Dodgers Lineup vs. AngelsCrawford DH Punto 6 Gonzalez 3 Ethier 9 Kemp 8 Van Slyke 7 Schumaker 4 A.J. Ellis 2 Cruz 5
*Kemp bats fifth again, and Crawford will play at DH tonight. Punto is back in the lineup but still sore from his back injury, and Matt Kemp appears to be fine after experiencing numbness in his fingers from a hit pitch on the elbow.*
Last night astronaut Buzz Aldrin threw out the first pitch before the second game of the Freeway Series between the Angels and Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Ironically Last night’s 3-0 win felt like it was out of this world. Hyun-jin Ryu was masterful hurling a two-hit complete game shutout of the Halos, and beating former Dodger bum Joe Blanton.
It’s nice to finally have something to cheer about. Can the Dodgers keep up this momentum tonight, as the series moves to Anaheim? The home and home series will travel to Disneyland as the Dodgers look to win a series over the Angels for the first time in seven years.
In the bottom of the second inning of last night’s win, Matt Kemp was hit by a Joe Blanton pitch on the elbow. He seemed to be ok. He stayed in the game, and even doubled and scored a run off of an A.J. Ellis RBI single in the bottom of the sixth. Bison stayed in the game until the top of the ninth when he was double switched out of the game for Skip Schumaker. I had thought that Kemp was just being given a breather, although it seemed a little weird to me. When was the last time you saw Matt Kemp being double switched out in the ninth inning?
A couple of hours after the game we learned that Kemp was removed from the game last night as a precautionary measure. Kemp had complained about numbness in his hands. Apparently the pitch that hit Bison hit him in a nerve near his elbow, which caused some of the numbness in his hand. Kemp is ok, and the team expects him to play tonight. Kemp had told Don Mattingly that he had no discomfort hitting, and that the only limitation was that he was unable to throw. Let’s hope Kemp is ok, the last thing we need is a new injury to Bison. Kemp has been struggling going just 4 for his last 39 over his last 11 games.
Nick Punto is also battling a stiff back he suffered in Monday night’s game while he was trying to turn a double play. Punto tripped over Erick Aybar and the bag while making a force out, and said that the injury was nothing and that he’s not worried about it.
Another Dodgers I getting healthy and that is pitcher Stephen Fife. The Fifster began a minor league rehab assignment with Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday. Fife is recovering from shoulder bursitis, and pitched four innings allowing four runs and six hits in a game against Lancaster. He whiffed three and walked one, while serving up a two-run home run.
While some of the Dodgers are getting healthy and working their way back to the big club, Chris Capuano will take the mound at the big A tonight for the Boys in Blue. Capuano has had an injury riddled season, and in his last start he gave up six runs on six hits through five frames in a loss to the Cardinals. Capuano is 1-3 with a 5.60 ERA this season in five starts. He has 22 whiffs against only nine walks, but has allowed 31 hits. Capuano has a 1-1 record, and has posted a 2.50 ERA in three games against the Angels. At Anaheim Stadium, Cappy has made just one start ever at the big A against the Angels. He won that start, pitching seven frames, allowing just one run on seven hits and whiffing four. The current group of Halos have given Capuano a lot trouble in the past. The Angles are collectively hitting .416 (37 for 89) off of Capunao with seven home runs, and an OPS of 1.243. The one players Capuano must watch put for is Albert Pujols who has destroyed Capuano. Pujols is batting .553 (21 for 53) against Capuano with five home runs, and 12 runs driven in. Chris Iannetta and Mike Trout each have a homer off of Cappy.
The Halos will counter with their ace Jered Weaver. The right hander has been out since April seventh, after he fell on the mound while trying to avoid a line drive and suffered a fracture of his pitching arm. Weaver has only pitched in two games this season, and his absence is a big reason the Angel’s pitching staff has struggled in 2013. Weaver has pitched well against the Dodgers, going 5-2 with a 2.63 ERA in nine starts. He’s whiffed 48 and walked 21 in 54 frames. Weaver has been dynamite in interleague play. Weaver is 12-3 with a 2.55 ERA in 21 interleague games. The current Dodgers are only hitting .200 (26 for 130) with a paltry .529 OPS against Weaver. Carl Crawford is 5 for 15 with a home run versus Weaver. Adrian Gonzalez is 3 for 10 with a double. Weaver is 0-1 in his two starts this year. Weaver’s strikeout rates have declined in each of the past three seasons.
There is nothing I love more than beating the NOT Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, of Orange County, of Disneyland. If the Dodgers win tonight, they will secure their first series win over the Angels since 2006. Will Mickey Mouse be seen consoling the Angels in the clubhouse after they lose tonight? I sure hope so.
In order to watch, Tune into KCAL 9 tonight at 7:05 PM. Then after the game is over, tune back in over here for our always interesting postgame, in which we will recap the entire game. It’s nice to finally have a couple of wins to talk about instead of the usual losing. Isn’t it? Go Blue!