Dodgers Lineup:Schumaker 4 Puig 9 Gonzalez 3 Kemp 8 Ethier 9 A.J. Ellis 2 Uribe 5 Punto 6 Greinke 1
Tim Lincecum still hasn’t beat Clayton Kershaw, and I don’t think he ever will. The two Cy Young award winners went head-to-head Wednesday night, and the Dodgers came out the other side with a three-game sweep. The Dodgers hadn’t swept the Giants at home since 2009. Now riding a season-high five game winning streak, the Dodgers look to continue the momentum against Philadelphia for a four-game series. This will be the first time the Dodgers have faced the Phillies this season. This is not the same Philadelphia team which we dreaded back in the day when Shane Victorino paroled their outfield. Philly is sitting in third place in the east and 7 games back of Atlanta. They have won two in a row, and Wednesday night they knocked off the Padres in 13 innings.
Zack Greinke is finally settling in after his season was disrupted due to the brawl with Carlos Quentin and the Padres. Last time out against that aforementioned team, Greinke had the best start yet of the season. He only allowed one run on 4 hits with 8 strikeouts and a walk over 8 solid innings for the win. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 2.40 ERA against Philadelphia in his career. Greinke will have to watch out for center fielder Ben Revere who has collected four hits in 10 at-bats against him.
Jonathan Pettibone will counter Greinke, and he has been slotted in the rotation with the absence of Roy Halladay. Last time out against the Mets, the righty went 6 innings and allowed 1 run on 5 hits with 1 strikeout and 1 walk. He had to be pulled early due to back stiffness, but after a successful bullpen session he was given the go-ahead for tonight’s start. This will be Pettibone’s first career start against the Dodgers.
Hanley Ramirez has a nine-game hitting streak coming in to Thursday’s game, and Hanley’s great attitude and swag has propelled the team to just six back in the division. He’s hit four homeruns and has a .485 batting average during his streak. HanRam has also driven in runs in six straight games, which is the longest by a Dodger this season. His homeruns have been huge, and they have even outshined Yasiel Puig‘s long balls at times. Where would we be if we had a healthy Hanley Ramirez earlier in the season? The Dodgers will need to keep Hanley healthy if they hope to make a run in the division.
Matt Kemp will be back in the lineup on Thursday after sitting Wednesday for a scheduled day off. Remember
when Matt Kemp never missed a game? Times have changed, Dodger fans. Yet a healthy Matt Kemp is most important.
I guess I’ll touch on the trade rumors swirling about Ricky Nolasco. The Dodgers are reportedly interested in the starter, but I’m terrified to think about who Ned Colletti would potentially trade for him. I’m perfectly content with Chris Capuano and Stephen Fife rounding out the rotation right now. Relief pitching is a far bigger concern for this team.
Tune in to Prime Ticket at 7:10 p.m. as the Dodgers try to go for six straight. Go Blue!