Dodger Lineup vs. ArizonaGordon 6 M.Ellis 4 Abreu 7 Ethier 9 A.J. Ellis 2 Loney 3 Kennedy 5 Gwynn 8 Kershaw 1
*Update-This just in. About 20 minutes after I publish this post, the Dodgers announce Juan Uribe was a late scratch from the lineup, and will be placed on the DL with the wrist injury again. Elian Herrera wil be called up to replace him. We’ll have more on this later. *
As expected Matt Kemp is not in the Dodger’s starting lineup tonight, and his consecutive game splayed streak of 399 games may be in jeopardy. This was no surprise, as he continues to nurse his sore left hamstring. As we await the results of his MRI this afternoon, let’s take a look at a Dodger lineup tonight reconfigured with no bison. A.J. Ellis is moved up to fifth in the lineup. Of course A.J. has been absolutely amazing reaching base in 22 straight games, and is hitting .317 with a .462 OBP. That is unreal, and awesome, as A.J. Ellis’s legend keeps growing. Bobby Abreu bats third and plays left field, while Tony Gwynn jr. bats eighth playing center. Gordon is still with the team and still batting lead-off not sure why of course. Let’s see if he continues to suck or not.
The Dodgers have now won four in a row, and have the best record in Baseball at 23-11. They are now 15-3 at home, and have an 8.5 game lead over their opponent tonight the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dbacks and manager former Dodger World Series hero Kirk Gibson are coming off losing two of three in San Francisco, and will face the Dodgers for the first time in 2012. The Dodger hitters will have to rally together without Bison, and they will be up against a touch pitcher. Tonight is the first of a two game series against Arizona and a match-up of aces in game one.
Ian Kennedy who finished fourth in the cy young voting last season, winning 21 games, and posting an impressive 2.88 ERA. This season however Kennedy has been merly mortal. He has a 3-2 record and a 3.91 ERA. He has allowed 11 walks in 46 innings and whiffed 37 batters. That comes out to a whiff per nine rate of 7.2 which is down considerably from last season’s 8.0 per nine. So we know that he is missing less bats this season, but how has he fared against the Dodgers? Well looking at the numbers he has held the current group of Dodgers to a .239 average. Kemp and Ethier haven’t done much against him. Bison is just 3 for 13 (.231), and Ethier is 3 for 12 (.250). The only Dodger who has had considerable success against Ian Kennedy is Loney of all guys. Yes, James is batting .364 (4 for 11), with a home run, and two RBIs. Unfortunately the only other Dodger to hit a home run off Kennedy is Kemp, who has hit two. Kennedy is 3-1 with a 4.75 ERA against the Dodgers. Uribe struggles the most against Kennedy, he is 0 for 11.
The Dodgers will counter with NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw. Clayton has been quite the snake charmer over the years, and has had a lot of success vs. the Dbacks. He is 6-2 with a 2.15 ERA and 71 whiffs. Kershaw has been utterly dominating against Arizona, holding them to a minuscule .118 batting average. Justin Upton is 0 for 19 with seven whiffs. Tattoo man Ryan Roberts is 1 for 9, and Miguel Montero is 0 for 11. You get the idea. Of course Kershaw will be trying to get back on track, after losing his first decision since last season, where he allowed only two runs, but lost to the Giants when Mattingly bunted the game away. Cody Ransom remains the only Dback with a home run off of Kershaw, which came last season. (Remember that game?)
There is still no word on Bison’s condition, and the Elian Herrera rumors haven’t come to fruition yet. It appears that Herrera may only be called up if Bison is put on the DL, because Herrera can play all three outfield positions. As soon as hear word on Matt Kemp’s status we will let you know.
The Dodgers will have to pull together and step up with Bison out. The Dodgers are trying to be cautious, since losing him for a few days or two weeks, is better than losing him for a month or longer. Obviously we can’t go on long without Matt Kemp. Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times is calling for the Dodgers to place Kemp on the DL to be safe. I’m not sure that the injury is that sever. He may just need anywhere from 3-5 days off. For now though we will have to survive without him.
Personally I don’t care about Bison’s game streak, I mean it is nice, but is health is much more important. All I care about is getting him healthy so we don’t lose him for more than a few days. If we have to DL him in order to prevent him from being out for more than two weeks, than that is what we may have to do. The Dodgers may be facing their biggest test of the season. Tonight’s game is a 7:10PM start time on Prime Ticket. Can the Dodgers win without Bison? Only one way to find out Dodger Fans. Go Blue