The Dodgers played like Kauffman Stadium was a foreign land to them in Monday night’s loss. Zack Greinke gave up a season-high 5 runs, and the offense couldn’t muster anything off Jeremy Guthrie until he tuckered out in the eighth inning. The Dodgers offense was soggier than a biscuit leftover from the BBQ plate which Chris Perez scarfed down pre-game. No, but really. The Dodgers looked lost and almost confused by the unfamiliar stadium. After all, Miguel Rojas and Carlos Triunfel are not exactly bristled Major Leaguers who have played any Interleague games, and both were in the lineup for Game 1.
Van Slyke CF
Justin Turner picked up a pinch-hit, and I don’t see any reason not to start (if healthy) Turner at third base until Juan Uribe returns. Even though Adrian Gonzalez hit a ninth-inning homerun off Holland, he still has been struggling mightily. Justin Turner has actually been hitting really well for the Dodgers, and adding his bat to the lineup is a must when Uribe is out and Gonzo is slumping. Yasiel Puig has a 11-game hitting streak but it seems as if his sore hip has slowed him down a bit. I wouldn’t mind Puig getting some much-needed time off in order to nurse the hip and remain fresh for the remainder of the season.
Clayton Kershaw will take the mound for the first time since pitching his no-hitter last Wednesday. How can you improve on perfection? I’m not sure
his beautiful no-hitter can ever be topped, but every Clayton Kershaw game is a masterpiece, isn’t it? Kershaw in KC seems like a fun time. This will be Kershaw’s first regular season start at Kauffman Stadium (Kersh pitched in the 2012 All-Star game in Kansas City). This will also be Kershaw’s first start versus the Royals. The veteran Omar Infante has the most at-bats against Kershaw currently for the Royals, but he has just 2 hits in 10 plate appearances against the ace. Most of the Royals lineup has never faced Kershaw. Kershaw has won his last four starts and was named the NL Player of the Week.
The southpaw showdown will also feature Danny Duffy, a 25-year old born in Goleta, CA. Last time out he lost to the Tigers, but he only allowed 2 runs on 3 hits over 7 innings with 5 strikeouts. Duffy has never faced the Dodgers in his young career. Duffy has struggled at home this year, and he has a 4.37 ERA at home and a 1.88 ERA on the road. The only current Dodgers to ever have faced Duffy are Gonzo and Drew Butera. Gonzo has 2 hits including a double against Duffy in 9 plate appearances. Drew Butera has no hits against him in 2 plate appearances.
Prediction: Adrian Gonzalez breaks out for a multi-hit game.
The Royals have really great defense and an excellent bullpen. They are 2 games behind the Tigers in the AL Central. They had an amazing 10-game winning streak only to go on a subsequent 4-game losing streak. The Royals will need to find a consistency in order to take over Detroit this season for the top spot. The Dodgers are two ahead of the Royals in the win column, yet they are further behind the Giants in the NL West. The Dodgers have yet to string a four-game or more winning streak this season. The Royals have a $92 million payroll while the Dodgers have a $235 million payroll for 2014.
Although when it comes to Clayton Kershaw’s salary, he’s worth every penny.