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By Jon Weisman
Memorial Day is only a week away, so don’t wait to make your plans to spent the evening at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers are on the road this week, but soon enough, they will open their next homestand with the Cincinnati Reds on May 26, and it occurred to me this game might be worth a special mention.
If you needed more incentive than the above-mentioned Andre Ethier BBQ apron giveaway (free to the first 40,000 ticketed fans) or the chance to see Hyun-Jin Ryu at home for the first time since April, then there’s this: Lined up to pitch in the 5:10 p.m. game for the Reds is arguably the No. 1 contender to try to steal the National League Cy Young Award from Clayton Kershaw, 28-year-old Cincinnati righty Johnny Cueto. In other words, if the Reds rotation holds, Memorial Day will provide a prime time to size up the opposition.
With a 1.25 ERA heading into his Tuesday start at Washington, Cueto will provide a great challenge for the Dodgers. Among other things, with runners on base, opposing hitters are 6 for 60 with six walks and one homer against Cueto this year. He leads the NL with a 0.71 WHIP and is striking out 9.5 batters per nine innings.
The Dodgers topped Cueto the last time they met, on July 3, 2012, when Luis Cruz hit a tiebreaking double in the bottom of the seventh inning and later stole home. Yeah, that’s right.
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Last year’s Memorial Day at Dodger Stadium brought one of the best games of the year, with the Dodgers rallying from a 6-1 deficit to top the Angels, 8-7. It was a great way to spend the holiday last year, and I’m looking forward to this year’s game.