Even though both Hanley Ramirez and Randy Choate impressed in their Dodger debuts last night, the offense could only muster two runs in twelve innings at Busch Stadium. Aaron Harang pitched what could be labeled as one of his best starts this season. The Big Show only allowed two hits and two earned runs in over seven innings of work during the triple digit weather of St. Louis. Today will be the fourth and final game of the series, and the Dodgers hope to split the set at two apiece with a win this morning. After they wrap up this series, the Dodgers will head back to California to finish up the road trip in San Francisco. A win today would be extra momentum going into the important series with the hated Giants for the battle for first place. Today marks the 100th game of the season.
Ten game winner Chris Capuano will go to the mound for the Dodgers. Last time out against the Mets in New York, Cappy captured double digit wins for
the season after a seven inning start. He allowed three earned runs on eight hits and struck out nine batters. He is 5-5 against the Cards in his career with a 5.33 ERA. He’ll have to watch out for Allen Craig who is hitting .667 against the southpaw with one homerun. The last time Cappy went up against St. Louis it was last year when he was with the Mets. He only made it through 4 2/3 innings that game in September, and he allowed four runs on eight hits in the outing.
Righty Jake Westbrook will counter Cappy, and last time out he picked up a win against Chicago. He pitched 7 strong innings and only allowed 3 hits and no earned runs. He hasn’t had much success against the Dodgers in his career albeit a small sample size. He has a 0-2 record against us with a 6.48 ERA in 8 1/3 innings pitched. Last time he went up against the Dodgers on May 19th, Westbrook went 6 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on six hits. It didn’t help Westbrook that his defense made two errors in that game. Hanley Ramirez is hitting .333 against Westbrook, and he has 1 homerun against him in 6 at bats. Matt Treanor has one homerun against him, and Juan Uribe has two dingers against Jake.
Matt Kemp has struggled during this series in St. Louis. Last night he went 0-for-5 with 3 strikeouts. He’s only managed one hit the entire series back in game one. Andre Ethier has had two hits so far this series. If the Dodgers want to put themselves back in first place, all the pieces of the puzzle must fit together correctly. Even though we now have Ramirez, the rest of the lineup will still need to produce as well. Thankfully we probably have seen the last of Juan Uribe as a starter, but we still have the placid and frustrating James Loney at first base. It seems as if he’s always up to bat with a chance to make a difference in the game, and he just cannot connect the dots to do so. He even made an uncharacteristic error in last night’s loss.
The Dodgers will play the Red Birds for four more games in September at Dodger Stadium. I will be attending one of those games, and I’m hoping that I will be watching a playoff bound Dodger team at that time. There’s only 62 games left. It’s time to make our move.
Prime Ticket will air the game this morning at 10:45 am. Join us after the ninth inning for our recap.