Two of the game's top pitchers will be on display today in San Francisco as Clayton Kershaw takes on Madison Bumgarner in a meeting of division rivals at AT&T Park.This marquee ace pairing clashed four times last season with Bumgarner and the Giants getting the better of Kershaw's Dodgers three
Two of the game's top pitchers will be on display today in San Francisco as Clayton Kershaw takes on Madison Bumgarner in a meeting of division rivals at AT&T Park.
This marquee ace pairing clashed four times last season with Bumgarner and the Giants getting the better of Kershaw's Dodgers three times. Bumgarner outdueled his Los Angeles counterpart, going 2-1 with a 2.05 ERA -- compared to Kershaw's 1-2 record and 2.45 ERA -- and even homered once vs. the Dodgers lefty.
In the most recent matchup, however, it was Kershaw who shined brightest. On Sept. 29 at AT&T Park, Kershaw was dominant, tossing a one-hit shutout and striking out 13 in a division-clinching, 8-0, win.
This National League West matchup is just one of many games highlighting today's schedule. Here are a few things to watch for (all time ET):
Aces duel in NL West showdown: LAD@SF, 4:05 p.m.
Both Kershaw and Bumgarner started the 2015 season by winning their clubs' respective openers. Kershaw tossed seven scoreless frames, allowing just one hit and a walk while striking out nine as the Dodgers trounced the Padres, 15-0.
"Maybe unfairly, but we expect him to be great every time he takes the mound, and tonight he was," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after Kershaw's Opening Day start.
Bumgarner, meanwhile, limited Milwaukee to three runs in a lopsided,12-3, victory. Despite feeling under the weather, he battled through five innings, allowing five hits (two homers), five walks and striking out six.
"Sometimes, days like today are more rewarding than when you go out there with your best stuff," said Bumgarner, who pitched through chills and a fever.
Greinke looks to rebound: CHC@ARI, 8:10 p.m.
Zack Greinke's Arizona debut didn't quite go as planned. The right-hander, who inked a six-year, $206 million deal with the D-backs this offseason, surrendered six runs in a 10-5 loss to Colorado. The six earned runs he allowed were more than he gave up in any of his 32 starts with the Dodgers last season.
"Occasionally, you will give up some runs. Good at-bats and some breaks," Greinke said. "Hopefully I don't make pitches like that the rest of the year, but sometimes guys will score even if you are making OK pitches."
Greinke will look to get back on track in an evening contest against the Chicago Cubs, who just lost Kyle Schwarber to season-ending ACL and LCL tears. Chicago, among the early favorites to reach the World Series, will send Kyle Hendricks to the mound for his season debut.
Same old Story?: SD@COL, 8:10 p.m.
Just five days into his big league career, Trevor Story's at-bats are already must-see TV. The Rockies shortstop became the fifth player in Major League history to homer in four straight games to start a season with two long balls against the Padres on Friday. The 23-year-old has now homered six times in 19 career at-bats, and with another Saturday, he'd be the first ever to homer in his club's first five games to begin a season. Story will try to keep his hot start going Saturday against San Diego left-hander and former Rockie Drew Pomeranz. Southpaw Jorge De La Rosa will start for Colorado at Coors Field.
Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com.