M. Ellis 2B
A. J. Ellis C
Even though Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier were back in the Dodgers’ lineup last night, it was the unlikely bat of Mark Ellis which created the winning runs with his two-run homerun in the sixth inning. Mark Ellis, albeit a veteran infielder, has been an integral part of this Dodger team this season. His air tight defense, and his on base skills have been key to a winning Los Angeles team. We all winced at Jerry Hairston‘s lack of range at second and the constant tailor made double play turned force out while Ellis was on the disabled list.
Two runs was enough to beat the lowly Padres last night, but two to three runs won’t be enough to beat our toughest opponents going down the stretch. The dynamic duo of Kemp and Ethier will have to spark the rest of the lineup to wake up out of their offensive slumber to contribute. Juan Rivera, James Loney, Juan Uribe, and Bobby Abreu will all have to perk up if the Dodgers want to contend in September and October. Each of those names mentioned have been offensively mediocre to awful (in Uribe’s case).
Last night we heard that Javy Guerra‘s father had suffered a heart attack Friday morning. Javy was still able to pitch a scoreless inning last night, but he will be placed on the bereavement list while he travels down to Mexico to be with his father. His father is scheduled for open-heart surgery today. It is expected that the Dodgers will call up Josh Wall in the interim.
The Dodger pitching has been great thus far, and even with Billingsley’s inconsistency and Kershaw’s less than dominating performances, I can’t really complain about the pitching like I can about the offense. Tonight Aaron Harang, who has been slotted at number two in the rotation after the break, will vie for his lucky seventh win of the season. Last time out against the Reds, Harang pitched very well and picked up the win after only allowing 1 run off 3 hits in 7 solid innings of work. It will be a Harang and Volquez rematch from earlier this season. Harang has been pretty consistent, and like Capuano, he has been better than expected. Harang is 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA against his former team in three starts this season. In his career against San Diego, Harang has a 4-5 record and 4.00 ERA with 86 strikeouts in 83 1/3 innings of work. He’ll have to watch out for the hot-hitting Logan Forsythe and Cameron Maybin who is hitting .375 with a homerun against Aaron.
Edinson Volquez will start for the Padres who have given him the lowest average run support in the
Majors at 2.52 runs per game. Volquez has good stuff, but he can be wild and lose control easily. Last time out, the right-hander pitched 7 innings against the Cincinnati Reds in a no decision. He only allowed 1 run on 5 hits while striking out a season-high 10 batters. Volquez is 1-2 with a 4.91 ERA in his career against the Dodgers. Back on May 17th, he picked up a loss against the Dodgers after allowing 5 runs on 8 hits in 5 innings of work.
The Padres haven’t won at Dodger Stadium since May of last year, and the Dodgers would love to continue that streak in order to gain ground on the second-place Giants. The Dodgers are barely holding on to first place by a half game. Every game is important now.
The game will be televised on Prime Ticket at 6:10 pm. Let’s keep this second half momentum!