Dodgers Lineup vs. AtlantaPuig 9 Punto 6 Gonzalez 3 Ethier 8 Van Slyke 7 Schumaker 4 Federowicz 2 Cruz 5 Fife 1
This four game series against the Braves certainly seemed like a mismatch on paper coming in. The last place Dodgers were going nowhere. The first place Braves on the other hand were coming in riding a huge hot streak, having won five in a row, and 15 of their last 20 games. Oh sure the Braves have their power packed lineup, and their dominating bullpen filled with power arms, and their solid defense. But the Dodgers have Yasiel Puig. The Cuban sensation has evened the deck. His fourth home run in five games tied the game for the Dodgers in last night’s 2-1 win in ten innings. So, here we are with the Dodgers victors of the first two games, and needing just one win of the last two to win the series. If the Dodgers can pull off the unthinkable and sweep the Braves they will have won the season series.
These last two games are going to be a big test for the Boys in Blue. It doesn’t get any easier for the Dodgers after this, because another first place team, the Arizona Diamondbacks slither into Dodger Stadium on Monday night for a three game set.
I really hope tonight’s starter Stephen Fife doesn’t get bombed. The Dodgers are really going to need Fife to be his A-game especially because rookie Matt Magill will be starting tomorrow afternoon in place of the eternally rusty veteran Ted Lilly. Apparently Lilly’s neck is bothering him again. I know, I’m shocked too. Lilly was hip checked by San Diego big man Kyle Blanks. And you know Lilly is like a fragile piece of glass now. The wind touches him and he goes on the disabled list. Magill is hoping to rebound after he was lit up like a Christmas tree in his last outing in Denver.
Atlanta will be countering with right hander Kris Medlen. Medlen was the pitcher who got off to a fantastic start last season. Medlen was 10-1 with a 1.57 ERA in 2012. This year he has not been quite as good as a full time starter, but a worthy opponent none the less. Medlen is 2-6 this season with a 3.14 ERA, and 6.8 whiff per nine rate. Medlen beat Los Angeles back in Atlanta on May 18, going seven frames, allowing just one run on two hits, and whiffing five in a 3-1 Atlanta victory. Medlen only allowed one run on seven hits through seven innings in his last start against the Pirates. Medlen is 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA against the Dodgers, and is 2-0 with a 1.54 ERA in four games at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers are hitting .271 (13 for 48) with one home run against Medlen. Andre Ethier is 4 for 9 off of Medlen, and Hanley Ramirez is 5 for 9 with the only home run.
The Dodgers will be giving the ball to right hander Stephen Fife. The Fifster pitched great against San Diego in his last outing, and picked up his first win of the season. Of course Fife has never faced the Braves before. The only guy to have ever faced him is third baseman Chris Johnson who is 1 for 2 with a home run against Fife. The Fifster is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in two starts on the year. Fife is filling in for the injured Chris Capuano, who has joined the legions of walking wounded.
Tonight is the 1963 World Series championship team ring night. The Dodgers will be honoring the 1963 championship ball club all night. The Dodgers will also be hosting their annual old timers game. Ron Cey, Fernando Valenzuela, Darryl Strawberry, Steve Yeager, and Ricky Henderson will all be on hand this afternoon. The two clubs will be managed by Tommy Lasorda, and actor/comedian Billy Crystal. The game starts at 5:20 PM, and will be live streamed on the Dodgers.com site.
Will the Braves get Puig’d again for another night? Tune into Prime Ticket at 7:10 PM to find out. Oh and don’t forget to check back in over here to see our nightly game recap. We won’t miss a thing. Puigmania rages on in Los Angeles! Go Blue!