D-backs take their shot at Kershaw
Let the intra-division play begin. After opening with NL Central teams St. Louis, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh, the Diamondbacks will begin a three-game series against big-spending NL West rival the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field on Friday. The D-backs will not face right-hander Zack Greinke, who signed a six-year, $147 million free agent contract in the offseason, but will see Korean lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu, who signed a three-year, $36 million deal.
Pitching matchups: Friday -- LHP Patrick Corbin (1-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. LHP Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 0.00). Saturday -- RHP Ian Kennedy (1-1, 4.15) vs. LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (1-1, 2.13). Sunday -- RHP Trevor Cahill (0-2, 5.90) vs. RHP Josh Beckett (0-1, 4.91).
Who’s hot for the D-backs: Gerardo Parra, who has led off every game this season, is hitting .341 and is tied for the NL lead with 14 hits and five doubles. He is second with seven extra-base hits. ... Martin Prado, who has started all nine games at either third base or left field, is tied for second with 10 runs scored. ... Paul Goldschmidt is hitting .342 with four doubles. ... Relievers David Hernandez (five appearances) and Matt Reynolds (four) have not given up a run.
Who’s not: The D-backs have received only one quality start -- six innings or more, three earned runs or less -- in six tries from Nos. 1-3 starters Ian Kennedy, Trevor Cahill and Brandon McCarthy. The first two will pitch the final two games of the Dodgers series. Cahill has walked five and hit two in 10 2/3 innings
Who’s hot for the Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw has given up only six hits and one walk in his first 16 innings, all scoreless, while striking out 16. He shut out San Francisco, 4-0, on 94 pitches on Opening Day. ... New leadoff hitter and left fielder Carl Crawford, who missed most of last season with an elbow injury, was hitting .464 with .531 on-base percentage entering Thursday night’s game against San Diego. He led off Wednesday’s game with a home run and had six multiple-hit games. ... First baseman Adrian Gonzalez was hitting .393 with six RBIs in the first eight games.
Who’s not: Center fielder Matt Kemp had five hits in his first 30 at-bats, with three doubles and two RBI. ... Third baseman Luis Cruz had two hits in his first 22 at-bats. ... Josh Beckett has given up four home runs in his first 11 innings.
Notes, quotes, odds and ends: Kershaw, won the NL Cy Young award in 2011 and was second last season, but he has not used the D-backs as a springboard. He was 1-3 agains the D-backs last season, and there is some history. Kershaw was ejected after hitting Parra with a pitch on Sept. 21, 2011, and the two had words from their benches. Parra probably will be the first batter Kershaw sees Friday. ... The D-backs had the upper hand last season, winning 12 of the 18 games and limiting the Dodgers to an average of 2.7 runs a game. ... The D-backs won 10 of 18 in the series in 2011. ... Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez is expected to miss the first two months of the season with a torn ligament in his right thumb.