Editor’s note: Sunday Night Baseball is available on ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio and WatchESPN.
ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball emanates this week from AT&T Park when the defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants play host to the Los Angeles Dodgers at 8 p.m. ET.
One-half of ESPN’s Sunday Night quartet — play-by-play commentator Dan Shulman and Senior Writer/Baseball Analyst Buster Olney — sat down with Front Row to preview this weekend’s telecast. (They are joined by analysts Orel Hershiser and John Kruk every Sunday night).
What are the top storylines for ESPN viewers and MLB fans heading into Sunday Night Baseball?
Shulman: I think for the Dodgers it’s the status of their rotation. They’ve gone from having too many starting pitchers to not enough. For the Giants, I think it’s Matt Cain. He’s been one of the best starters in baseball in recent years, but has given up nine home runs already this season. They need him to be an ace, along with [Madison] Bumgarner, in their rotation.
Olney: Matt Cain starts for the Giants amid a lot of questions regarding why he’s getting hit around. Is his stuff getting worse? Is it just a simple matter of correctable mistakes? Is the Giants’ rotation good enough to take them into the postseason? And on the Dodgers’ side, we will be talking a lot about Hanley Ramirez and his effort to come back from a spring injury. He is so important to their production.
What do you like most about covering a game from AT&T Park?
Shulman: It’s my favorite ballpark to broadcast a game. The stands are full, the crowd is energetic, and the setting is beautiful.
Olney: AT&T Park is my favorite park in baseball because of the venue, the water, the sunshine and the enthusiasm of the fans.
Which team ultimately will have the more successful 2013, the Dodgers or Giants?
Shulman: I believe the Giants. They’ve proven they can win with this group, and they’re a group that won’t get down when they run into some adversity. The Dodgers have a number of very talented players, but I believe they have more holes on their roster than the Giants have on theirs.
Olney: The Giants will ultimately have the more successful 2013 because of their proven ability to play in close games. Their culture has become such a weapon for them.