Mark Ellis 2B
A.J. Ellis C
Hopefully the Dodgers didn’t party too late last night for Cinco de Mayo, and they are up and ready to go for the series win at Wrigley Field. Chris Capuano pitched excellently yesterday, and except for a slight hiccup in the first inning, he shut down the Cubs through seven solid innings of work. All three of our left-handed starting pitchers are undefeated on the year. Our righties, Chad Billingsley and Aaron Harang, have been inconsistent-especially on the road.
Aaron Harang will try to even up his personal record as well as the Dodgers’ current road trip record (they are 2-3 on this road trip so far) as he heads to the mound for an early start in Chicago. Let’s hope the wind is blowing in today as it was yesterday (Matt Kemp muttered that he “hates this place” after a 400-foot fly ball stalled out on the grassy strip beyond the warning track up against the wall). Harang has allowed 16 homeruns at Wrigley Field in his career. Yes, you read that right. 16 homeruns in 79 2/3 innings pitched. He has a career record of 6-3 at Wrigley Field, and an overall 11-8 record with a 4.45 ERA versus the Cubs. Alfonso Soriano has had the most at bats against Harang, and he is hitting .297 against him with one homerun.
Matt Garza, who was originally slated to start, is sick with a virus. There apparently is a virus going around the clubhouse much like the one which hung around the Dodgers’ players in late Spring Training and infecting Clayton Kershaw on Opening Day. I’m a bit under the weather myself, so it must be that time of year. The Cubs had to call up left-handed pitcher Travis Wood to start, and they designated former Dodger Blake DeWitt for assignment to make room on the roster. Sort of sad DeWitt never panned out. The Cubs acquired Wood in December of 2011 in a four-player deal with the Cincinnati Reds. He has started 35 MLB games with the Reds, and has a overall record of 11-10 with a 4.18 ERA. He has pitched 10 2/3 innings against the Dodgers in his career, and has a 1-1 record with a 7.59 ERA against us. The current Dodgers have only had a handful of at bats against Wood in the past. Matt Kemp does have one homerun and 2 RBI against him. In AAA this year, Wood is 1-3 with a 5.08 ERA in five starts for Iowa.
The newest Dodger, Bobby Abreu has a .336 career batting average against the Cubs. He has 16 homeruns and 57 RBI in 60 career games versus the Cubbies.
Last season, the Dodgers won 2 of 3 games at Wrigley Field, but they are 9-10 in Chicago over the last five seasons. At Dodger Stadium, they are 11-7 against the Cubs in the past five seasons. The Cubs will come to Dodger stadium for a three-game series August 3-5.
After the conclusion of the game, the Dodgers will return home for a nice long homestand. Monday evening will kick off a three-game series with our rivals from up north. This will be the first time we have played San Francisco so far this season. Then the Rockies will be in town for three games, and the Arizona Diamondbacks will come in for a short two-game series. That will be the first time we will play the D-backs as well. I’m looking forward to the exciting NL West homestand.
Today’s game will be starting at 11:20 am and televised on Prime Ticket. Go Blue!