Game One 10:05 a.m.
M. Ellis 2B
Game Two 4:05 p.m.
A. Ellis C
Even though it was a hot, sunny day in Los Angeles on Friday, a storm brewed over the skies of Baltimore and Camden Yards. The tarp was pulled on to the field before the game even started, and after a 90 minute rain delay it was announced that the scheduled game between the Dodgers and Orioles would be postponed until Saturday. This means that there will be a doubleheader Saturday with the first game starting at 10:05 a.m. Hyun-jin Ryu will still make his start, and the Korean left-hander made sure he kept loose by throwing a 30-pitch bullpen session Friday night. Interestingly in Korea, they call the game due to rain after just 30 minutes. Yet with the infrequency of the Dodgers and O’s meeting at Camden Yards, officials wanted to try to get the game underway if at all possible.
It was a night when baseball was not on the minds of most Americans. I was watching the news coverage of the Boston bombings suspect manhunt for most of the evening. While baseball is always a great way for us to unwind and escape for a bit, perhaps Friday evening was better spent thinking of those who lost their lives or were injured during the horrific events which unfolded this week. Boston is a richly historical, beautiful city. I have confidence that the people of Massachusetts will come out of this stronger and even more bonded. I’d also like to offer my condolences to the people of West, Texas who have also suffered great loss.
Like I said, baseball is like medicine. When you feel depressed or down, a ball game can be an enjoyable diversion (much like the movies). Tomorrow we will get a double dose of Dodger baseball! Ryu will start the first game, and Josh Beckett is on tap for the second game of the doubleheader. The Dodgers have now lost four in a row, and they are hoping that they can break the losing streak tomorrow in Baltimore. Ryu will pitch in his first Interleague match having won two games in a row. Jason Hammel, the O’s Opening Day starter will take the mound for Baltimore.
Josh Beckett will start the night game, and the right-hander is still looking for his first win of the season. Last time out, Beckett pitched great but the Dodger offense let him down in the loss. He allowed just 1 earned run on 6 hits over 8 1/3 solid innings. He struck out 9 D-backs and walked just 1. His outing was one of the best I’ve seen from him, and it was a shame that the Dodgers bats were frozen in time. In his career against the O’s (remember he used to pitch in the AL), he is 7-7 with a 4.36 ERA in 132 innings pitched. At Camden Yards, he is 5-4 with a 4.00 ERA in 13 games started. He has allowed 13 homeruns at Camden Yards in those 13 games-ouch!
Wei-Yin Chen, the Taiwanese lefty, will counter Josh Beckett in the second half of the doubleheader. Like Beckett, Chen is vying for his first win on the season. Chen has never faced the Dodgers, and this will be his first Interleague game. He was signed by the O’s last season as an amateur free agent and made 32 starts. He went 12-11 with a 4.02 ERA during his rookie season. Before signing with Baltimore, Chen pitched for four years with the Nippon Professional Baseball league in Japan. He was the first Taiwanese player to be signed by the Orioles. His fastball hovers around 91 mph, and he has a slider, curveball, and changeup.
The big question on all our minds is: can the Dodgers turn things around? Why can’t this team score runs? What is going on with Matt Kemp? The season is long. There will be many dips and plateaus, but it has been awfully frustrating to watch this team thus far this April. There has to be some give. Sometimes one timely clutch hit or perhaps a string of hits can recharge a depleted team and sway the momentum in their favor. Last April the Dodgers started out red hot, but this season seems to be more like lukewarm.
Join us tomorrow for a good ol’ doubleheader! Have you been craving some Dodger baseball these past two days? I know I have.