Dodgers Begin Second Half, Fully Locked and Loaded…Well Almost

Dodgers Lineup vs. San Diego

Hairston 7
M.Ellis 4
Kemp 8
Ethier 9
Rivera 3
Ellis 2
Uribe 5
Cruz 6
Kershaw 1

Clayton Richard-6-9 vs. Clayton Kershaw-6-5

The Dodgers begin the second half of the season with a fully loaded lineup, well almost that is. Shortstop Dee Gordon is still sidelined with a thumb injury, but Matt Kemp, and Andre Ethier both make their returns to the Dodger lineup. For Matt Kemp, this is his first game since may 30. Kemp has been sidelined with a strained left hamstring, and Ethier a strained oblique. Kemp had been rehabbing with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, before heading out to Inland Empire, and Albuquerque, to finish out his rehabbing. Afterwards he headed out to the all-star game in Kansas City for the home run derby. Rob Flippo pitched to Kemp during the home run derby, and apparently developed some new skills on the mound and nearly blanked Bison. Andre Ethier rehabbed on Wednesday and Thursday with Rancho Cucamonga. With both men ready to play tonight, the Dodgers had to make two corresponding roster moves to clear room to activate Kemp and Ethier. Unfortunatly we all can see that fat ass Uribe is still in the lineup, so that means I am assuming that Van Slyke, and Elian Herrera are the two getting sent down to AAA. We don’t have official word yet, so as soon as we know we will pass the info along to you. If it is Herrera that is one of the two sent down, then I am going to be pissed off. I don’t care what anybody says, about him slumping in June, and blah blah blah, he is a career minor leaguer or whatever. The fact is he deserves to be on the roster way more than Uribe does. It was Herrera that won us many games during May and June, let’s not forget that.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Not much went on during the break anyways. More rumors swirled about the Dodgers trading for Ryan Dempster, Chase Headley, Aramis Ramirez, and a few other guys, but no trades were made. The Dodgers let season ticket holders watch workouts yesterday, and Manager Don Mattingly addressed and thanked the fans. Otherwise, that was about it. The Dodgers acquired minor league infielder Osvaldo Martinez. Looks like Ronald Belisario parties a little too hard, and after spending the all-star break in his native Venezuela. He arrived in Miami because he missed his connecting flight, and was detained for a short time by immigration. Don’t worry guys, he is ok, and made it back to Los Angeles on Thursday night. He will be ready in time for tonight’s game against the Padres.

The Dodgers have been scouting Padre’s third baseman  Chase Headley, because their third baseman is fat and useless. Speaking of Chase Headley we will see him tonight as the Dodgers begin the first game of a three game series against San Diego. The Dodgers are 7-2 versus the Padres this season, and have nine games left against them this year. The Dodgers are 47-40, and remain a half game ahead of the Giants in first place in the NL West. The Giants are playing the Houston Astros at San Francisco. Arizona is four games behind the Dodgers, and they are playing a series in Chicago against the Cubs.

Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

The Dodgers have reset their rotation for the second half to be lined up as Clayton Kershaw, Aaron Harang, Chad Billingsley, Chris Capuano, and Nathan Eovaldi. Speaking of Kershaw, he will take the mound tonight against Clayton Richard, in a battle of lefty Claytons, as the second half opens. Kershaw pitched in the all-star game, coming into pitch the fourth inning, he made 27 pitches while loading the bases, but getting out of it. Tonight he faces a team he has historically owned. Kershaw is 7-3 with a 2.40 ERA and 73 whiffs against the Padres. This season against the league he is 6-5 with a 2.91 ERA, and 119 whiffs. His hits per nine, are up just a tad, and his whiffs per nine are down just a bit, but his ERA is lower than it was at this time last season. In case you are wondering, Hedley is hitting only .188 (6 for 32) off of Kershaw. Jesus Guzman .143 (2 for 14), Cameron Maybin only .182 ( 2 for 11). Although Will Venable is 4 for 12 (.333), and Chris Denorfia is 4 for 13 with two doubles. San Diego is 22 for 99, which is a .222 average against Kershaw, with a .576 OPS against, and no home runs.

Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

So what that means is opposing starter Clayton Richards better bring his A-game tonight. Richard normally does when he plays the Dodgers. Richard is 6-1 with a 2.61 ERA career versus the Dodgers. Against the rest of the league this year he is 6-9 with a 3.91 ERA, 68 whiffs in 119 innings. Richard doesn’t whiff many guys, only a 5.1 whiff per nine rate, but only 28 walks. On the road he is 3-5 with a 4,14 ERA. Get this though, the Dodgers are 21 for 95, (.221) against Richard with two home runs, and 11 RBI. The guy who has hit Richard well in the past is Juan Uribe of all people. He is hitting .375 (9 for 24 with both home runs and two RBIs. James Loney is 3 for 15, and nobody else has more than seven at-bats. As for Kemp and Ethier? Those numbers tell us that Kemp is hitting .348 (8 for 23) with two home runs and five RBIs. Ethier is only 3 for 23 (.133). Which team has the better Lefty Clayton? Stick around to find out. (We already know our Clayton is better)

The Dodgers will finally have a full lineup tonight for the first time in a long time. The real story of the first half was all of the over the top performances and intangibles we had that kept us afloat in the standings while Kemp and Ethier were hurt. There was a different hero each night. Guys like Elian Herrera, Bobby Abreu, Juan Rivera, Jerry Hairston, Tony Gwynn Jr., Ivan DeJesus Jr., and Luis Cruz have all filled in admirably. To them we tip our caps. Those guys will go back to the bench because our big boys are back. There is a Bison on the loose, so look out National League. Tonight’s game is at 7PM, and televised on Prime Ticket. Please join us after the game for our usual detailed Dodger game recap. The second half of the 2012 season begins tonight Dodger fans. Buckle up because it’s going to be a wild ride! We hope you take the ride with us. Go Blue!

Topics: A.J. Ellis, Andre Ethier, Clayton Kershaw, Dee Gordon, Dodgers, Don Mattingly, Elian Herrera, James Loney, Jerry Hairston Jr., Juan Rivera, Juan Uribe, Mark Ellis, Matt Kemp, Ronald Belisario, Scott Van Slyke

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