We got to see a potential World Series preview in Peoria today with Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers taking on the Mariners. Yes, the reigning 2014 NL Cy Young AND Most Valuable Player -- THAT Clayton Kershaw. Luckily, it's only Spring Training but this was a nice test for the lineup to get a look at one of the best pitchers in the game (some might say THE best, but we'll save that argument for another day).
Roenis Elias, who is currently locked up in a battle for the 5th starter spot with Taijuan Walker, got the nod for the M's and pitched well today. After giving up a run in the 1st inning, Elias settled down and got his breaking ball working (when it's working, ohhhh man, it's working) and didn't give up a run until the 4th inning. He found himself in a little bit of trouble after giving up a few hits that lead to another run for the Dodgers. Clayton Kershaw, on the other hand, had his usual nasty stuff but seemed to be a little off at times. Kershaw went 3.1 innings.
In the bottom of the 2nd, Mike Zunino worked a full count and then crushed the ball for a double. This was an encouraging at-bat for Zunino. We all know last year he seemed to have trouble at the plate, but for him to work the count and win the battle against Kershaw was nice to see.
Mariners were able to get a run in the Bottom of the 3rd when Robinson Cano -- who reached 3rd base on a wild pitch to Nelson Cruz -- scored when Rickie Weeks hit into a double play, allowing Cano to score easily. Pitching prospect, Tyler Olson, has had himself a great Spring Training so far. Before today's game, he's faced 15 batters with 15 outs. Olson continued to make a case for himself with a scoreless 7th inning, only giving up one hit.
Dodgers took the lead in the Top of the 8th inning when Darwin Barney hit a 2-run home run off of Carson Smith making it 4-1. In the top of the 9th, Dodgers added another run when Alex Guerrero hit a single that scored Enrique Hernandez. The Mariners would get one back in the bottom of the 9th when D.J. Peterson reached 1st after second baseman Darnell Sweeney booted the routine grounder, allowing Carlos Rivero to score from 3rd.
We continued to see some nice things from Mike Zunino at the plate as we hope he gets to put it all together this year -- and it's still crazy to think this is only his 2nd full season. Tyler Olson looked sharp in his inning of work and Roenis Elias continued to fight for that final rotation spot with a decent outing as well. Mariners fall to 5-6 in Spring Training but hey, who's keeping track? M's have the day off tomorrow but are back to work on Tuesday (1:05 PM PT) with Hisashi Iwakuma taking on the Chicago White Sox's Jeff Samardzija. Should be a good matchup.