Jul. 6, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Detailed view as Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr applies pine tar on his bat in the dugout in the third inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Dodgers Look to Remain in First-Place Going into All-Star Break

Chris Capuano (9-3, 2.62) vs. Trevor Bauer (0-1, 9.82)

Dodgers Lineup: vs. Arizona

Gwynn8

M.Ellis4

Abreu7

Rivera3

Hairston5

Herrera9

Cruz6

Treanor2

Capuano1

 

With a tenth victory, Chris Capuano could be on track to win 20 games this season. Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

The Dodgers look to Chris Capuano to lead them to a victory this afternoon in Arizona as they try to stave off the second-place San Francisco Giants before the first half of the 2012 season comes to a close. With a win today, the Dodgers and D-backs would split the four-game series. Two disappointing starts from Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley featuring fifth and sixth inning meltdowns led to the two Dodger losses at Chase Field. The Dodger offense perked up a bit, and they even have hit a few unlikely homeruns off the bats of Elian Herrera, Adam Kennedy, Scott Van Slyke, A.J. Ellis, and Jerry Hairston Jr. Even with the homeruns, the Dodger offense is hard-pressed to score more than three runs in a game lately. With the Giants breathing down the Dodgers’ neck and only 1/2 game out, the D-backs would love to position themselves at four games back with a win today.

Chris Capuano won’t let that happen without a fight. He is still vying for his tenth win of the season. Although the All-Star worthy southpaw was snubbed this season, Cappy has been pitching at an All-Star pace this entire season. Last time out against the Reds, Cappy only allowed one run in six innings of work in the no-decision. In his career against Arizona, Capuano is 2-4 with a 3.77 ERA. He has struck out 40 snakes in 43 innings. Miguel Montero has one homerun against Capuano in his one at bat against him, but Cappy will have to fend off Justin Upton who is batting .500 against him with one homerun.

The D-backs will counter with top prospect, right-hander Trevor Bauer. In his home debut, Trevor was roughed up by the Padres. He allowed

Trevor Bauer hasn't adjusted to the Majors yet. Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

seven runs in just 3 1/3 innings, and he walked four batters in his short and disastrous outing. The 21-year old from North Hollywood, California, made his MLB debut on June 28th in a no-decision. He pitched 4 innings, and allowed 2 runs on 5 hits. This will be his third game started, and the D-backs hope that the young arm can pick up his first win. In the minors, Bauer was very good. He had a 11-1 record with a 2.23 ERA in 16 starts this season. He was selected as the overall number 3 pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. A local boy, Bauer went to Hart High School in Santa Clarita, and he pitched at UCLA.

With the impending decision on the disappointing Juan Uribe imminent, there has been a bright alternative in Luis Cruz. Before Dee Gordon‘s thumb was injured, the Dodgers called up Luis Cruz from AAA-Albuquerque to give Dee some rest time. Less than a week later, Cruz has impressed by going 7 for 19 with four doubles, four RBIs, and four runs scored. Could Cruz’s usefulness finally give the Dodgers the out to finally rid themselves of the portly third baseman Uribe? We will analyze Uribe’s awfulness in a future post. He’s been historically bad as a Dodger.

The 1:10 pm game will air on Prime Ticket. Stay tuned for our recap, and check back throughout the All-Star Break for continuing Dodger coverage and analysis.

Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks Chris Capuano Los Angeles Dodgers Luis Cruz Trevor Bauer

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