Dodgers Lineup:M.Ellis 4 Puig 7 Gonzalez 3 Ramirez 6 Kemp 8 Ethier 9 Federowicz 2 Punto 5 Fife 1
Four in a row. An almost impossible dream for the Dodgers could become reality with a win Tuesday night against their foes at Dodger Stadium in game two. Monday’s victory showcased Yasiel Puig‘s God given talent for the San Francisco Giants to see for themselves. They looked on as Puig crushed his seventh homerun while collecting three hits and two RBIs on the night which was enough to knock down the reeling Giants. The Giants are very beatable this year. Angel Pagan is lost for at least 12 weeks with a torn hamstring, Pablo Sandoval‘s weight is effectively causing health problems, Buster Posey isn’t so graceful on the base paths, and Hunter Pence is easily the most awkward baseball player I have ever seen. Along with some starting pitching issues, the Giants have found themselves in fourth place in the division after losing two consecutive games.
The Dodgers have yet to win four games in a row this season, but tonight could be the night. A prolonged winning streak could potentially place the Dodgers right back into the thick of things in the N.L. West, but time is of the essence. The Dodgers are still offensively flaccid, and outside of Puig they have not given their starters hardly any run support. Luckily the starters have kept the team in the game by putting in quality starts, and Hyun-jin Ryu squelched the Giants and escaped some jams in order to only allow one run Monday night.
Game two will feature a battle of the bespectacled hurlers. Stephen Fife, who will be vying for his second big league win, will take the mound for the Dodgers. Stephen Fife has pitched very well considering he has been essentially a long-term spot starter because of the plethora of injuries which have befallen the Dodger pitching staff. Fife has certainly been better than Josh Beckett, more consistent than Matt Magill, and more dependable than rusty Ted Lilly. Fife has earned his spot as the fifth starter. Last time out in San Diego, Fife only allowed one run on 4 hits with 6 strikeouts and 1 walk over 6 solid innings in the no decision. Fife hasn’t allowed more than 2 runs in his last four starts. He has no record against SF in his career, and he boasts a 1.42 ERA in the 6 1/3 innings he has pitched against the World Champs.
The Dodgers will face left-hander Mike Kickham for the first time. The Giants have been using Kickham as an emergency starter after Chad Gaudin went down with injury. Tuesday night will be Kickham’s second career start. In his Major League debut, Kickham lost to Oakland after allowing 4 runs on 4 hits with 3 strikeouts and 4 walks over just 2 1/3 innings. In Fresno, Kickham went 3-5 with a 4.81 ERA in 14 starts. Kickham is still working out some mechanical issues.
AAA-Albuquerque. Kemp will return to Dodger Stadium today, and the Dodger medical staff will reevaluate him then.
Carl Crawford has been in Arizona rehabbing at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, but his timetable for return has not been set. He has yet to run at full speed, and the left fielder will most likely be out past the All Star Break.
The Dodgers will need to strike first against Kickham while rallying behind Stephen Fife in order to secure their fourth consecutive victory. The game will be broadcast on KCAL at 7:10 p.m., and we will have our recap up following the last out. It’s quite enjoyable watching the Dodgers defeat San Francisco, isn’t it? Even more enjoyable is watching the look on the face of Bruce Bochy as Yasiel Puig launches homeruns into the stands.