Today is Jackie Robinson Day, which is a cool thing. And the Reds are spending it with the Dodgers, which of course was Jackie Robinson’s team. And they are spending it in Los Angeles, which was Jackie Robinson’s city. So there’s lots of cool things here.
Another cool thing is that Clayton Kershaw will make his season debut this evening. There was a time not long ago that many intelligent baseball people were talking about how Kershaw could possibly be the Best Pitcher of All Time. But alas, time has taken its toll on the man. He has averaged just 160 innings over the last three seasons due to a litany of injuries. He is still throwing like a magnificent super champion, just not so much as before.
Speaking of magnificent super champions, Luis Castillo take the bump this evening for the Reds. He has made three starts so far this year and has looked every bit as good as vintage pinnacle Kershaw. He has surrendered just two runs (a 0.92 ERA, btw) and only five hits (a 0.66 WHIP, for serious). There is no possible universe in which he could possibly be pitching better than he is right now.
If any mid-April tilt featuring a team at the bottom of the NL Central can be considered appointment television, this is it.