So many spring uncertainties. Will the Dodgers' rotation stay healthy, the bullpen come together, the defense really be improved, Hector Olivera show up?
Nice to know there are some things you can count on, such as Stan Kasten saying he feels horrible about the continued TV blackout.
And Clayton Kershaw.
That's right, the Dodgers' reigning MVP and Cy Young winner looks ready to rock 'n' roll. That was made all the more evident by his little outing Thursday in the Dodgers' 9-6 victory over the White Sox at Camelback Ranch in Phoenix.
Kershaw went six strong innings, holding the White Sox to one run on four hits and a walk, while striking out eight. All in 88 neat pitches.
For what it's worth, he lowered his 2015 spring ERA to 1.86 in his five appearances, striking out 20 in 19 1/3 innings. For what it's worth, because it's spring, and last year he left Arizona with a 9.20 ERA.
Yasiel Puig remains another player who would probably like to start the season immediately instead of April 6. He hit his second home run in as many games and his team-leading fifth. His two-run shot came in the second inning against ex-Dodger Brad Penny.
Better count Jimmy Rollins, all he did was go two for four with a double and home run, driving in four. Adrian Gonzalez also had two hits and drove in a run, and Andre Ethier continued his spring turnaround, with a hit in three at-bats, an RBI and two runs scored. And Enrique Hernandez, who started the spring hitless in 13 at-bats, added his fourth home run with a solo shot in the ninth.
It was a continuation of the Dodgers' recent spring offensive outburst. They had 13 hits, after putting together 14 hits Wednesday. They've scored 25 runs in their last three games.
Their pitchers who followed Kershaw mostly had a rough day. Joel Peralta, one of only two relievers pretty much guaranteed a roster spot, continued with his rough spring. He threw one inning, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk to push his spring ERA to 5.40.
Pedro Baez had given up only two runs in his previous 6 2/3 innings, but could not complete an inning Thursday. He was charged with three runs (two earned) on three hits and a walk.