Dodgers Lineup vs. AngelsGordon 6 Herrera 5 Ethier 9 Abreu7 Hairston 4 Loney 3 Ellis 2 Gwynn 8 Capuano 1
Hey Dodger fans, we have arrived at the next phase of the Dodger’s regular season schedule. Interleague Play. The Dodgers return home to begin a six game homestand as we slog through this annual two week long interleague slate. The Dodgers will begin with a three game series against the cross state rival Los Angeles Angels, to kick off the Freeway Series of 2012. The Dodgers will finally get an off day on Thursday, then end the homestand with a three game set against Chicago White Sox.
The annual Freeway Series is a six game set between the Dodgers and the Angels. Normally the Dodgers have always historically sucked in interleague play, especially in games against the Angels. The Dodgers are only 4-10 against the Angels over the last fourteen games at Dodger Stadium. Although the overall series at Dodger Stadium is very close. The Angels hold a slim lead 22-21. Last season the Dodgers lost four of six to the Angels, and have lost nine of their last twelve overall against the Halos. So hopefully all that will be different this season.
Meanwhile the Dodgers finished one of their most difficult road trips of the season in grand style. A solid Billinglsey start, and an Andre Ethier grand slam, lead the Dodgers to a series victory in Seattle, and a 7-3 road trip record. The Dodgers increased their NL West lead over the Giants to five games, and have MLB’s best record at 39-22. The Dodgers keep finding ways to win without their Perennial MVP center fielder Matt Kemp.
Meanwhile the Angels have been playing much better as well. They are 19-12 over their last 31 games, and are now in second place in the AL West, only 3.5 games behind Texas. Of course a big reason for the turnaround is their improving offense. Albert Pujols has perked up a bit, after a terrible start, and is now hitting .256. Over his last 19 games, Pujols is hitting .357 with six home runs, 18 RBIs, and ten walks. The Angels offense has scored six runs or more, and have ten or more hits in their last six games. Naturally Stacie and I wish for continued failures for Pujols and the annoying Angels.
The Halos will give the ball to rookie noob right hander Garret Richards. The youngster is filling in for the injured Jered Weaver who is still disabled. I don’t know much about this guy, but apparently he is a local boy, from Riverside, California. The 24 year old righty, is 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA. This is only his second start. In his first start against Seattle, Richards pitched seven innings, only allowing one run, and whiffing eighth batters. The rookie hopes to build on that success tonight in the series opener.
The Dodgers will counter with lefty Chris Capuano, who is looking for his ninth win of the season. Cappy is 8-2 with a 2.82 ERA, and has been excellent this season. Although he was a bit shaky in his last outing in Philadelphia, he was good enough to lead the Dodgers to victory, since the Dodgers were able to rally.
Cappy is 0-1 against the Angels, with a 3.00 ERA, but hasn’t seen the Angels much if at all. Only two current Angels have had more than three at-bats against Cappy. The problem is they have hit him very hard. Of course Albert Pujols is hitting .545 (18 for 33), with five home runs, and twelve RBIs. Cover your eyes, because he is OPSing over 1.000 against Cappy. The other guy to watch for is Torii Hunter. The outfielder is 7 for 15 .467, with a home run, and five RBIs. If cappy can pick up the win tonight, it will tie him for the NL lead. Only three other games are scheduled tonight, all Interleague matches. The Giants are idle, so a win would increase our lead to 5.5 games.
Juan Uribe should return to the Dodger lineup tomorrow. The portly third sacker has been battling an arthritic wrist, and had been rehabbing for Rancho Cucamonga over the last few days. Manager Don Mattingly has said that Uribe will return to his regular position of third base, which will require the Dodgers to make a roster decision. Someone has to be cut from the roster to make room for Uribe, and the obvious choices are either Alex Castellanos, or Ivan DeJesus Jr. Of course IDJ has been useless in the past, but has surprisingly been decent with the bat. Castellanos needs regular playing time no matter what, so you could make an argument for either one to be farmed out. This will probably lead to more platoon time for Hairston, and Herrera at second base, and possibly more bench time for one or both, and or more outfield time for Hairston. uribe was hitting .250 with one home run before he went down with the wrist injury. The Dodgers have until game time tomorrow to make their decision.
Will life continue to be a highway for Baseball’s best team? Tune in at 7PM to Prime Ticket to find out. I have always been indifferent towards the Angels, until they started beating us in the regular season Freeway Series. Now they irritate me. We all know there is room for only one team in Southern California. You know the real Baseball organization, not mickey mouse. Let’s show the Halos that we run this town. The Freeway Series begins tonight! Check back here for our recap after the game. Go Blue!
Topics: A.J. Ellis, Alex Castellanos, Andre Ethier, Chad Billingsley, Chris Capuano, Dee Gordon, Dodgers, Don Mattingly, Ivan Dejesus Jr, James Loney, Jerry Hairston Jr., Juan Uribe, Matt Kemp, Tony Gwynn Jr.