After concluding a three-game Opening Series against the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night, the Los Angeles Dodgers will travel north as their seven-game road trip to start the 2016 season continues.
Thursday’s afternoon contest not only marks the first meeting between the Dodgers and their storied rival San Francisco Giants, but it’s also the Giants’ home opener of the 2016 season. Like Los Angeles, San Francisco began the year on the road — taking two of three from the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Dodgers have also gotten off on the right foot this season, largely behind strong pitching performances from Clayton Kershaw and Scott Kazmir, and production from throughout the batting order.
Wednesday’s game marks the third consecutive day in which Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has essentially used the same lineup, only alternating Austin Barnes and A.J. Ellis behind the plate, and penciling the game’s respective starting pitcher.
However, Roberts indicated there will be a change in left field on Thursday, and he’s considering giving Justin Turner a break as well, ESPN’s Doug Padilla reports:
Carl Crawford to rest Thurs. at SF. Van Slyke or Thompson to start in LF. Turner might rest too. Hernandez, Culberson are options at 3B.
— Doug Padilla (@DougPadilla) April 6, 2016
Through two games thus far, Crawford is 2-for-6 with one run scored and one RBI. He’s been removed early in both games, however, replaced for defensive purposes each time by Trayce Thompson. Roberts previously said he assumes the responsibility of keeping Crawford healthy this season, which in turn he hopes will translate to success on the field.
Thompson is 1-for-2 with two runs scored and one RBI during his limited action this season. Scott Van Slyke’s lone appearance entering Wednesday’s series finale is as a replacement in the eighth inning at first base on Opening Day.
Turner has started at his usual third base and hit third in all three games. He’s coming off microfracture knee surgery, though by all accounts has made a full recovery. Kiké Hernandez has two pinch-hit appearances and played two innings in left field.
Charlie Culberson played two innings at third base on Opening Day. Jake Peavy and Alex Wood are Thursday’s probable pitchers.