Dodgers Lineup: vs. PiratesCrawford 7 Punto 4 Kemp 8 Gonzalez 3 Hairston 9 Uribe 5 Federowicz 2 Sellers 6 Ryu 1
The Dodgers evened up their record to 2-2 on Saturday evening as they shut out the Pirates and picked up their first series win of the year. It was a close battle between Clayton Kershaw and veteran A.J. Burnett, but in the end the Pirates couldn’t muster but just two hits off the Dodgers pitching. The Dodgers offense was anything but productive, and even though they collectively had eight hits in the game, they left 10 runners on base and were 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position. Matt Kemp struck out thrice and hit into a double play. Justin Sellers and Luis Cruz have yet to get a hit. A win is just the same whether you win by one run or win by ten runs, but the worries come when you start to face tougher teams who are more offensively potent.
The Pirates will be trying to fend off a three-game sweep at Dodger Stadium on Sunday afternoon. They will send 25-year old lefty Jeff Locke to the mound. Locke has had a couple of September call-ups for the Pirates, but this will be his first start as a fledging crewmember of the Bucs. He misses the rookie status by just one inning. He is 1-6 with a 5.82 and 39 strikeouts and 21 walks in 12 games played in the Majors. He was the Pirates 2012 Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Locke had this to say about his start at Dodger Stadium:
“I’m ready to go, excited to go out and compete again as part of the regular 25-man roster. First road trip. Dodger Stadium. I just want to go out there and perform, and impress.”
The Dodgers are hoping that Hyun-jin Ryu can improve upon his solid Major League debut last Tuesday when he went 6 1/3 innings and allowed 1 earned run on 10 hits while striking out 5 and walking none in the loss to San Francisco. While Ryu pitched well, the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner outdueled the Korean southpaw. The Dodgers gave Ryu absolutely no run support and only mustered two hits against Bumgarner. Ryu is hoping that the Dodgers can break out offensively against Locke and the Pirates tomorrow so that he can notch his first career win as a Major Leaguer and Dodger.
Ryu’s fastball was hovering around 92 mph last time out, and his breaking ball still needs some consistency. He was using his changeup a lot in order to strike out batters. Ryu admitted that he was a bit nervous during his first start. He even drew some “boos” when he failed to run out a groundout.
Tim Federowicz will get his first start of the season Sunday as A.J. Ellis is rested. The Dodgers are carrying three catchers at the moment after they acquired Ramon Hernandez in exchange for Aaron Harang on Saturday. They figure to send one backstop down to AAA-Albuquerque on Wednesday once Chad Billingsley is reactivated.
Game time is at 1:10 p.m. and it will be televised on Prime Ticket.