Chris Capuano hasn't pitched as well lately as he did in the first half of the season. Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Series Win Still in Sight for Chris Capuano and Dodgers

Chris Capuano (10-8, 3.29) vs. Wade LeBlanc (1-1, 1.50)

Dodgers Lineup: vs. Miami

Victorino 7

M.Ellis 4

Kemp 8

Ramirez 6

Ethier 9

Rivera 3

Cruz 5

Treanor 2

Capuano 1

 

The Dodgers wrap up their first visit to the new Marlins Park. Photo: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

The brief one-day first place tie was quickly vanquished by the Dodgers yesterday in Miami. Joe Blanton melted down in the fifth inning as the Fish capitalized on the opportunity. The slippery sea dwellers would slap us with their tailfins again in the eighth inning against “mechanically flawed” Brandon League. Even the Dodgers themselves published an article about League’s mechanical problems. He had already lost his closer role in Seattle before the Dodgers acquired him so I’m not sure why we went out of our way to trade prospects for him. I understand we lost a valuable arm out of the bullpen in Josh Lindblom in the Shane Victorino trade, but I’d be pressed to argue that Shawn Tolleson couldn’t take over that role instead. Tolleson has been decently effective while League has been horrible since becoming a Dodger. With Scott Elbert‘s return on the horizon, it makes the inevitable roster move more interesting. Yet chances are Tolleson will be optioned back down to Albuquerque again.

The bullpen configuration is the least of our worries right now. The season is quickly winding down with less than one-third of the schedule remaining. The Dodgers seem to be treading water right now, and luckily the Giants have been doing the same. The Dodgers are still in striking distance at just one  game back, but they cannot continue to miss ample opportunities for wins especially off lackluster teams like the Rockies and the Marlins. It’s looking like their stake in the postseason will ultimately come down to the final nine games against San Francisco. Sure, that would make it exciting but also very nerve wracking. Even if the Dodgers can clinch the NL West or a Wild Card slot, can they really compete with powerhouse teams like Cincinnati and Washington?

The rubber game will feature another southpaw showdown. Ten-game winner Chris Capuano will take the mound for the Dodgers. Cappy

hasn’t won a decision since July 21st, and last time out he pitched 7 innings allowing 2 earned runs off 7 hits in the loss to Colorado. In his career against the Marlins, Capuano is 4-5 with a 4.05 ERA. Jose Reyes has hit him to the tune of .333, but Carlos Lee who knocked in a couple of runs yesterday, is only hitting .214 off the lefty.

 

Wade LeBlanc is still adjusting to starting rather than working out of the bullpen. Photo: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

The Marlins have tried to transition Wade LeBlanc from the bullpen and into the starting rotation. He’s had two rough starts so far. In his career against the Dodgers, LeBlanc is 1-6 with a 4.80 ERA. Shane Victorino has given him a bad time in the past, and the sneaky switch-hitter is batting .429 against him with a homerun. Matt Kemp has also gone deep against LeBlanc.  

This will be the final game for the Dodgers at Marlins Park this season, but the Fish will visit Dodger Stadium in two weeks.

The early morning game will start at 10:10 am. Tune into KCAL  and check back here for complete analysis after the final out.

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Tags: Brandon League Carlos Lee Chris Capuano Joe Blanton Los Angeles Dodgers Miami Marlins Wade LeBlanc