Chris Capuano looks to end season on a winning note. Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

The Dodgers Face Elimination Again Tonight as Chris Capuano Makes Final Start

Chris Capuano (12-11, 3.69) vs. Barry Zito (14-8, 4.19)

Dodgers Lineup: vs. Giants

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

 

Luis Cruz douses Elian Herrera in a postgame celebration last night. Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Even if the Dodgers don’t complete a baseball miracle and win these final two games while the Cardinals hopefully lose their final two, we can’t say the Boys in Blue didn’t go out with a bang. They are riding a season-high six-game winning streak, and they are currently the hottest team in baseball. After a St. Louis victory last night, their magic number was reduced to one game. The Dodgers are on the brink of elimination, and one loss or one Red Bird win will equal the end of their postseason dreams for this season. Last night’s epic walk-off win against the evil Giants was as sweet as it gets. Luis Cruz and Elian Herrera played heroes again, and their many years of hard work within the minor leagues has finally paid off this season as they contributed to the big team throughout the year. Luis Cruz has all but secured himself a starting job on next year’s squad, and Elian Herrera could be used as a utility guy off the bench. The reformulated Dodger team is finally meshing, and the results are promising. Adrian Gonzalez has a 13-game hitting streak (the longest by a Dodger this season), Andre Ethier is continuing to hit in those clutch situations, and Matt Kemp is on the mend and raking it. Next year looks to be a breakout season for the Dodgers, but there are still two games remaining on this season’s schedule to worry about.

Chris Capuano started the season out so strong. He went 9-3 with a 2.69 ERA during the first half, but during the second half his ERA has climbed a full point and he has lost 8 games while only winning 3. Last time out against the Padres, the southpaw picked up his twelfth win. He only allowed 1 run on 5 hits over 5

1/3 innings, but he did walk 4 batters. So far, Cappy has pitched 195 1/3 innings and struck out 162 batters in 32 starts. Perhaps fatigue has been a factor during the second part of the season. Capuano has had trouble with San Francisco in the past, and he has a 1-6 record with a 5.21 ERA against them in his career. Most of the current Giants have only had a smattering of at bats against Cappy, but he will of course have to fend off the annoying Buster Posey who has gone deep against him before.

The Giants will counter with left-hander Barry Zito. The reliable veteran has been pretty mediocre, but he has helped the Giants win during the span of his last 10 starts. He has actually won 4 games in a row. Last time out against the D-backs, Zito allowed 3 runs on 6 hits over 6 innings of work. The Dodgers lost to Zito back on September 9th in San Francisco after he shut them out over 6 1/3 innings. Barry has pitched 178 1/3 innings so far, but only has 108 strikeouts. He is 8-10 with a 3.74 ERA against the Dodgers in his career. Matt Kemp has just clobbered him to a tune of .455 with 2 homeruns and 7 RBI. Adrian Gonzalez has also had his way with Zito, and he is hitting .316 with a homerun and 5 RBI against him. Juan Rivera also has a homerun against the lefty, so we may see him in a pinch-hitting situation.

If the Dodgers can just survive tonight with a win and a Cardinals loss, we legitimately have a chance. Tomorrow Clayton Kershaw is slated to start against Ryan Vogelsong in the finale game. Tonight at 5:15 pm Pacific Time the Cardinals will have Chris Carpenter on the mound, and the Reds will counter with Mat Latos. The Reds are

Barry Zito beat the Dodgers the last time we faced him in San Francisco. Photo: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

still competing in order to secure the best record in the NL. The Giants will end up as the third seed. With a little luck and a whole lot of Blue hope, the Dodger could force a tiebreaker game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday. Momentum is crucial in baseball, and right now the Dodgers have that energy on their side.

KCAL will televise the game at 7:10 pm. Be sure to come back to read our postgame recap. Enjoy the game! Let’s go Reds!

Tags: Barry Zito Chris Capuano Los Angeles Dodgers