M. Ellis 2B
A.J. Ellis C
The Dodgers just have to win or lose by one run every game, don’t they? Our blood pressure skyrocketed again yesterday evening when the Dodgers imploded in the eighth inning during game two of an old-fashioned doubleheader in the nation’s capital. Josh Beckett and the Dodgers were cruising through seven innings of shutout ball and lead by six runs before the wheels fell off in the home half of the eighth inning. The Nationals scored six runs in the inning to tie the game up, and we all felt like our team would let another one slip away right before our eyes. Luckily, Matt Kemp, our perennial M.V.P., was able to give the Dodgers the slight 7-6 edge after he blasted his 19th homerun of the season in the top of the ninth. The dynamic duo of Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp now both have 19 homeruns on the season. Now in the rubber game this afternoon, the Nationals are looking to clinch their playoff spot while the Dodgers are still eyeing that coveted second Wild Card Spot in the NL. The Nationals’ magic number is at nine to clinch their inevitable National League East division crown.
The Dodgers desperately need to win this series to keep afloat for that chance to grab the Wild Card slot. They have four remaining series after they depart D.C., and Don Mattingly has said that they would essentially need to win this series with the Nats and the remaining four series with St. Louis, San Diego, Colorado, and the finale with San Francisco. The Dodgers now sit at 5 games over .500, 2 games back of St. Louis for the second Wild Card, and 9 games back of San Francisco in the NL West.
Chris Capuano will be vying for his twelfth win of the season as he goes to work in the District of Columbia. Cappy hasn’t won a game since August 12th in Miami, and his ERA has ballooned to 3.60 since
struggling in the second half. His last three starts have ended with a no-decision. Last time out against the Cardinals, he only made it through 4 1/3 innings and allowed 2 runs on 6 hits. In his career against the Nats, Capuano is 3-3 with a 3.72 ERA. He has whiffed 43 Nats in 46 innings pitched. He’ll really have to pitch carefully to Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, and Ryan Zimmerman who have all hit homeruns against Cappy and are hitting over .400 against him.
The southpaw showdown will also feature a lefty on the hill for Washington. Ross Detwiler wasn’t involved in the decision in his last start against the Braves this past weekend. He only allowed 1 run on 7 hits over 6 innings. Detwiler is 0-1 with a 3.77 ERA in his career against the Dodgers. Shane Victorino is the only Dodger who has had a significant number of at bats against Detwiler, but he is only hitting .231 against him.
The first pitch will be at 4:05 pm on Prime Ticket. Be sure to take our new poll on the front page to vote for who you think has been the M.V.P. for the Dodgers this season.