Dodgers Lineup: vs. ColoradoM.Ellis 4 Victorino 8 Gonzalez 3 Ramirez 6 Cruz 5 Ethier 9 Rivera 7 Ellis 2 Blanton 1
What a disastrous series. The Rockies have left the Dodgers black and Blue after scoring 18 runs in the last two games in Denver. Matt Kemp has slammed against the outfield wall in two consecutive games as well, and last night he had to leave the game with a knee contusion and possible jaw injury. The layered problems the Dodgers are facing this late in the season may signal an end to any playoff hope. The large turnover, roughly one-third of the active roster, has made it increasingly difficult for this team to create a cohesive and fluid game strategy. Lackluster offense, a depleted rotation, a tired bullpen, and a weak bench has put the team in a hard spot this late into the season. It’s becoming clear that without a big winning streak and some help from the Giants, Cards, or Braves, this Dodger team will have to regroup over the winter and come out strong in 2013.
Coors Field is what nightmares are made of. Josh Beckett, Chris Capuano, and most of the Dodger bullpen has been rocked in these past two games. Actually the Dodgers never really play well in Colorado. Even without Troy Tulowitzki or Todd Helton, the Rockies lineup and pitching is giving the Dodgers a hard time.
One of the reasons the Dodgers have fared so poorly of late is that their cornerstone player Matt Kemp isn’t producing. The Bison hasn’t hit a homerun since August 8th. He’s only hit two homers this month and five since returning from the disabled list. The Dodgers’ success is directly correlated to Matt Kemp’s success.
Tomorrow the Dodgers will attempt to stave off a likely three-game sweep in Colorado. Arguably our worst
pitcher, Joe Blanton, will be taking the mound. Since joining the Dodgers, Blanton is yet to win a game. He is 0-3 with a no decision as a Dodger. Last time out he lost to the Giants after allowing 4 earned runs on 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings. He hasn’t made it into the seventh inning as a Dodger, and he’s allowed 18 runs on 28 hits and 9 walks in his four games. Blanton has only pitched in one game at Coors Field, and it wasn’t pretty. He allowed 6 runs of 10 hits in just 4 1/3 innings pitched. THREE of those hits were homeruns. Giving him a 8.31 ERA at Coors. Oh boy.
The Rockies will counter with lefty Drew Pomeranz. Drew hasn’t won a game since July 6th, but that’s partly to do with Jim Tracy’s ridiculous pitch count rule. Pomeranz has only been allowed to pitch about four innings per game. Last time out against Chicago, Pomeranz allowed 2 earned runs on 2 hits over 5 innings in the no decision. On August 6th, Pomeranz pitched 4 shutout innings against the Dodgers. He only allowed 3 hits and struck out 7 at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers are now 3 1/2 games back in the NL West, and they are 2 1/2 games back of the second Wild Card Spot. The Dodgers have yet to win their 70th game, and they have yet to play that tough road trip which pits them against Cincinnati and Washington.
Today’s game will begin at 12:10 pm, and it will be televised on Prime Ticket. Check back here for our recap.