Coastal Cruising

The 2015 Major League Baseball season careens into its 24th week this afternoon, and with 3 to go the Kansas City Royals have matters well under control in the American League Central.  Injured Troy Tulowitzki’s Blue Jays are maintaining a 3-1/2 game margin over the New York Yankees in the East, and the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers are a game and a half apart in the West with LAAo’A lurking in the distance, 4-1/2 back of Houston.  The Yanks and Rangers have the current hand-holds on the AL Wild Cards, but the Minnesota Twins are only a game behind Texas, the Angels 3.

The New York Mets have lapped the field in the National League East.  The mighty Cardinals are getting a strong run from Clint Hurdle’s Pirates in the Central, but if Pittsburgh can’t get over they’ve got one of the Wild Cards in the bag, while the long-suffering Cubs have a lock on the other.  In the West the Los Angeles Dodgers have pretty-much left their arch-rivals, the World Champion Giants, in the rear-view, as LA welcomes the good old Colorado Rockies to Chavez Ravine for a 3-game set starting tonight at 8:10 MDT at Dodger Stadium.

The Rockies treated their long-suffering fans to a relatively upbeat week 23, winning 4 out of 7, including 2 triumphs for RWO favorite Kyle Kendrick.  Justin Miller, who ran-off a streak of 8-straight strikeouts during the week, got a win on Thursday behind a barrage of solo home runs by Nolan Arenado, who leads the NL, Corey Dickerson, Carlos Gonzalez, and Daniel Descalso.  And Chad Bettis notched his 7th 2015 victory on Friday, going 7 strong to defeat the Seattle Mariners.

Rookie Jon Gray (0-0, 5.17) will look for his first career win tonight for Colorado against the Dodgers, and he’ll have his work cut out for him, facing 2014 Cy Young Award and MVP winner Clayton Kershaw (13-6, 2.15).  Kershaw, who’s already stopped by Subway for his “go-to,” as he has “for years,” will be making his fifth 2015 start against the Rockies, having won 3 of the first 4.  The left-hander was out last Tuesday against the Angels, logging his 13th win on 7 innings of 2-run (one earned), 4-hit dealing.  He struck-out 7.  Gray was also out Tuesday versus the Padres, getting in 5 before reaching his pitch limit. He held San Diego scoreless on 2 hits and 2 walks, striking-out 6.

Colorado manager Walt Weiss has Jose Reyes leading-off at shortstop, as Charlie Blackmon gets the night-off against Kershaw.  Brandon Barnes will cover center-field for Blackmon and hit 8th.  Wilin Rosario hits 5th at 1st-base and Tommy Murphy is doing the catching, hitting 7th.  Joc Pederson leads-off in center-field for LA’s Don Mattingly, who has some unfamiliar names in tonight’s Dodger lineup. Corey Seager will hit 6th and play shortstop, while Scott Schleber gets a start in left-field, hitting 8th in front of Kershaw.

It’ll be mostly cloudy with relative humidity hovering around 65% and temperatures in the 70°s tonight in Los Angeles.  Wind will blow straight out at about 5 MPH.  Drew, Jeff, and Spilly will have all the action for you on ROOT Sports and Jerry and Jack are hanging in there with the radio, KOA 850 am.

COLORADO (60-83)
Jose Reyes (S) SS
DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B
Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
Carlos Gonzalez (L) RF
Wilin Rosario (R) 1B
Corey Dickerson (L) LF
Tom Murphy (R) C
Brandon Barnes (R) CF
Jon Gray (R) P
LOS ANGELES (82-60)
Joc Pederson (L) CF
Chase Utley (L) 2B
Adrian Gonzalez (L) 1B
Justin Turner (R) 3B
Andre Ethier (L) RF
Corey Seager (L) SS
Yasmani Grandal (S) C
Scott Schebler (L) LF
Clayton Kershaw (L) P

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sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
5 years ago

Gray vs. Kershaw. Gray is at +/- 140 IP. ‘Bout time to shut him down. How about a 6 IP best performance of the year against Kershaw under the bright lights of LA to go into the off-season on a high note?

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Agreed on Gray. The good thing is he’s starting to look every bit as good as his billing. A very promising debut.

Gary
Gary
5 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

Terrible ball/strike ratio tonight which is really stupid because everything he threw over the plate they couldn’t touch.Only had 52 strikes but 8 strike outs.I think only 5 or 6 balls were actually put in play.Wake up kid and just throw it past ’em!

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
5 years ago

I’m old – and from the south……so please take this with a grain of salt. Gray reminds a little of when I first saw a john Smoltz come up with the Braves…..after they stole him from the Detroit Tigers in a deadline trade. I’m in no way predicting Gray will be the next John Smoltz. But I am saying I see physical, velocity, and pitch similarities at this early, first few months in the Majors stage of their careers.

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Maybe Gray should call up that sports psychologist who helped Smoltz get his confidence back in the early Braves years …

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
5 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

I now vaguely remember that episode (although not until you mentioned it here).

Part of why Gray reminds me a bit of Smoltz is that Smoltz wasn’t immediately lights out when he came up. His stuff was – but the results were sort of random. As I recall, it took him several years to get rolling. My gut feeling is that the Maddux/Glavine factor was bigger than the Sports Psychologist.

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