Mark Ellis 2B
A.J. Ellis C
This afternoon the Dodgers open a 10-game road trip as they visit the new Marlins Park for the first time. Hanley Ramirez will also return to Miami for the first time since being traded to the Dodgers on July 25th. Although Hanley has been a fun and exciting addition to the Dodger lineup, he has only hit .226 with one homerun and 12 RBIs since wearing blue. It may be a little weird for the Marlins players to play against their former teammate who was a Fish for seven seasons.
Game one will feature a southpaw showdown. Clayton Kershaw will vie for his 10th win of the season, and he has won two games in a row going into today’s game. Last time out against the Cubs, Kersh was dominate in his 7 innings of work. He only allowed one run on 3 hits while striking out 7 Cubs. In his career against the Marlins, Kersh is 2-1 with a 2.30 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings. He’ll have to watch for Carlos Lee, Giancarlo Stanton, and Jose Reyes who have all hit him well.
On the heels of a three-run homerun on Wednesday, Matt Kemp is hitting .347 since coming back from disability on July 13th. He has hit 5 homeruns and garnered 16 RBIs in the 24 games. Miami has their own powerhouse in Jose Reyes. Yesterday Reyes failed to collect a hit which snapped his 26-game hitting streak. His streak was the longest in MLB this season. During his streak, Reyes hit .352 with 5 homeruns, 2 triples, 8 doubles, 9 RBIs, and 21 runs scored. Hanley’s friend will be closely watched by the Dodger coaches this series in order to try to thwart his bat. Also, remember that the Marlins now have Carlos Lee whom the Dodgers attempted to acquire to no avail after he vetoed the trade to Los Angeles. Lee has a 14-game hitting streak of his own, and he is now hitting .291.
The veteran left-hander Mark Buehrle will also be looking for his 10th victory of the year. Buehrle was involved in a no-decision his last time out against the Nationals after allowing 4 runs on 7 hits in 6 innings. In his career, Buehrle is 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA against the Dodgers. Juan Rivera and Matt Treanor have gone deep against Mark in the past, and Jerry Hairston Jr., James Loney, and Matt Kemp have also hit him well in limited at bats.
The Dodgers are one game back of San Francisco. With August one-third of the way done, they will need to put together a winning streak in order to overtake the Giants and move into first place. They’re still in contention, but time is of the essence.
The Dodgers have also reinstated Adam Kennedy from the disabled list.
First pitch will be at 4:10 pm, and the game will be televised on Prime Ticket. Stick around for our postgame coverage. Anyone in the mood for some FISH tacos tonight?!