A.J. Ellis C
The Dodgers will be trying to avoid adding an eighth consecutive loss to the ugly tally on Friday evening when they take on the Miami Marlins for the first time this season. Their seven game long losing streak has been accomplished thanks to poor starting and relief pitching, stagnant offense, injuries galore, confusing in-game management, and even more confusing front office moves or lack of moves. The Dodgers have been carrying multiple injured players on the roster without disabling them for some unknown reason. Adrian Gonzalez, who re-aggravated his neck injury while diving for a ball during the fourth inning of Wednesday night’s game, is listed as day-to-day, and Carl Crawford has been fighting a sore hamstring off and on. It is uncertain whether either one will land on the DL, but if they don’t they will most likely sit on the bench while the Dodgers play a man or two short.
The Dodgers have quickly sunk to last place in the N.L. West. They are 13-20 and 2 1/2 games back of San Diego. The only teams who have a worse winning percentage than the Dodgers in the league are the Cubs and Marlins. The Marlins are also in last place in the N.L. East with a 10-25 record. How can a team who has the most expensive payroll in baseball been so unsuccessful so far? The frustrating answer is that multiple injuries combined with disappointing results on the field have doomed the Dodgers to a disastrous start to 2013. The question now is, can they bounce back to still have a competitive season?
First thing is first. They need to snap this seven game losing streak. There’s nothing more deflating than prolonged losing. This is true for both the players and the fans. The losses just keep compounding, and it almost seems as though their fire has been completely squelched. When they get behind in a game, they are rarely able to mount a comeback, and when they lead by a small margin in the late innings the bullpen has epically faltered.
The upcoming three-game set with Miami this weekend can be a pivotal series for the Dodgers. They can either take advantage of the Marlins troubles and pick up some wins, or they can fall even deeper into the hole by losing the series. Even though this series is not a battle of the titans by any means, it is an important one for the Dodgers.
Matt Magill, who had a devastating second career start last time out, will be vying for his first career win on
Friday night. The Simi Valley native was excellent in his Major League debut, but in his last start in San Francisco he was roughed up early when he allowed 5 runs on 6 hits in just 1 1/3 innings. Even though the start was catastrophic, I’m glad the Dodgers didn’t send him down afterwards. Magill will get another chance to pitch in front of his family at Dodger Stadium as he tries to lead the Dodgers to a much needed victory.
Miami will be sending their own rookie pitcher to the mound to counter Magill. Jose Fernandez collected his first Major League win in Philadelphia in his last start. He was brilliant in his 7 shutout innings of work, and the right-hander only allowed 1 hit while striking out 9. Prior to the 2013 season, the Cuban pitcher was ranked as the Marlins best prospect. The Marlins added Fernandez to their Opening Day roster after former Dodger Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez suffered injuries. He will have a limitation of 150-170 innings this season.
The Prime Ticket telecast will be moved to alternate channels due to a conflict with a Kings playoff game. Here is the list of alternate channels for the 7:10 p.m. game:
AT&T U-Verse: 69, 1694 (HD) Comcast: 104 Cox Santa Barbara: 8 Cox Orange County: 3 Cox Palos Verdes: 3 DIRECTV: 689, 689-1 (HD) Dish: 449, 9519 (HD) Time Warner Cable (L.A.): HD 700 Time Warner Cable (Desert Cities, Yucca, Banning): HD 590 Time Warner Cable (Barstow): HD 671 Verizon: 1