Legends On Deck

Game Of The Week: Friday Night Lights Out, Giants At Dodgers


Preview: San Francisco Giants (6-4) at Los Angeles Dodgers (5-4 late game not included)

Sometimes the baseball planets just line up for us, seams and all. Friday is Jackie Robinson Day. The San Francisco Giants are playing at Los Angeles against their ancient rivals. That tall red-haired Irish kid from Washington Heights is in the booth. Clayton Kershaw (1-0, 1.20 ERA) starts against Madison Bumgarner (1-0, 3.27 ERA). Oh yes, it is also Tax Day. Don’t tell us you forgot.

The two National League West rivals meet for the fifth time this season. The Giants won three of four in their initial series. The last time Clayton went up against MadBum, the Dodgers won 3-2 in 10 innings. That was last weekend at AT&T Park.

The starters have each fared well against the opposing team, so something has to give. This will be the 32nd time Kershaw has started against the Giants. Lifetime the left-hander has been dominant, compiling a 16-7 record with a 1.57 ERA. Bumgarner is 13-7 with a 2.41 ERA in his career against the Dodgers, making 22 starts.

The Dodgers may well place a Red Cross on their uniform soon if trends continue. Though Howie Kendrick and Yasmani Grandal returned to the active roster this week, the team placed outfielder Scott Van Slyke on the disabled list, where he joins fellow outfielders Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford, plus pitchers Hyun-Jin Ryu, Mike Bolsinger, Brandon McCarthy, and Brett Anderson. Reliever Chris Hatcher is away on paternity leave.

The good news for the Dodgers is Rookie of the Year candidate Corey Seager is healthy and off to a good start; Yasiel Puig has been playing well; and former Nippon Professional Baseball star pitcher Kenta Maeda looks like a smart acquisition so far.

Though the Colorado Rockies cooled them a bit over the last two games, the Giants look like the every-other year World Series contenders they are touted to be. The front office appears to be preparing the team for an extended run. The club just announced that it has locked up first baseman Brandon Belt to a six year, $79 million extension, giving the Giants (with shortstop Crawford) the best Brandon duo in baseball for multiple years.

Then there is Buster. The All-Star catcher is off to such a hot start that even his understudy, rookie Trevor Brown, hits two home runs in a game when Manager Bruce Bochy rests Posey with a day-to-day injury (April 12th against the Rockies).

A quality start from Kershaw will give the Dodgers their best chance to slow down the Giants. The bullpen thus far has been shaky, never more so than in the lost Ross Stripling no-hitter one week ago (speaking of Trevor Brown).

Are those tax returns done yet? Good. Pull up a chair, look in on 1000 Vin Scully Avenue, and enjoy one of baseball’s greatest rivalries – and do not forget to wear your “42” gear in memory of the great Jackie Robinson.

Game time: 7:10 P.M. NBC Bay Area; SportsNet LA; MLBN out of network (MLB At Bat).

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