Last night’s victory was the perfect way to begin a long and grueling road trip. The Dodger offense struck early and it produced seven runs in the one-run win over the Mets at Citi Field. Johan Santana, who has been historically tough against the Dodgers, was nowhere near his no-hitter form from earlier in the season. The Dodger offense even churned out two two-run homeruns. One came off the bat of our very own Bison, and the other came from the unlikely bat of the happy-go-lucky Luis Cruz. It was Cruz’s first career homerun, and they saved the ball for him for prosperity. Although some may argue that Cruz has not been successful during his sporadic opportunities in the Majors over the years, I can argue that he has never really had a long enough shot to prove himself one way or another. Like Elian Herrera, who was sadly demoted back down to AAA-Albuquerque, Luis Cruz has filled in and played as well if not better than we could have hoped for while our regular starters have been riddled with injury this season.
Game two will feature Chris Capuano for the Dodgers who is still looking for his tenth win. Capuano hasn’t won since June 23 against the Angels. In his last start against the Padres, he pitched 6 2/3 innings and allowed 5 hits but no earned runs. Capuano pitched in place of Chad Billingsley who was scratched from his scheduled start with elbow inflammation and subsequently landed on the DL. The Dodgers had an eye-popping 5 errors which ultimately sunk them in the loss. Back on June 28th, Cappy lost to the Mets at Dodger Stadium after allowing 3 earned runs over 7 innings. Capuano has had little luck against his former team in his career. He is 0-5 with a 5.86 ERA against the Mets. Cappy will have to fend off David Wright of course who has hit a homerun off him. He’ll also have to watch for rookie Jordany Valdespin who hit his fourth pinch-hit homerun of the season off the Dodgers last night.
Instead of calling up their top pitching prospect Matt Harvey, the Mets are turning to 41-year old veteran Miguel Batista who will be making his first start
since May 19th. He’s only made four starts this season, but the rotation spot is for him to claim as his own if he is successful. The Mets have been reeling lately much like the Dodgers, and they have now lost 7 of their last 8. They sit 7 1/2 games back of the first place Washington Nationals who are seen as the favorites in the division. Last Wednesday, Batista pitched in relief for New York. He allowed 3 hits and 2 runs in just 2/3 of an inning. In his long career, Batista is 8-7 against the Dodgers with a 3.03 ERA. Andre Ethier is the only current Dodger who has hit a homerun against Batista in the last five years.
There was also some positive news on the injury front. Chad Billingsley looks to be okay to start next Monday, and Ted Lilly feels good. Lilly will be soon ready to pitch in a rehab game. Although the Dodgers are awaiting the decision by the Chicago Cubs on their trade proposal for Ryan Dempster, but even if we don’t land the right-hander our rotation will be fine. The Red Sox have reportedly also offered a deal for Dempster as well. The Cubs allowed Dempster to make his scheduled start last night, and he picked up the loss after allowing 4 earned runs over 6 innings against the Cards.
Today’s game will be televised on KCAL at 10:10 am. Come back after the game for our recap.