Dodgers Lineup vs. GiantsM.Ellis 4 Victorino 8 Gonzalez 3 Ramirez 6 Cruz 5 Ethier 9 Rivera 7 Ellis 2 Blanton 1
*Clayton Kershaw has been scratched from his scheduled start tonight, or so we just learned a few mintues ago. Joe Blanton will start in his place. Relax guys, Kershaw is ok. He has a sore hip. Apparently he recieved a cortison injection before the game, and was running and throwing in the outfield to test it. The Dodgers felt they would rather give him a couple of more days to rest. Kershaw is now scheduled to pitch Tuesday night in Arizona, and on schedule to start October 1st against the Giants. That will also line him up for the one game playoff, if the Dodgers make it that far.
Unfortunately, what this does do, is forfeit tonight’s game, and likely send the Dodgers home with a crushing series defeat. it sucks. But it’s no one’s fault. Injuries just keep screwing with us. Blantin us 205 with a 4.91 ERA in ten career starts against the Giants. In four starts at Phony Book Park, he is 0-2 with a 4.37 ERA. You dont even want to know, what the Giants are hitting off of Bumton. It’s disgusting. Pagan is hitting .571 with two home runs. The team overall is hitting .285 off the atrocious veteran right hander. So of course expect stupid Pagan, and Scutaro to run all over the bases with like 17 singles, and 9 RBI. Shoot me now please. May god have mercy on our souls tonight*
Just as it appeared the Dodgers were dead in the water, they were able to rally back and win yesterday to even the series with the Giants. The Dodgers pulled out a white knuckled 3-2 win, against incredible odds. Once trailing 2-1, The boys in blue scored a run in the top of the eighth off of a Juan Rivera pop fly double that bounced off of Hunter Pence’s glove, and a Shane Victorino sacrifice fly. The winning run was plated in the top of the ninth. The Dodgers soared back to life with a lead-off triple from Adrian Gonzalez, and a run scoring double from Hanley Ramirez.
If the Dodgers are going to reach the playoffs, they’ll need a productive Gonzalez. The big first baseman is only hitting .241 since joining the Dodgers in the epic trade back on August 25. The Dodgers will again be without their team captain, Matt Kemp. Bison is still nursing a sore shoulder, suffered during his horrific crash into the center field wall at Colorado back on August 28. The MRI Bison received yesterday revealed he had a slight fraying of the labrum. The Dodgers expect for Bison to be back in the lineup for Tuesday’s game at Arizona. The Dodgers have a scheduled off day on Monday.
With the win the Dodgers (74-66) stayed alive in the NL West race, climbing back to a 4.5 game deficit. The win also propelled them in the NL Wild Card race as well. Both the Cardinals and Pirates lost last night. The Dodgers gained ground on both teams. The boys in blue are now just a half game behind the Cardinals for the second wild card. Pittsburgh is 1.5 back. The Dodgers still trail the season series to the Giants 8-6.
The Dodgers will try and keep their momentum going, looking to clinch a series win. The Dodgers have just the right guy on the mound to help them accomplish this. Reigning Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw will take the mound for the Dodgers. Kershaw is having another fantastic year, despite only having 12 wins. Kershaw has always been a Giant killer. In his career he is 7-4 with a 1.39 ERA, and 119 whiffs against San Francisco. Kershaw again has pitched fantastic against the Giants, but has not received the necessary run support to garner wins. This season Kershaw is 1-3, but with a 1.74 ERA, versus the Giants. Kershaw has only allowed six earned runs in 31 innings through four starts against the Giants this season. Kershaw has been utterly dominant pitching at Phony Book Park. In San Francisco in seven starts, Kershaw is 5-2 with a 0.66 ERA. That means Kershaw has allowed just four earned runs, in 54 innings pitched. He has given up 37 hits, whiffed 53, and walked only 12 batters. Let’s not forget his two complete game shut-outs in this park, including one earlier this summer. Kershaw again fell victim to poor run support in his last start against the Padres. He allowed one run through seven frames, and whiffed nine, but came away with a no-decision. Just how dominating is Kershaw against this current group of Giants? Well take a look at this ish. The Giants are only hitting a pathetic .183 (48 for 262), off of Kershaw. They have hit two home runs, driven in 13 runs, and have posted a .446 OPS. Looking at the numbers, Buster Posey is hitting .194 (6 for 31). Pablo Sandoval is hitting .269 (7 for 26) off of Kershaw. Brandon Belt, has done nothing .158 (3 for 19). Kershaw has completely shut down Hunter Pence, to the tune of a .048 batting average. (1 for 21). Of course the only Giant that has had any success off of Kershaw at all, is the annoying Angel Pagan. (6 for 20) .300. Xavier Nady, and Brett Pill have hit the only home runs off of Kershaw. Against the league, Kershaw is 12-8 with a 2.79 ERA, he has whiffed 201, and walked 50.
The Giants will counter with lefty Barry Zito. Hollywood Zito is 1-2 with a 3.44 ERA in three starts against the Dodgers this season. During his career, Zito is 7-10 with a 3.90 ERA against the Dodgers. In his last start versus Arizona, he allowed four runs through five innings, and picked up a no-decision. The Giants have won the last six Zito outings, but Zito himself has only come away with two decisions during that span. The Dodgers collectively have hit .252 (76 for 302), with six home runs, and 29 RBI against Zito. That’s a .701 OPS for the Boys in Blue. Matt Kemp is the Dodger who has hit Zito the best over the years. He is hitting .462 (24 for 52), off of Zito. The team captain has three home runs, and an OPS of .1226. Unfortunately Bison will not be able to play today. Adrian Gonzalez is hitting .317 (13 for 41), with a double and a home run. A.J. Ellis is 3 for 8. However, Andre Ethier is .158 (6 for 38), and known to struggle against Zito. Mark Ellis is 4 for 17 (. 235) Hanley Ramirez is (2 for 21) .095. Juan Rivera, and Adam Kennedy have also hit home runs off of Zito. Barry is 10-8. With a 4.51 ERA, 91 whiffs, and 61 walks against the league.
Speaking of Adam Kennedy, he will not be returning this season. After his game botching bumble on Monday night, he heard a pop in his groin. The Dodgers have already announced he will be out the rest of the season. The truly terrifying thing about Kennedy being the latest gritty veteran to bite the dust, is that if anything happens to Luis Cruz, well…. It means the backup third baseman are Nick Punto, and you guessed it, Juan Uribe. (Shudders). Anyways, Kennedy sure went out with a bang didn’t he? Stacie said it was fitting, that Kennedy ended his Dodger season, and maybe his career, with a solo home run, and then a game screwing error. Even when he is good, he still ends up being a game ruiner. That’s Adam Kennedy for you. AK has left the building!
First pitch tonight is at 5PM, and the game will be nationally televised on ESPN. I don’t think I need to tell you how important this game is tonight for the Dodgers. This is another must win game. I don’t want to hear anything about the team not “gelling” or any crap like that. No more excuses. It’s time to gain some ground here, and keep the momentum going. So, that means just win! I don’t want to see any first inning runs Kershaw. So, don’t give up any piddly hits to those annoying singles hitters (Pagan, Scutaro) that for some reason are destroying the National League. Don’t walk anybody, don’t hit a guy. Just shut off the Giant’s lights. Join us after the game for our detailed Dodger game recap. It’s sure to be another nail-biter. Go Blue! Defeat SF!