants on Thursday committed to keeping Bochy around as well. He and general manager Brian Sabean had their contracts extended through the 2016 season.
"The glory days of the franchise are now," Giants President and CEO Larry Baer said. "I think it's important to acknowledge that and pay tribute to the people who have done it, from the general manager's office to the manager's office, to get us where we are now."
Buster Posey will look to build on his sensational comeback season. He surprised most everybody in his first year back after suffering season-ending leg and ankle injuries in a May 2011 collision at the plate.
"We really didn't know how much we could use him," Bochy said. "With the job that he did winning the Most Valuable Player I'd say he exceeded what we thought we might have in Buster in 2012 coming off that injury. The credit goes to him in how hard he worked to get himself back to that point."
|Last Updated: 9/23/2014 11:28:27 PM EST|