Thursday, June 11, 2009

Passing the AL test
      Interleague play has always been popular with baseball fans, and attendance figures bare this out. But it is less than attractive with players for several reasons including the use and non-use of the designated hitter, depending on which is the home team. 
      For the next two weeks, the Dodgers face some tough American League opponents including the Texas Rangers, who are in first place in the AL West, the Angels, the White Sox (in Chicago), the A's and the Mariners. It will be a big test for L.A.'s pitching staff which lately has been  somewhat shaky. Last night in a 3-1 loss to the San Diego Padres, Clayton Kershaw threw 83 pitches in under three innings and had little command of his fastball.
       Kershaw's record is 3-5 and his ERA is a lackluster 4.50, and one has to wonder if the hard-throwing, 21-year-old left-hander is really ready to pitch in the big leagues. If his inconsistency persists, it wouldn't be surprising to see Kershaw sent to the bullpen and replaced by either Jeff Weaver or Cory Blake.


Young man's game
       This week's baseball draft and the hub-bub surrounding the Washington Nationals' pick of San Diego St. fireballer Steve Strasburg overshadowed the 65th anniversary of the major league debut of Joe Nuxhall  back in 1944. Nuxhall was 15 years old when he took the mound that day for the Cincinnati Reds, becoming the youngest player to pitch in the majors.
        Strasburg is expected to sign a multi-million contract with Washington, which could be as high as $50 million. It's a good bet that Nuxhall was paid meal money for his work that day for the Reds, and not much else.
        His debut was less than auspicious as he gave up 8 runs, all of them earned.

Lakers back for Game 4
         Can Orlando shoot over 67% again tonight against the Lakers in Game 4 of the NBA Finals? It would seem that the Magic will have to to have a chance to beat L.A. In Game 3, the Lakers' timing was off and they only lost by 4 points. The pressure is on the Magic and Kobe Bryant needs to work his teammates into the scoring more than he did Tuesday night.

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