Dodgers Lineup vs. San DiegoPunto 4 Ethier 9 Kemp 8 Gonzalez 3 Ramirez 6 Victorino 7 Cruz 5 Ellis 2 Capuano 1
Last night Don Mattingly was forced to shuffle the Dodger lineup, and it actually worked. When Mark Ellis came down with the flu, Nick Punto was inserted at second base. Apparently M.Ellis was so ill, that he required an IV before the game. He is unlikely to play today. Shane Victorino’s wrist was still bothering him, so Juan Rivera was in left field. Andre Ethier and A.J. Ellis were rested against a tough lefty. Elian Herrera was in right field, and Matt Treanor behind the plate. It worked. The Dodgers scored eight runs on 14 hits off of Clayton Richard. Punto was 3 for 4 with four runs scored. Rivera had two hits, including a home run, Adrian Gonzalez had two hits, and two RBIs, and even Aaron Harang had a double. Harang also carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning, and allowed just four hits, to go along with his four walks, to pick up the win as the Dodgers beat San Diego 8-2. I would expect the lineup to return to normal, for the most part with a right hander on the mound.
The big talk was about the return of Matt Kemp. The beastmode was unleashed upon Petco Park yesterday. Kemp was 4 for 4 with two singles, a double, and a two-run home run. The Bison drove in four of the Dodger’s eight runs. No surprise considering Kemp is hitting over .400 against the Padres.
With the win, the Dodgers stayed alive in the NL Wild Card race. Since the Cardinals lost to Houston 2-0 last night, the Dodgers are 3.5 games behind entering tonight’s game. The Cardinals are off tonight, so if the Dodgers win, they’ll be three back with six to play. The Dodgers must win tonight. The Brewers are also 3.5 back.
In the rubber game tonight, and final road game of the 2012 season, the Dodgers will give the ball to lefty Chris Capuano. Cappy started of strong going 9-2 with a 2.60 ERA in the first half, but has faded since, only winning twice in the second half. Cappy hasn’t won since August 12. Since June 23, Cappy is just 2-9 with a 4.84 ERA. Cappy has allowed eight runs in his last two starts. The Dodgers will need him to have a better outing tonight if they’re going to win tonight. Cappy is 4-4 in his career against the Padres, with a 3.63 ERA, and 51 whiffs. San Diego is hitting just .235 (16 for 68), off of Capuano, with one home run, and a .654 OPS. Of course, he’ll have to watch out for the hot hitting Chase Headley who is batting .375 (3 for 11) off of Cappy with a double, and a home run. Against the league, Cappy is 11-11 with a 3.74 ERA.
San Diego will counter with rookie right hander Casey Kelly. The Dodgers have never seen this guy before. Kelly is 2-2 with a 5.55 ERA, this season in five starts. The 2 year old rookie has been seen mixed results. Last start he walked four, but had only walked four combined in his previous four starts. That’s really all I know about this noob.
I just found out the Brewers lost to the Reds, so they drop to four games behind now. If the Dodgers can win tonight, they’ll be a full game ahead of Milwaukee. Remember, the Cardinals have to play Washington and the Reds to end the season, so anything is possible.
One last thing before I sign off. thelfp.com/blog is doing their annual Dodger Blogger softball charity tournament this weekend. It’s Friday and Saturday at the Big League dreams field in West Covina. All of the proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Temple. Lasorda’s Lair was invited to go, but unfortunately I do not know enough players required, to build a team. I believe they are looking for a few players, so if you live out in Southern California, and you like to play softball, please sign up, at this link https://www.wepay.com/events/tournament. The address is listed in the upper right corner. It’s 35 bucks per player, and the proceeds go to a good cause. Just be careful driving this weekend, as this is another Carmageddon weekend, where the freeways will be shut down again. I won’t be able to attend unfortunately, but there is still room if anyone is interested in playing, and participating.
The Dodgers are 40-40 on the road this season, and can clinch a winning road record with a win tonight. Why is this important? Well, it’s really not, but when you consider that the Dodgers have only had two seasons with winning road records (2004, 2009), it’s pretty significant.
Speaking of Armageddon, I think this is it for the Dodgers. They have to win tonight, and need to win out the rest of their games to have a shot at the second NL Wild Card. Plus hope that they get help, and the Cardinals lose. Game time tonight is at 7:05PM, and televised on KCAL. Join us after the game for our usual Dodger game recap. No matter what happens to the Dodger’s playoff hopes, we’ll be here and will cover all 162 Dodger games. Now let’s beat the Padres and come home with a shot at the playoffs. Go Blue.