A.J. Ellis C
(Crawford scratched with tightness in right hamstring)
If you were one of the diehard Dodger fans who watched the entirety of that drubbing of a game last night, you got a little treat in the ninth inning when Skip Schumaker took the mound. By the ninth inning, the Rockies had all but buried the Dodgers with their potent offense which capitalized on a rusty Ted Lilly and a roughed up Josh Wall. Even though it was a blow out game, Don Mattingly still made some concerning decisions including leaving in Matt Kemp after he was hit in the face by Tyler Chatwood. Why not give Matty a rest for a few innings? Remember, Mattingly also left in Javy Guerra last season after he was pummeled in the face by a Brian McCann line drive. As a manager, you must make the decision to pull an injured player even if they insist they are okay. Someone I was talking to last night made an interesting point. Perhaps since Mattingly played injured during his career he may be more empathetic to a player who says they can play through it.
Skip Schumaker’s scoreless ninth inning was an entertaining moment during what was an long and ugly game. This was the first time a Dodger position player has pitched since 2009 when Mark Loretta took the mound. Schumaker last pitched in 2011 against the Dodgers of all teams. He allowed a two-run homerun to Aaron Miles, who coincidently also pitched before in a MLB game. Schumaker allowed two singles, a walk, but was able to get out of the jam while touching 90-mph on the radar gun. Schumaker said after the game that he was excited to pitch on the same mound that Orel Hershiser had pitched from. Hats off to Skip Schumaker, well done!
Hanley Ramirez will make his first start on the season for the Dodgers after returning from the disabled list. Last night Hanley struck out in one pinch-hit at-bat. The Dodgers will be looking to Hanley for that extra spark that they’ve been lacking in his absence. While Justin Sellers has filled in at short admirably, Luis Cruz has been just atrocious at the plate this season. Cruz could be headed to AAA if he continues to flounder.
Ted Lilly will undergo an MRI today, but it looks like he’ll be headed back to the DL. Matt Magill will remain with the team, and he will start the next time the Dodgers need him to. The Dodgers will also need to make a decision on Mark Ellis who has been day-to-day with a quad strain.
The Rockies, with a new manager, are playing a lot more aggressive and look to be a possible contender in the division. They are currently 16-10 and on top in the standings in the N.L. West. The Dodgers will need to win Tuesday’s game in order to finish the month of April at an even .500.
Hyun-jin Ryu has had a wonderful April for the Dodgers, and he has pitched at least six innings in each of his five starts. The Dodgers will need the Korean lefty to go deep into this game in order to spare the decimated bullpen. Ryu will take on the Rockies for the first time in his career. Last time out against the Mets in New York, Ryu pitched 7 solid innings while allowing 1 run on 3 hits and 8 strikeouts in the no-decision. Ryu has collected 34 strikeouts so far in 31 2/3 innings pitched. He has the most strikeouts for a rookie pitcher in the league currently.
In the southpaw showdown, the Rockies will have Jorge De La Rosa counter Ryu. He’s had trouble against the Dodgers in his career, and De La Rosa is 0
-7 with a 6.22 ERA against the Boys in Blue. Adrian Gonzalez and Matt Kemp have absolutely dominated him, and they each have three homeruns against him. De La Rosa picked up a loss last outing in Arizona after pitching 6 innings and allowing 2 runs on 7 hits. He only struck out one batter but walked three.
After the game, Ryu will meet Korean superstar PSY and present him with a jersey. It’s also Hanley Ramirez bobblehead night, and hopefully we will be seeing Hanley’s signature “I See You” during the game.
Tune into KCAL tonight at 7:10 p.m. as the Dodgers try to even up the series.