Dodgers Lineup vs. AngelsGordon 6 Hairston 4 Ethier 9 Abreu DH Rivera 7 Loney 3 Herrera 8 Uribe 5 Ellis 2
The Dodgers begin game two of this three game series against the Angels in Anaheim, later today at 415PM. The Dodgers are in the midst of a four game losing streak. After the frustrating mediocrity of Chad Billingsley and his useless cutter, the usual excellence of Chris Capuano in the starts that follow, are a breath of fresh air for us.
Our twitter buddy Sean pointed out last night that Bills was throwing a lot of his cutters. I wasn’t thinking about it at the time because I was too frustrated by another crapfest, but if you remember during the innings he allowed runs, (the second and fourth innings), he was throwing a lot of cutters. Sean reports that his cutter is used nearly 26% during losses, and in his wins only 4%. He briefly linked me to a depth chart that listed his percentage of pitches thrown. I would have to look it up further, but Sean is spot on here.
Bills needs to stop throwing it. He must rely on his other pitches to win games. We’ll have more analysis on the frustrating struggles of Chad Billingsley. For tonight, the Dodgers will give the ball to Chris Capuano. If you remember last week, he was excellent against the White Sox, pitching eight one run innings, and whiffing 12 Pale Hose batters. The reason for this is because he simply isn’t giving up hits. Capuano has a career low 7.0 hits per nine rate this year, and his 8.3 whiff per nine rate is very good. His walk rate is up a bit from career norms, but he has only walked 31 batters all year anyways. All together he has been the Dodgers best pitcher this season. He has even pitched better than Kershaw at times during the season. Cappy is 8-2 with a 2.71 ERA in 2012. Against the Halos he is 0-1, but good lord, the Angels have hit him hard before.
Albert Pujols is .528 (19 for 36), with five home runs, 12 RBI, and an OPS over 1.000. Torii Hunter is 9 for 18 with a home run, and the Angels collectively are hitting .463, 38 for 82 off of Cappy. The Dodgers will have to be careful with Pujols and Trout, the two big boppers in the Halos lineup. Nothing can be done with Pujols. The Dodgers must walk him, and take their chances with whoever is on deck.
The Halos will counter with righty Erivn Santana. The right hander has struggled this season, but last start pitched a one hitter against Arizona. In comparison with Cappy, Santana allows 8.4 hits per nine innings, and his whiff rate is 6.3. On the season he is 4-7 with a 5.16 ERA. Overall not good numbers, but he has always pitched pretty well against the Dodgers. Against the Boys in Blue, Santana is 4-3 with a 3.45 ERA. The Dodgers are only hitting .244 against Santana, which doesn’t give me a lot of confidence. James Loney of all people has the most success here against Santana. He is .455 ( 5 for 11), with two doubles. Bobby Abreu is 4 for 11 (.364), against his former teammate, and Andre Ethier is 5 for 16 (.333), with the only home run, and five RBI.
The Dodgers are only 6-17 against the Angels at Anaheim since 2005. The Dodgers will try and even up the series tonight. The bright side is the offense did perk up last night, and Ethier had three hits. If there is anyone we need to break out of a prolonged slump, it is Andre Ethier.
There are also more rumors swirling about the Dodgers trying to trade for Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis. There are rumors coming out saying the trade could happen within the next couple of days. The White Sox and a few other teams are interested as well. We will keep you posted on any trade news.
We are deep within the summer doldrums here Dodger fans. Matt Kemp is still out, the team hasn’t been hitting and our lead in the division is dwindling. (down to three games now) The good news is that after this series, the Dodgers are finished with Interleague play. I never thought I would be so happy to see a series in San Francisco before, yuck. Anyways, if I never ever see the Angels ever again, I will die a happy Dodger fan.
First pitch is at 415PM today, and remember the game is on FOX. We still are in first place, and have the best record in the National League. Looking at the bright side here. Let’s even this series up boys! Stick around after the game for our nightly postgame coverage. Go Blue.