By Jon Weisman
Hopefully, Zack Greinke’s Florida roots will come in handy today, because this is gonna be a steamy one.
Greinke has thrown 35 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings and retired 36 of his past 37 batters, but those numbers will be challenged not only by Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals, but also by the triple digit heat index in Washington D.C. during today’s game.
Facing fellow All-Star righty Max Scherzer in today’s primo pitching matchup, Greinke would need six scoreless innings to move pass Clayton Kershaw for third place on the Los Angeles Dodgers all-time streak list, behind (as if I need to tell you) Orel Hershiser and Don Drysdale.
Here are some other pregame notes:
- Carl Crawford will rejoin the Dodgers in Atlanta on Monday, with his activation from the disabled list imminent. Don Mattingly told reporters today that figuring out how to create a roster spot for Crawford is not an easy decision. Counting Alex Guerrero and Kiké Hernandez, Crawford’s return would give Los Angeles a surplus of seven outfielders, pending the next roster move. Alberto Callaspo could be vulnerable, though he is the team’s only infielder off the bench that can bat from the left side.
- How did Clayton Kershaw strike out Harper three times Saturday? According to Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles, in conversation with Don Mattingly after the game, “Kershaw attacked Harper’s weaknesses by elevating hard fastballs just enough to get him to swing and getting into counts in which he could use either breaking ball to devastating effect.”
- Brandon Beachy’s second start after his second Tommy John surgery will take place Monday at his first MLB home, Atlanta — but Beachy is trying not to think about that, he told J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News.