Dodgers Lineup vs. ArizonaCrawford 7 M.Ellis 4 Kemp 8 Gonzalez 3 Ethier 9 A.J. Ellis 2 Cruz 6 Punto 5 Beckett 1
The Dodgers conclude their first road trip of the season with a rubber game against the Dbacks at Chase Field. A win would give the Dodgers not only a series win over Arizona, but a winning trip at 4-2. It would defiantly lift some spirits. This has been a tough road-trip for the Dodgers. They lost Greinke, and have been forced to overtax their bullpen.
Last night was a feel good game despite the bullpen nearly blowing the lead. Might I remind everyone that at least Brandon League had a perfect ninth inning. Hyun-jin Ryu’s performance sticks out the most in our minds. When was the last time we saw a Dodger pitcher get three hits in a game? Especially since Ryu hasn’t used a bat in years. They use the DH in the Korean league. The Dodger pitchers are helping their own causes this season. Kershaw is hitting home runs, and Ryu is getting hits. Billingsley is next on the docket to do something big with the bat. Needless to say, Ryu and the offense were spectacular, and here’s to hoping the good times are well ahead of us.
Who would have thought that after the first road-trip that Zack Greinke would be on the disabled list, Carl Crawford would be leading the league in hitting, Juan Uribe would have a game winning home run, and the Dodgers would be 7-4, only a half game out of first place. That’s where the Dodgers find themselves entering Sunday afternoon’s rubber match.
In order to secure the series win, the Dodgers will be giving the ball to a very hungry pitcher. Right hander Josh Beckett, has gotten off to a rough start to the 2013 season. He’s struggled in his two outings, and was unable to make it past the fifth inning in his last start. His fastball velocity has been down, and he’s been serving up home runs. He gave up two long balls last decision against San Diego.
Beckett will look to rebound and pick up his first win of the season. Beckett has posted a 2-4 record, with a 4.36 ERA in seven starts versus the Snakes.
The Snakes are hitting .276 (29 for 105) against Beckett. Aaron Hill has done most of the heavy lifting. He’s hitting Beckett to a tune of .405 (15 for 37) with seven doubles, one home run, and eight RBI. He has been battling injury, so it is unclear if he will be able to play.The snakes have hit two home runs off of Beckett, and Miguel Montero has hit the second. Beckett is 1-2 at Chase Field.
The Diamondbacks will counter with right hander Trevor Cahill. The big Oceanside native has been a familiar foe, and often thorn in the Dodger’s side. Cahill is also looking to rebound from a poor start to the season. He has also lost his first two stats, and has posted a 5.91 ERA. Cahill has never lost to the Dodgers, and they have been unable to figure him out. Cahill is 4-0 with a 2.43 ERA in six starts against the Dodgers. He had whiffed 30 Dodger hitters, and walked only 13. Despite Cahill’s impressive numbers against the Dodgers, the Boys in Blue are still hitting .291 (25 for 86) off of Cahill. The Dodgers have an .805 OPS and have hit three home runs and driven in 13 against Cahill. A.J. Ellis is hitting .545 (6 for 11) with a home run off Cahill. Matt Kemp is 3 for 9. Luis Cruz is hitting .364 (4 for 11) with a double, and Carl Crawford is 3 for 7. Adrian Gonzalez, and Jerry Hairston have hit home runs off the big right hander. Cahill has often struggled at Chase Field, and has a 7-9 record, and a 4.80 ERA while pitching there.
The Dodgers won’t have to worry about Jason Kubel. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list by Arizona. He has a strained left quadriceps muscle. Arizona activated Cody Ross to take his place on the roster.
This has been an emotional road-trip. The Dodgers have another long road-trip to the east coast, (Baltimore, New York), Coming up, after they return home for a quick three game homestand with the brutes from San Diego. Coming home on a win would be great for moral. It would almost make things ok. The loss of Greinke still stings, but we have to move on. He’ll be back soon, and the games go on.
The rubber match begins this afternoon at 1:10 PM. Join us after the game for our daily Dodger postgame coverage, as we continue to document the Dodgers Baseball seasons.