National TV tonight, as Clayton Kershaw and John Lackey match up on ESPN. The 30-year-old Lackey hasn’t been his normal self since returning from injury on May 16. In seven starts (really six, because of that two-pitch debacle where he hit Texas’ Ian Kinsler to lead off the game and was tossed) Lackey’s totaled a 2-2 record and 6.10 ERA.
Kershaw hasn’t lived up to his big expectations just yet, but the 21-year-old lefthander hasn’t been nearly as awful as you think, recording a 4.13 ERA in 69 2/3 innings pitched. His last time out was a dandy — four hits, three walks and no runs in five and 2/3 innings against the A’s last Tuesday.
Russell Martin, taking the day off behind the plate, moves up to sixth in the order after an eye-opening 3-for-4 performance last night.
One interesting note: both of these teams — as good ones tend to do — start pretty much the same guys every night. You won’t see Joe Torre or Mike Scioscia send out a typical Sunday lineup in this one.
S. Rodriguez, 2B
Happy Father’s Day to all those dads out there. Enjoy it. In-game updates to come.