Dodgers Lineup vs. WashingtonCrawford 7 Gordon 6 Gonzalez 3 Kemp 8 Ethier 9 A.J. Ellis 2 Schumaker 4 Punto 5 Beckett 1
Jordan Zimmerman-6-1 vs. Josh Beckett-0-4
The Washington Nationals fly into Dodger Stadium for a three game series starting tonight. Washington began the season as early World Series favorites, but have gotten off to a slow start. While the Nats still trail the Braves in the NL East, they sit in second place with a 20-17 record.
The Dodgers are coming off of their first series win in almost two weeks, with their win yesterday afternoon against the Marlins. Tonight the Dodgers will try and continue the momentum, as the club tries to claw their way out of last place in the NL West.
Tonight’s pitching match-up seems like a mismatch on paper, and probably will be one on the field as well. The six win Jordan Zimmerman will take the mound for the Nationals, and the Dodgers will counter with the winless Josh Beckett.
Zimmerman has been terrific this season, and actually comes in with an ERA slightly lower than Clayton Kershaw. The 26 year old right hander is 6-1 this season with a 1.59 ERA. Zimmerman has whiffed 34 batters while issuing only nine walks. Zimmerman has only allowed nine earned runs all season long, but has not fared well against the Dodgers in the past. Zimmerman has only faced the boys in blue in two starts, but has struggled. Zimmerman is 1-0 with a 5.25 ERA in those two starts against the Dodgers. He’s only made one start at Dodger Stadium in which he gave up six earned runs in six frames. The Dodgers are batting .279 (12 for 43) off of the right hander with one home run, and a .745 OPS. Matt Kemp has hit the only home run, but the rest of the Dodgers have hardly faced him. Zimmerman has become the first six game winner in the National League in 2013.
The Dodgers will counter with veteran Josh Beckett. The right hander has been totally ineffective this season, and it’s not looking like that’s going to change anytime soon. Beckett has only had one good start all season long, and it is looking more and more likely that he is cooked. Beckett is 0-4 this year, with a 5.13 ERA. Beckett has whiffed 36, and walked 13. So he still has the strikeout stuff, but his problem has been the home run ball. Beckett has allowed eight home runs this season, and giving up 47 hits in 40 innings pitched never looks good. If Beckett wants to get his first win of 2013, he is going to have to keep the ball in the park, and limit hits allowed. Beckett has been leaving too many pitches up in the strike zone.
Beckett has had tremendous success against Washington, but you know he has been pitching for a long time. Beckett is 7-2 with a 2.46 ERA in 17 games against the Nationals. He has pitched over 100 innings, and whiffed 103 batters. Not many of the current Nationals have faced Beckett, but of the hitters that have, they are only batting .200 (11 for 55) against Beckett with one home run. That may come into play, as Washington has homered in 68 consecutive series. Beckett has limited Adam LaRoche to a .167 batting average against.
Yesterday afternoon we saw Matt Kemp extend his hitting streak to 11 games. During that span he is batting .326 (15 for 46) which is the longest hitting streak of the season for any Dodger. Adrian Gonzalez also has a nine game hitting streak despite battling his sore neck. During his streak he is hitting .367 (11 for 30) with two home runs and nine RBI.
The Dodgers are 15-21 and hoping to gain back some ground after winning two in a row against the Fish. The time is now for the Dodgers. You can tune into the game at 7PM on Prime Ticket tonight. Join us over here after the game for our postgame recap. No annoying Hockey will be interrupting our Dodger time tonight. We have a full night of beloved Dodger Baseball without distractions, or preempting. The Nationals have some kind of rally cry called Natitude. It’s time we show them our Dodgertude. Can Dodgertude beat Natitude? We’re about to find out. Go Blue.
Big announcement coming at noon, stay tuned: vine.co/v/b0xVAQ6K9X6
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 13, 2013
Oh and one more thing. According to the Dodger twitter account, there is a big announcement at noon. I have no idea what that is going to be. I’m assuming it’s going to be bigger than an announcement on Gonzo’s rusty neck. Could this be Puig finally being recalled? Birdman’s return next week? Don Mattingly wearing a dress in the dugout? Stick around to find out.