Dodgers, Padres announce starting pitchers for season-opening series in Seoul

The probable starting pitchers for Game 1 of the Seoul Series Tyler Glasnow of the Los Angeles Dodgers, left, and Yu Darvish of the San Diego Padres are seen in this file photo captured from Major League Baseball's official X page, March 12. Yonhap

Starting pitching matchups are set for the historic Major League Baseball (MLB) season-opening series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres in Korea.MLB announced the probable pitchers for the March 20-21 series in Seoul on Monday (U.S. local time), with the National League (NL) West rivals sending their aces to begin the 2024 campaign. These two contests will be the first MLB regular-season games to be played in Korea.The Dodgers will have right-hander Tyler Glasnow on the mound for the American’s second career Opening Day start on March 20, following the 2021 outing with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Dodgers traded for Glasnow in December, after the 30-year-old enjoyed the best season of his career. In 2023, Glasnow set career highs across the board with 10 wins, 120 innings pitched and 162 strikeouts.”It means everything,” Glasnow was quoted as saying by “Just to sign here, that all being a reality feels crazy. Then when they told me I was the Opening Day starter, I definitely felt a lot of pride and excitement.” The Padres will counter with right-hander Yu Darvish, who will make his fourth career Opening Day start and his third in four seasons with the Padres.

The Japanese veteran had a disappointing 2023 season, in which he went 8-10 with a 4.56 ERA. He was limited to 136 1/3 innings after ending his season in August due to a stress reaction in his elbow Darvish did not require surgery and was cleared for a full offseason throwing program in November. He will be making his first trip to Korea. “Obviously, I’m very happy and honored about this,” Darvish said. “I’ve never been to Korea before, so that makes it even more special. Just playing in Korea alone, that’s a big deal to me. But on top of that, we’re facing a very good team that made some very good additions.” For Game 2 of the series on March 21, the tables will be flipped, with the Dodgers sending a Japanese pitcher and the Padres countering with an American hurler .For the Dodgers, Yoshinobu Yamamoto will make his much-anticipated big league debut, after signing a 12-year, $325 million contract — the largest deal for a pitcher in MLB history — in December. He dominated the Pacific League in the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) last year for the Orix Buffaloes, posting a 16-6 record and a 1.21 ERA to nab his third consecutive Eiji Sawamura Award, Japan’s equivalent of Cy Young Award .In seven NPB seasons, Yamamoto won three Eiji Sawamura Awards and also won the pitching Triple Crown three times as the league leader in wins, ERA and strikeouts.

Joe Musgrove, the 2022 NL All-Star, will toe the rubber for the Padres. He only made 17 starts last year and was shut down in late July due to right shoulder capsule inflammation, but Musgrove made those outings all count. He went 10-3 with a 3.05 ERA and 97 strikeouts in 97 1/3 innings, and he had been on a run of 12 starts with a 1.84 ERA before his season ended early. Both games will be played at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, with the first pitch at 7:05 p.m. The two clubs are expected to arrive in Seoul on Friday. They will each play two exhibition games on Sunday and Monday, also at Gocheok Sky Dome, before their regular season openers. On Sunday at noon, the Dodgers will face the Kiwoom Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), and the Padres will take on the Korean national team at 7 p.m. Then on Monday, it will be the Padres against the defending KBO champions LG Twins, at noon, followed by the Dodgers against the national team at 7 p.m. The Dodgers have featured Korean stars in the past, notably Park Chan-ho, the first Korean to play in MLB, and Ryu Hyun-jin, the NL starter at the 2019 All-Star Game. The Padres currently employ two Korean players in shortstop Kim Ha-seong, the 2023 NL Gold Glove winner at the utility position, and reliever 추천 Go Woo-suk, a former KBO All-Star closer for the LG Twins.

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