June 20, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Jerry Hairston Jr. (6) at bat against the Oakland Athletics during the ninth inning at O.co Coliseum. The Oakland Athletics defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

Wherefore Art Thou Offense?

Clayton Kershaw (5-3, 2.86) vs. Travis Blackley (1-2, 3.76)

Dodgers Lineup: vs. Oakland

Gordon 6
Herrera 7
Ethier 9
Rivera 3
Hairston 4
Dejesus DH
Uribe 5
Gwynn 8
Treanor 2

Clayton Kershaw seeks to stop the sweep at the hands of the A’s which is seemingly imminent. The thing is, even if Kersh pitches a shutout, I’m not sure that the Dodger offense will be able to wake up from its long slumber. The Dodgers have only been able to score once this entire series. They have only managed 5 hits total. Brandon McCarthy and Tommy Milone have looked like regular Cy Young Award winners against this Dodger lineup. Is it the unfamiliarity of the Oakland Coliseum? Or is it these foreign American League pitchers? Are they tired, lost, bewildered? I’m not exactly sure, but they are not looking good of late. Luckily the entire NL West has been stagnating, so we haven’t lost much ground in the standings.

We have to turn things around and score some runs here. It would be nice to win one of these three games in Oakland before we head back down south to take on the Angels whom we notoriously play poorly against. We need to make a push toward the All-Star break.

 

The Dodgers need Clayton Kershaw to bounce back. Photo: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

Last Friday, Clayton Kershaw pitched 6 innings and allowed 5 runs on 8 hits in a no-decision. He’s been dealing with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Although he insists that it doesn’t bother him while he’s pitching, I tend to think it must play some part in his lackluster starts of late. The painful foot condition is not going away, so he has to deal with it while he’s working out between starts as well. Kersh has allowed 10 homeruns so far this season. Last season he only allowed 15 homeruns through his entire 233 1/3 innings of work. Since pitching that shutout against the Cardinals back on May 19th, which was his best start of the season, Kershaw has a 4.68 ERA and has allowed 17 runs in 32 2/3 innings. The vastness of the Coliseum may curb some of Kersh’s current tendency to give up the long ball. Kersh has only pitched 5 2/3 innings against Oakland in his career, but he does have 8 strikeouts in that small amount of work. None of the A’s have done much against Kersh, and only Jonny Gomes has more than a few at bats against him.

The A’s will counter with their own lefty as Travis Blackley goes to the mound. Blackley was picked up from the Giants in May, and he was

The A's want Travis Blackley to go longer during his starts. Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

slotted into the rotation on May 28th after making a few relief appearances. Last time out against the Padres, Blackley pitched 6 innings and allowed 2 run on 5 hits while picking up the win. The Australian southpaw has only encountered the Dodgers for 5 2/3 innings much like Kersh. Randomly, James Loney is the only current Dodger to have ever faced Blackley with two empty at bats.

The A’s are currently playing well, and they have won 7 of their past 8 games. With the victory against the Dodgers last night, Oakland has won three straight series in a row for the first time this season. The Dodgers, on the other hand, have lost 6 of their last 11 games. The Dodgers are now 5-6 in Interleague Play this season.

First pitch will be at 12:35 pm, and the game will air on KCAL again. Stay tuned for our postgame coverage as we analyze the good and the bad.

Tags: Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers Oakland Athletics Travis Blackley

comments powered by Disqus