Dodger Lineup-vs. MilwaukeeDee Gordon 6 Mark Ellis 4 Matt Kemp 8 Andre Ethier 9 James Loney 3 Jerry Hairston 5 Tony Gywnn jr. 7 A.J. Ellis 2 Chris Capuano 1
After a TOOTBLAN and Bumpen induced aggravating loss to the Milwaukee Brewers snapped their six game winning streak, the Dodgers will look to get back on track today in game two of this three game set against the Brewers at Miller Park. Looking back on yesterday’s game, there are still several moves that don’t quite sit well with me. I am still scratching my head as to why the Dodgers would make so many mistakes last night.
Move 1-Removing Billingsley for a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning. This is reminiscent of a Joe Torre move. Torre used to do this quite often. Playing for the offense, or removing your starter in the fifth or sixth innings for a pinch-hitter. Normally this would work if the Dodgers actually had any kind of a decent bench. However the bench is useless, and pulling Bills when he is pitching well in favor of a guy who is an automatic out, is just about the dumbest move of the game.
Move-2-The three TOOTBLANs really killed the Dodgers more than anything last night. James Loney had not one, but two, yes two TOOTBLANs. The one where he was thrown out at second base is the one that really has my head scratching. Was this a busted hit and run play?
Move-3-The outfield configuration was off in that bottom of the ninth inning. Normally with a slim one run lead like that, less that two outs, and runners on base, the outfield will play what’s called “No doubles defense”. This places the outfielders away from the lines, but you guard the gaps. You give up a single, but you prevent against an extra base hit, or a ball that rolls to the wall. It seemed to me like the Dodger’s outfield was over-shifted.
Today is a new day though, and the first place Dodgers will turn the page, and try to get back on track. Tonight they will give the ball to former Brewer lefty Chris Capuano. Cappy is another Dodger going up against his former team. The Brewers are hitting .261 off of their former teammate. Capuano has a 4.63 ERA over his last two starts against the Brew Crew. Cappy cited a little anxiety as a reason for his recent struggles against the Brewers.
“It was a little more emotional than I thought it was going to be,” Capuano said. “I didn’t think it would be a big deal, but it got me a little anxious. But everybody seemed so supportive and were rooting for me. The fans treated me really well. And it was nice pitching here again, being comfortable with the field and the mound.”
Otherwise nobody has really hit him too hard. Only Aramis Ramirez has hit Cappy well, the third sacker is hitting .297 (11 for 37) with a home run and four RBIs off of Capauno. Keep in mind, Ramirez is hitting just .103 to start the season, and has yet to homer.
The Brewers will counter with former Cy Young award winner Zack Greinke, who is coming off of one of his worst starts of his career. He coughed up eight runs off nine hits in only 3.2 innings in an 8-0 loss to the Cubs. Let’s hope his struggles continue. He has been ok against the Dodgers. A 1-0 record, and a 3.00 ERA is not too shabby. The encouraging thing is the Dodgers have hit Greinke pretty well over the years. They are hitting .316 against the former Cy Young award winner. Surprisingly, Mark Ellis, and Juan Uribe are there two best hitters against Greinke. Ellis is batting .316 himself 6 for 22. Uribe is 5 for 18, .278 with a home run. Another thing to keep in mind, is Greinke was tops in the league in whiffs per nine innings with a 10.5 rate. Kemp and Ethier haven’t seen him much, both going 1 for 3.
Tonight might be trouble since Cappy has problems pitching past the sixth inning, which means we will have to go to the Bumpen again, and since Guerra and Jansen were wasted last night we will be seeing the dredges of the Dodger Bumpen, which of course likely means a sure loss. This much is sure, the Dodgers must stop the TOOTBLANs if they expect to win games. You can’t keep having guys getting thrown out on the bases and expect to win. Today’s game is at 510PM and televised on Prime Ticket. I am curious to see how the Dodgers respond after that frustrating loss last night. Let’s hope they can get it together and start a new win streak. Join us immediately following the game for our nightly game recap. Go Blue.