Dan Haren (3-0, 2.03) vs. Mike Pelfry (0-2, 7.32)
The Dodgers made history on Wednesday night by securing their 10,000th franchise win behind another excellent start by Zack Greinke. Even though the cold conditions up in Minnesota were not ideal for the Los Angeles based team, they took it in stride and plated a half dozen runs in support of their ace on the mound. The bullpen continues to look shaky, but thanks to the offense they were able to pull away with the victory.
The Dodgers wrapped up the month of April on a winning note, but the season is still young. You know what they say, April showers bring May flowers. Perhaps the Dodgers will overcome some of the problem areas they faced in April and start another historic winning streak? With the offense thawing out a little, the Dodgers will need to continue to shore up the defense and the bullpen in order to create continuity and rhythm for the rest of the season.
Zack Greinke is just fantastic, and Dan Haren has been great this season as well. Both right-handers have yet to lose a game this season, and Haren has the opportunity to go 4-0 with a win on Thursday in Minnesota. The acquisition of Haren this past offseason was one of the best moves Ned Colletti made, and with Kershaw being disabled this past month, his contributions have really been extremely valuable. The Dodgers lost to the Phillies last time Haren pitched, but he was not involved in the decision. He allowed 3 runs on 7 hits with 7 strikeouts and 2 walks in the admirable start. In his career, he is 1-2 with a 7.48 ERA in 4 starts at Target Field. Overall against the Twins, Haren is 4-4 with a 3.89 ERA in 11 career starts. Joe Mauer, Kurt Suzuki, and Jason Kubel have all hit well against Haren in the past.
Mike Pelfry is still vying for his first win on the season for the Twins. The right-hander hasn’t lasted more than 5 1/3 innings in any of his first four starts this year. Last time out against Tampa Ray, Mike allowed 4 runs on 6 hits with a strikeout and 3 walks over 5 innings. In his career, he is 1-1 with a 3.43 ERA against the Dodgers in 4 starts. Matt Kemp is hitting .545 against Belfry with 6 hits in 11 at-bats.
The Dodgers will be able to add a 26th man to their roster for the doubleheader, and rumors suggest it will be Red Patterson who may get the nod to start Game 2 for the Dodgers.
Clayton Kershaw struck out 9 batters during his second and hopefully final rehab start on Wednesday in Chattanooga. He threw five
innings and made 86 pitches in order to build up arm strength. He allowed two runs (one earned) on 6 hits. Kershaw didn’t hide the fact that he didn’t like being on the DL, and he wants to rejoin his team.
The Dodgers also optioned catcher Tim Federowicz back down to AAA-Albuquerque on Wednesday and purchased the contract of Miguel Olivo. FedEx struggled offensively, and Olivo has been hitting well in AAA. Olivo will most likely start one of the two games of the doubleheader on Thursday.
Prediction: Matt Kemp goes deep at Target Field for another Bison Blast.
Game 1 begins at 10:10 a.m. PT and will air on SportsNet LA and FS-N for Minnesota viewers. Stick with us for the entire doubleheader as we cover both games throughout the double dose of Dodgers on Thursday!