A.J. Ellis C
Van Slyke RF
Good pitching helped the Dodger edge out the Washington Nationals when they took two of three at Dodger Stadium. We were delightfully treated to a double dose of fine starts by our two-headed ace Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. I joked that the pair are like the surf and turf of pitching in baseball. Clayton Kershaw’s gutsy 132-pitch start on Tuesday and Zack Greinke’s fearless start on Wednesday fueled the Dodgers to win the series against the tough Washington team. The Dodgers got a bit of luck when Bryce Harper injured himself after crashing into the outfield scoreboard in game two. Harper was only able to pinch-hit during the final game after having 11 stitches to his neck. The Dodgers, who are always known for excellent pitching, finally may be able to piece together a solid rotation this season.
With the loss of Chad Billingsley for the year and the numerous other injuries sustained by their starting pitchers has been one of the main reasons that the Dodgers have spiraled into last place. With Greinke back, and Ted Lilly‘s supposed imminent return, the Dodgers could have a semblance of a rotation with Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu, Capuano, and Lilly.
On to Atlanta for a three-game set against the first place Braves. Atlanta is an excellent team with great hitting and a fierce bullpen. The Dodgers will need another solid start from Hyun-jin Ryu on Friday afternoon at Turner Field. Hyun-jin Ryu has sparkled in this his “rookie” year. Ryu has pitched six innings or more in each of his eight starts. Last time out against Miami, Ryu allowed just one run on 5 hits in 6 2/3 innings while striking out 3 and walking 3. The lefty has 51 strikeouts in 50 1/3 innings pitched. He is second in the league amongst rookie pitchers in Ks. Shelby Miller of the Cardinals has 57 strikeouts in 51 1/3 innings pitched.
Ryu said this about his reliability this season:
“Six or seven innings should be the norm for a starting pitcher. That’s what I considered even back in Korea.”
The Braves will be sending Paul Maholm, the left-hander, to the mound on Friday. He lost last time out against the Giants while
allowing 6 runs on 8 hits in 4 1/3 innings in San Francisco. In his career against the Dodgers, Maholm is 1-5 with a 4.91 ERA.
Matt Kemp is riding a 14-game hitting streak. Even though the streak has included mostly singles, Matt Kemp is contributing offensively. Has his power been zapped due to his shoulder injury?
Ted Lilly made a 5-inning rehab start for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Wednesday night. He apparently said that he is healthy and ready to return to the Dodger rotation. Can Ted Lilly remain healthy long-term? Most likely not, but the Dodgers will welcome back a healthy Lilly in order to not over use Matt Magill. Lilly said he didn’t feel any after effects from the strained rib cage which sent him to the DL on May 3.
Scott Elbert is on the road to recovery, and the southpaw pitched a scoreless inning for the Quakes on Wednesday in the same game with Lilly. He’s pitched three scoreless innings so far in rehab. Elbert’s return could really bolster the bullpen.
Do you think the Dodgers will be able to fend off the Braves? Let us know what you think in the comments.
The 4:30 p.m. game will air on Prime Ticket.