Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

Dodgers Look to Make Reds Go Doh in Game 1

Dodgers Lineup vs. Reds

Herrera 8
Ellis 2
Hairston 4
Rivera 9
Loney 3
Uribe 5
Van Slyke 7
Cruz 6
Billingsley 1

Homer Bailey-5-6 vs. Chad Billingsley-4-7

*Update*-This just in. The Dodgers have optioned Shawn Tolleson and called up infielder Luis Cruz. I had heard the rumors that the Dodgers were going to go with a six man bullpen until the all-star break, and they are. This gives them an extra bat on the bench, and Cruz can play all four infield positions. Cruz was hitting .318 with 8 home runs, and 46 RBI for the Isotopes. In other news injured lefty starter Ted Lilly was moved to the 60-day DL. Dee Gordon is expected to be back in the lineup tomorrow after suffering what appears to be just a leg cramp in yesterday’s game against the Mets. Luis Cruz will make his first start at shortstop.

The Dodgers will begin a three game series tonight with the Cincinnati Reds at Dodger Stadium. The three game set will end the seven game homestand. The Reds are currently in first place in the NL Central with a 43-35 record, one game in front of the Pirates.

The Reds will give the ball to right hander Homer Bailey. Homer this season is 5-6 with a 4.42 ERA. He has whiffed 61 batters in 89 innings pitched, and walked 27. On the road Homer is 4-2 with a 3.09 ERA, and against the Dodgers he is 2-1 with a 4.70 ERA. Bailey has struggled in June, posting an ERA of 6.00, and in his last start, he lost 8-4 to the Brewers. The current Dodgers are only hitting .128 (5 for 39) collectively off of Bailey. Juan Uribe is 2 for 5 with the only home run. James Loney is 2 for 10 (.200), and Andre Ethier is 0 for 9.

The Dodgers will counter with Chad Billingsley. Bills last start he pitched well enough to win, but of course got no run support from the Dodgers depleted and weak lineup. Bills is 4-7 on the year, with a 4.18 ERA, and is 5-3 with a 4.84 ERA vs. the Reds. Despite Bill’s struggles he still whiffs a lot of batters, 87 whiffs, and an 8.4 whiff per nine rate. The Reds are 34 for 117 (.274) off of Bills. Drew Stubbs is 4 for 9, with a home run (.444), Scott Rolen is 8 for 15, with five RBI, (.533), and Joey Votto is 8 for 21 (.381) with five RBI. Ryan Ludwick, and Brandon Phillips both struggle, both are hitting .143, and .200 respectively off of Bills. Stubbs, and Philips have hit the only home runs.

photo from Forbiddenlanguage.blogspot.com

Speaking of Joey Votto, he is still nursing an inflamed knee he suffered last weekend, and might not be available this series. He was out of the lineup on Sunday for only the second time all season, so the Dodgers may have lucked out. Votto is batting .350 with a league leading .471 OBP, and 14 home runs, and 47 RBI. He also has 33 doubles already, and another all-star selection.

Speaking of injured superstars, Matt Kemp begins his rehab tomorrow, and is on schedule to make his return on July 13. He won’t be playing in the all-star game, but will still be participating in the home run derby, in which he is the NL captain.

The Dodgers finally snapped their season high seven game losing streak last night by scoring eight runs, although only five of them were earned. The Dodgers remain one game behind the Giants in the NL West, with a 44-36 record. Join us tonight as game time is at 7PM, televised on Prime Ticket. After the game we will have our usual detailed postgame coverage. The first half is almost over Dodger fans! We’ll be back at full strength soon, and then we’re taking this thing! Go Blue.

Tags: A.J. Ellis Andre Ethier Bobby Abreu Chad Billingsley Dee Gordon Dodgers Don Mattingly James Loney Jerry Hairston Jr. Juan Rivera Juan Uribe Matt Kemp Tony Gwynn Jr.

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