Dodgers Lineup vs. RedsM.Ellis 4 Ethier 9 Kemp 8 Gonzalez 3 Ramirez 6 Cruz 5 Rivera 7 Ellis 2 Blanton 1
The Dodgers literally limp into Cincinnati to take on the NL Central leading Reds, after losing two of three in Washington D.C. Apparently Reds Manager Dusty Baker fell ill with an irregular heartbeat and had to stay in the hospital for a couple of nights. This is the same issue that had sidelined Kenley Jansen. Bench Coach Chris Speier has been managing for the last couple of days. Baker is in good spirits and is expected to be back Friday. Baker just recently managed his 3000th career game. The Reds are in very good shape, and can clinch a playoff berth with one more win. Their magic number to clinch the NL Central is only two.The Dodgers are a different story. What more can I say? They haven’t won a series in a month, and they just absolutely unequivocally can’t hit. For this game, they will give the ball to righty Joe Blanton.
Blanton is his usual awful self. Not like we have a choice though. One of the things I am looking forward to most for next season is to never ever have to watch him pitch in Dodger Blue again. Unfortunately we have to suffer through one or two more of his starts before the season is done. Blanton has allowed at least three runs or more in each of his last three starts. During that span he has a 5.09 ERA. With the Dodgers he is 1-4 with a 6.07 ERA. He is 2-0 in his career versus the Reds. The Reds are hitting .262 against Blanton (22 for 84) with two home runs. Joey Votto is 2 for 7. Ryan Ludwick, and Brandon Phillips have both hit home runs. Overall Blanton is 9-13.
The Reds will counter with righty Bronson Arroyo. The 35 year old righty is 5-4 with a 3.92 ERA against the Dodgers. He is 5-1 with a 2.85 ERA in his last seven starts. So this doesn’t bode well for the boys in blue. The Dodgers are hitting .263 (45 for 171) against Arroyo. Matt Kemp, and Andre Ethier have hit him the hardest. Ethier is hitting .300 (9 for 30) with three doubles and a home run. Kemp is hitting .409 (9 for 22) with two home runs. Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, and Mark Ellis have also hit home runs off of him as well. Overall against the league, Arroyo is 12-8 with a 3.74 ERA.
This has been an exhausting and demoralizing second half for the Dodgers. The good thing is it’s almost over. The Dodgers are 77-73 and are three games behind the Cardinals for the second Wild Card. The Reds are 91-59, and 11 games in front of the second place Cardinals. What makes this game and day more special is that it is my birthday. Of course on my Birthday I get a Blanton start. Figures. Can the Dodgers give me the best birthday gift of all? A win? We shall see!
Today’s Dodger game is on at 4:10, and televised on Prime Ticket. We’ll be here to deliver our usual Dodger postgame recap with a side of sarcasm. Don’t touch that dial Dodger fans. Happy Birthday to me! Go Blue!