Josh Beckett- Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Dodgers Begin Crucial Series At Phony Book Park

Dodgers Lineup vs. Giants

M.Ellis 4
Victorino 7
Gonzalez 3
Kemp 8
Ramirez 6
Ethier 9
Kennedy 5
Ellis 2
Beckett 1

 

Josh Beckett-6-12 vs. Tim Lincecum-8-12

 

The Dodgers fly into the beating heart of the Lion’s den. The Boys in Blue will begin a critical three game set at Phony Book Park Friday night, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday Night. Both teams come into the series having lost two of three at home, and the Dodgers are coming off of another losing homestand, splitting four with Arizona, and losing two of three to San Diego. Altogether, the Dodgers had a 3-4 homestand. Yeah, not good.

For the Dodgers, the struggle to hit, score runs, and win games at home continues in the second half. The Dodgers are only 11-17 at home since the all-star break. Remember when the Dodgers used to score all the time in the first innings? That has come to a grinding halt. The Dodgers have not scored in the first inning in the last ten games, as noted by Eric Stephen.

What that means is that the Dodgers have been playing from behind in every game over the last two weeks. Another problem is the Dodgers poor record against the NL West. The Dodgers are 27-31 against their division, and have losing records to three of the four teams. (Colorado, Arizona, and San Francisco). Against the Giants, the Dodgers are 5-7. The last time the two teams met, the Giants swept the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. However the last time the two teams met at Phony Book Park, the Dodgers swept the Giants, and outscored them 19-3.

The two teams enter play, separated by four and a half games. The Dodgers trailing the Giants, and trailing the Cardinals by a game and a half for the wild card. This is the first of the remaining six games between the two rivals. The Dodgers must win at least two of three, or you can pretty much stick a fork in them.

Tonight the Dodgers will give the ball to Josh Beckett. The former Cy Young award runner-up, has pitched well for the Dodgers. In two starts he has only allowed four earned runs, and 13 hits, in 12 innings. He has whiffed 15, and walked four. He has a 1-1 record, and a 2.92 ERA in Blue. In looking at Beckett’s work against the Giants, I like what I am seeing. Beckett has posted a 3-4 record, but a nice 3.35 ERA. These current Giants have barely ever seen him. Collectively, the Giants are hitting .294 (20 for 68), but only three guys have had more than five at-bats versus Beckett. Hunter Pence is 5 for 11 (.455). Marco Scutaro is batting .364 (4 for 11), with a triple. Aubrey Huff is hitting .263 (10 for 38), with two doubles, and the only home run. Look at Beckett’s career numbers at Phony Book Park. When pitching in San Francisco, Beckett is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA, 18 whiffs, and two walks in three starts. Color me impressed. Let’s hope he continues the success. Against the league, Beckett is 6-12, with a 5.02 ERA, and 109 whiffs.

Tim Licnecum-Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE

The Giants will counter with former Cy Young winner, Tim Lincecum. Timmy has had a bad year,but has pitched much better since the all-star break. In the second half, Lincecum, has posted a 5-4 record, and a 3.26 ERA. Lincecum has always given the Dodgers a bad time over the years. In his career against the Boys in Blue, Lincecum has posted a 7-5 record, a 2.80 ERA, and racked up 113 whiffs. He has already beaten the Dodgers twice this year, in three head to head starts. (2-1 2.55 ERA) The Dodgers are hitting .248 against Lincecum, (67 for 270), with four home runs, 22 RBI, and a .647 OPS. Matt Kemp, is only hitting .231 (9 for 39), with no home runs. Adrian Gonzalez has also struggled, batting .205 (8 for 39), off of Lincecum. Andre Ethier has done well, batting .300 (12 for 40), with three doubles, two home runs, and 6 RBI. Hanley Ramirez is 3 for 11 (.273), with a double, and a home run. The fourth home run was hit by Shane Victorino. Looking at Licnecum’s numbers, I see what realy is killing him is the walks. His walk rate is the highest it has ever been. His career walk rate is 3.4, and this year it is up to 4.1 Overall, Lincecum is 8-14, with a 5.21 ERA, he has whiffed 162, and walked 71. In comparison, he walked 86 last season.

First pitch is at 7:15, televised on Prime Ticket. The news keeps coming in fast and furious. One week, it’s a wave of injuries to the pitching staff. The loss of Chad Billingsley. The uncertain returns of Ted Lilly, Scott Elbert, and Kenley Jansen? Now the news from Bill Shakin, that the Dodgers are in talks on a contract extension for general manager Ned Colletti. Uncle Neddy, is widely maligned across most corners of the Internet. We’ll give our take on this later. Right now, it’s just talks, but it looks like Colletti, isn’t going anywhere for a long time. I can’t think of that right now, because tonight starts the most important series of the season for the Dodgers. Our beloved Boys in Blue must take two of three from the Giants in the heart of the lion’s den. Regardless of the result, we’ll give you our post game recap directly following the game. Can the Dodger season be salvaged? Check in over here and find out. We’ll celebrate together for a win, and commiserate together if it’s a loss. We must stand strong against the evil Giants. Dodger Fans unite! Go Blue! Defeat SF!

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Tags: A.J. Ellis Adrian Gonzalez Andre Ethier Don Mattingly Hanley Ramirez Josh Beckett Los Angeles Dodgers Luis Cruz Mark Ellis Matt Kemp Shane Victorino

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