July 23, 2012; St. Louis, MO. USA; Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp (27) high fives right fielder Andre Ethier (16) and left fielder Tony Gwynn (10) after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The Dodgers won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE

The Dodgers are Hotter Than a St. Louis Day in July

Clayton Kershaw (7-5, 2.74) vs. Adam Wainwright (7-10, 4.42)

Lineup:

Hairston 3B

Ellis 2B

Kemp CF

Ethier RF

Loney 1B

Rivera LF

Cruz SS

Treanor C

Kershaw P

The thermometers may be off the charts in Missouri, but the Dodgers have really been heating up now. So far on this perfect road trip, the Dodgers have swept the three-game series in New York and have won the first game of the long four-game series at Busch Stadium. If the Dodgers win tonight, they will ensure at least a .500 road trip. The Dodgers have been hitting homeruns, and their offense has finally began to perk up. Luis Cruz, the fill-in shortstop, has come up with two homeruns on this road trip. Chad Billingsley made a solid start after returning from the DL, and he picked up his first win since June 10th. The Cardinals were always super tough to beat in the past, but the Dodger have now bested them eight games in a row. The tides have turned.

 

Clayton Kershaw shut out the Cards earlier this season. Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Tonight will feature a battle between Clayton Kershaw and Adam Wainwright. Last time out Clayton out dueled Cliff Lee where he pitched 8 innings and only allowed one run on seven hits in the no-decision. On May 19th, Kersh pitched a 9 inning shutout against the Cards. In his career against the Red Birds, he has a 4-2 record with a 2.75 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 55 2/3 innings. He’ll have to fend off the usual thorn in the Dodger side-Matt Holliday. Mothman Holliday is hitting .333 against Kershaw.

St. Louis will send one of their aces to the mound as Adam Wainwright looks for his eighth win

Adam Wainwright will try to cool off hot Dodgers. Photo: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

of the season just like Kershaw. Last time out Wainwright got the hard luck loss as the Cardinals bumbled for three errors. He pitched 7 solid innings against the Brewers while only allowing 1 earned run on 4 hits with 9 strikeouts. Against the Dodgers, he is 3-3 with a 3.10 ERA in his career. Andre Ethier and James Loney have both hit him well in the past, and they Dre has hit two homeruns against Adam. Although Matt Kemp is only hitting .100 against the right-hander (2-for-20).

Surprisingly Adam Kennedy has been contributing this past month, and he hasn’t been as useless as he normally is. In fact, Kennedy has hit in 11 of the 14 games he has appeared in this July. His average is still placid at .245, but hey he’s not as bad as Juan Uribe.

 

Ichiro Suzuki in a Yankee uniform.Photo: Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

We are also a week away from the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31st. We will be here to analyze potential trades and break any trade news as it happens. Things start to get crazy as the deadline looms, and last year Colletti made his moves right down to the wire on the final day. Yesterday in a shocking trade, the Seattle Mariners exchanged Ichiro Suzuki to the Yankees for a couple of minor league pitchers.

Unfortunately the Giants keep on winning for some reason, so we are still 1 1/2 games back. The three-game series in San Francisco at the tail end of this road tip should be very exciting.

The game will begin at 5:15 pm on KCAL, and be sure to check back here at Lasorda’s Lair for postgame coverage.

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Tags: Adam Wainwright Clayton Kershaw Ichiro Suzuki Los Angeles Dodgers St. Louis Cardinals

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