Dodgers Lineup vs. OaklandGordon 6 Herrera 7 Ethier 9 Abreu DH Loney 3 Ellis 2 Kennedy 4 Uribe 5 Gwynn 8
After a much needed scheduled off-day on Monday, the Dodgers set off on a nine game, three city all California road trip. With Matt Kemp due back sooner than later, this should be the last lengthy road trip we will have to go on without our Bison. Tonight the Dodgers will begin their all California road trip with a three game series in Oakland against the A’s. Don’t worry Dodger fans, inter-league play is almost over. All of the games on this road trip will be in California. After the three game set in Oakland, the Dodgers play three in Anaheim against the Halos, and then end the trip, with a big three game set in San Francisco at Phony Book Park, against the Giants.
I can’t remember the last time the Dodgers played a set in Oakland against their former World Series opponents, but it’s been a while. 2006 was the last time I believe. The last time the Dodgers faced the A’s at all was 2009. Oakland is in third place in the AL West, nine and a half games behind Texas. The A’s are 15-17 at home. Former Dodger Manny Ramirez was just released by the A’s, so we won’t be seeing him at all. Not sure why Oakland released him, but that whole thing is pretty shady. Will we ever see Manny again? Who knows.
Anyways, the Dodgers will give the ball to the red hot Aaron Harang. Once again, Harang will try and go home again so to speak. Remember Harang originally made his MLB debut with Oakland, pitching in the huge Oakland Coliseum ten years ago. Yeah no joke, Harang has been pretty dam good in the month of June. He is 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA in June, including his last start, (which was a win) in which he didn’t allow any earned runs to the Angels, in a 5-2 Dodger win. Harang is 5-3 on the year, with a 3.59 ERA, and 64 whiffs. Harang has no record against the A’s, because he has never faced them, but has faced a few of the Oakland hitters over the years. The five Oakland hitters to face him are hitting a collective .185 (5 for 27) against Harang. Seth Smith is 1 for 10. Coco Crisp is 1 for 7, and Brandon Inge is 0 for 7. However Brandon Moss is 3 for 5 with the only home run, off of Harang. Can Aaron Harang go home again?
Oakland will counter with 28 year old right hander Brandon McCarthy. The right hander we find out is from Glendale, California. The local boy is also 5-3 on the season, with a 2.79 ERA, but has been battling a shoulder injury for the last month or so. He was put on the disabled list earlier in the month, and has only made two starts since. He has never faced the Dodgers, but has faced six of the Dodger hitters before. The Boys in Blue are batting .162 (6 for 37) against McCarthy. Juan Rivera is 0 for 6, Bobby Abreu is 1 for 10, and Adam Kennedy is 2 for 17 (.143). Oddly though, the only home run hit off of McCarthy is off the bat of Adam Kennedy. Otherwise, that is all the Dodgers have seen of him. McCarthy has a low whiff per nine rate (6.4), so he is not a big swing and miss guy, but has good control.
This should be an easy win for the Dodgers, with Harang pitching in his former home park. Flyball type pitchers do well in the spacious confines of Oakland Alaemda Coliseum. Oakland is one of the worst hitting teams at home. They are batting an atrocious .217 at home this season, so the Dodgers should at least win two of three. Notice I said SHOULD. With the game being played in Oakland, they will play by American League rules, and will use the DH. Tonight Bobby Abreu will be the DH for the Dodgers.
In case you have not heard, Ryan Dempster has a LAT injury, and has been placed on the 15-day DL. Of course as you know, players can’t be traded when they are hurt, or on the DL. So the Dempster deal is off, for now. In other news that will make you LOL, or give you the Lulz, Freddy Galvis has been suspended for 50 games for violating Baseball’s drug policy. This is after he broke a bone in his back. Yes he is the little second baseman filling in for Chase Utley for the Phillies. And in news even funnier, Colorado Manager Jim Tracy has announced he is going with a four man starting rotation, and 75 pitch count limits or all starters. Uh, yeah sure Jim, good luck with that.
The Dodgers begin the day at 42-25, the best record in Baseball. The Dodgers remain 4.5 games in front of the second place Giants in the NL West. The Giants continue their series in Anaheim against the Angels. Game time tonight is at 7PM televised on KCAL 9. Tune in over here for our nightly Dodger recap. Let’s start the road-trip on a good note boys. Go Blue.
Topics: A.J. Ellis, Aaron Harang, Adam Kennedy, Andre Ethier, Bobby Abreu, Dee Gordon, Dodgers, Don Mattingly, Elian Herrera, James Loney, Jerry Hairston Jr., Juan Rivera, Juan Uribe, Matt Kemp, Matt Treanor, Tony Gwynn Jr.