A.J. Ellis C
After that nightmarish defeat last night, the Dodgers have now lost five in a row. During the crushing loss they looked jersey wearing zombies as they went through the motions. Riddled with injury, this ragtag team is composed of minor leaguers, utility guys, and second-string stand ins. For awhile, they were surprisingly good. They scored fast and early, and the defense was sharp. Even when at a disadvantage, they rallied back to come from behind. During this past week, the team has looked much different. With Matt Kemp‘s return to the DL, it seems like his hamstring took all the tenacity and team electricity with it. They seem sullen and beaten down.
A lot of the problems are stemming from the infield that is in shambles. Last night Don Mattingly had players playing out of position (didn’t he already learn that Hairston is not the best at shortstop), and he shuffled the infield around too much. The Dodgers committed four errors-two of which were made by Hairston. The Dodgers desperately need a solid third baseman and first baseman who can hit. For the time being, they need to play Hairston at short and Herrera at second. That’s the strongest set up right now until Juan Uribe returns from the disabled list.
The starting pitching has been slipping as well. Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, and Chris Capuano have all had shaky outings this past week. The pitching woes along with the less than stellar offense and defense will certainly yield less than desirable game outcomes. When the Dodgers were winning everything seemed to be falling into place, but now everything seems to be unraveling. Is this just a slump or does it go deeper? There are certainly holes in this roster that need filling. Rumors have been ongoing about the new ownership’s quest to obtain a bat and position player. They may even be looking for a pitcher as well. What’s clear is that this current lineup composed of a majority of minor leaguers is not going to cut it. Did you ever think we would be starting Ivan De Jesus and batting him second at this point in the season?
Aaron Harang lost his last time out to the mound versus Milwaukee. He pitched 5 innings, and allowed 1 earned run (3 runs) off 4 hits. If you are dreading the inevitable barrage of scoring off Harang at Coors Field, I’m there with you. In his career against Colorado, Aaron is 5-5 with a 4.75 ERA. To have any shot at a win here, Harang is going to have to squelch enemy #1-CarGo. Gonzalez is hitting .500 against Harang with a homerun. Todd Helton also has taken Harang deep in the past.
Juan Nicasio will battle Harang once again in their third matchup so far this season. In his last start, Juan allowed 5 runs on 9 hits in a no-decision but Rox win against Houston on Monday. Against the Dodgers, he is 1-1 with a 4.56 ERA. Andre Ethier has had his way with Nicasio, and Dre is hitting .750 with 1 homerun in his 4 at bats against the righty. Most of the other Dodgers haven’t faced Nicasio yet.
Juan Rivera was with the team Friday, but he will not be activated for the Colorado series. Sue Falsone feels that Denver is not the best place to activate him due to the altitude. Most likely Rivera will be activated from the DL for the Philadelphia series.
In other baseball news, Johan Santana pitched the first no-hitter in Mets history last night against the St. Louis Cardinals. While the Dodgers were busy being bombed by the Rox, the fans in New York were rejoicing. Congratulations to Johan!
This early Saturday game will be televised on Prime Ticket at 1:10 pm. Stay tuned afterward for our recap. We’ll always be here whether we are winning or losing.