Dodgers Lineup vs. ArizonaM.Ellis 4 Victorino 7 Gonzalez 3 Kemp 8 Ramirez 6 Ethier 9 Cruz 5 Ellis 2 Harang 1
*Bison is back in the lineup tonight!* The Giants Lost today to the Cubs! Now is the time!*
Just a week ago last Saturday, I sat in the Dodger Stadium Press Box, and felt not only extremely humbled and honored, but excited for what the future was bringing. As I covered the game in the Vin Scully press Box only a couple of hours after my first meeting with Vin Scully, I watched the Dodgers beat the Marlins 8-2. The game was amazing, and when Adrian Gonzalez hit a home run in his first Dodger at-bat, I got chills. It was electrifying. The rest of the game was like a dream. Kershaw pitched a gem, Andre Ethier homered, and went 4 for 4 while tying the record for ten consecutive hits, and the Giants lost, allowing the Dodgers to close the gap in the NL West to just two games. On that night, anything seemed possible. Oh how long ago that feels now….
After last night’s comatose performance, and 2-0 loss to the Arizona Dbacks, the Dodgers sank to four and a half games behind the Giants in the NL West. The Dodgers mustered only five hits on Vin Scully Bobblehead night, and didn’t even threaten until the bottom of the ninth. Oh how depressing that ninth inning was. But let me take a moment to praise our new writer Dustin Hanson, for doing something the Dodgers haven’t done in ages…come through in the clutch. It was his first post, and first losscap, while covering the game because Stacie and I were attending in person. Kudos to you Dustin, and welcome aboard.
With only 30 games left to play, the Dodgers are running out of time. We can say that the players aren’t performing all we want, but the team has just had too many injuries to overcome. Scott Elbert is going to need elbow surgery in the off-season, and it is likely he won’t be coming back. Chad Billingsley had a Platelet injection into his right elbow yesterday, but is unlikely to pitch again. Kenley Jansen’s return remains unknown, as we await the medical team’s evaluation on his irregular heartbeat problem. Matt Kemp, is still banged up suffering from a sore shoulder, stemming from that horrific crash into the center field wall in Colorado.
Still, the Dodgers have a lineup loaded with talent. So even after the Dodgers add two all-star power bats into the lineup, and are still getting shut-out, and still having the same results, then management is also almost as much to blame as the players. Since the Gonzo trade, the Dodgers are 2-4, and lost five of their last six games. The numbers are startling. The Dodgers are only 14-26 at home since the all-star break. 28-37 since June 13, and have now lost seven games in a row to Arizona, a team they once owned. Even more disturbing is the Dodgers record against the NL West. Remember only three short years ago, when the Dodgers used to dominate the NL West? The Dodgers are now 24-28 against their own division this season, including having losing records to San Francisco, Colorado, and Arizona. This is simply unacceptable. Perhaps the Dodgers need a new voice in the clubhouse. I have been reading responses on twitter, and other Dodger site forums, and it seems people are beginning to lose faith in Don Mattingly. I don’t blame them, I am too.
He made unspeakably bad decisions in yesterday’s game. He batted a sub .200 utility infielder lead-off, and watched him go 0 for 4. He let the perennially bad Juan Rivera, bat with the game on the line in the bottom of the ninth inning, with runners at first and third. Rivera predictably popped out, and the Dodgers lost. The Dodgers need some fire. Where is the passion? I’m not kidding guys, but the Dodger dugout looked like a tomb. It was like I was attending a wake, instead of a Baseball game. The Dodger fans that stayed for the bottom of the ninth, did all they could to pump some life into this listless team, and the Dodgers let us down. The fans chanted and clapped on every single pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning. They chanted “Let’s go Dodgers, let’s go”. It didn’t work. I was there. Mattingly’s mistakes yesterday were indefensible. There is no reason to bat Nick Punto lead-off, or allow Juan Rivera to bat with the game on the line. Where was Mark Ellis? Why is he resting players on August 30? It makes no sense to me.
It was demoralizing to say the least. There is another game tonight, and the Dodgers don’t have long to lick their wounds. While the Dodgers have a mystery press conference tonight at 5:30, Aaron Harang will take the mound in search of his tenth win, to try and snap the Dodgers out of this funk.
Arizona is countering tonight with right hander Trevor Cahill, who is still in search of career win number 50. Cahill has been struggling, win-less in his last five starts all in August. (0-2 5.14 ERA).He had one of his worst starts of the season last Sunday against San Diego. He allowed four runs on eight hits in 3.2 innings. His last win came against the Dodgers on July 30. Cahill is 3-0 against the Boys in Blue, with a 1.85 ERA. The Dodgers have a .681 OPS, and are hitting .235 (20 for 85) against Cahill. A.J. Ellis is 5 for 7 with a home run off of Cahill. Adrian Gonzalez has also taken him deep. Against the league Cahill is 9-11 with a 3.99 ERA, and 121 whiffs.
The Dodgers will give the ball to the “Big Show”, right hander Aaron Harang. The big show lost in his last start against Miami. He allowed three runs through six, frames, but allowed home runs to Gancarlo Stanton, and rookie Rob Brantly. In his career against the snakes, Harang is 3-7 with a 2.98 ERA. Arizona has a .930 OPS against him, batting .304 (35 for 115), with eight home runs. Chris Young is 6 for 19 (.316) with three home runs. Miguel Montero is 8 for 15 (.518) with a home run.Paul Goldschmidt is 4 for 8 with two home runs. Chris Johnson, and Wil Nieves have also hit homers. Harang is 9-8 against the league, with a 3.70 ERA, with 116 whiffs.
Will Matt Kemp be in the lineup tonight? He’s got to play tonight. He’s the real leader of this team, and we all know it. We’ll know soon enough. Last night, Mattingly held a closed door meeting for nearly a half hour after the game was over. Oh how I would love to have been a fly on the wall for that. Today the Dodgers are announcing a mystery press conference at 5:30PM, and I have no idea what it is about. They could be announcing another trade, but it seems unlikely. They could be announcing a new TV deal. That would make sense. Or they could be announcing a firing? We’ll find out soon. What do you think the mystery press conference is about? (Update) It seems it may be to announce Jaime Jarrin’s return to the spanish radio broadcast booth for next season. Still not sure, but we shall see.
Don Mattingly might only have a month to prove himself. If the Dodgers don’t start playing up to their potential soon, he may get canned. I find it hard to believe that the new owners would just let this season slip away. However the Dodgers are running out of time. They must win now. No more excuses. I fear that this season may be slipping away from us. Please someone help us! We’ll find out tonight at 7PM, as the Dodgers take on Arizona in game two. Meanwhile the Giants are losing at Wrigley Field to the Cubs 6-1. So at least there maybe some hope left. The Dodgers (70-62) are still only 1.5 behind in the wild card race. Remember rosters expand tomorrow, and today is the deadline to add players who will be eligible for postseason play. We should see such players as John Ely, Stephen Fife, Tim Federowicz, Tony Gwynn Jr, Elian Herrera, Javy Guerra and Scott Van Slyke. They could help, but is it too little too late? Please someone help us! Help! Can the Dodger’s season be saved?! Check over here after the game to find out. Go Blue.
Topics: A.J. Ellis, Aaron Harang, Adrian Gonzalez, Andre Ethier, Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, Don Mattingly, Hanley Ramirez, Javy Guerra, Juan Rivera, Los Angeles Dodgers, Luis Cruz, Mark Ellis, Matt Kemp, Shane Victorino