M Ellis 2B
The Dodgers lost two consecutive games for the first time since June 20th and 21st in San Diego after they fell to the Marlins in game one on Monday night. Jose Fernandez outpitched Hyun-jin Ryu, and the Cuban pitcher also stifled Yasiel Puig who went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts against Miami pitching. The Dodgers only mustered 6 hits, and three of which were hit by Juan Uribe. Uribe had a double and two singles with a RBI which pushed his batting average all the way up to .281. The Dodger bullpen uncharacteristically faltered after relieving Ryu after the left-hander went 7 1/3 innings. Chris Withrow allowed a homerun to Giancarlo Stanton in the eighth inning, and J.P. Howell allowed a double, two singles, and a wild pitch which allowed another two Miami runs to come in. Luckily the D-backs lost to the Reds on Monday evening so the Dodgers remain 7 1/2 games in front.
Even though Miami is firmly trenched in last place in the N.L. East, the Dodgers should not take these games lightly. It’s a
perfect opportunity for them to gain some more ground in their division before Boston comes to L.A. this weekend. The division isn’t clinched yet. There is still 38 games left of the regular season, and in September the Dodgers will face the D-backs seven more times. The Dodgers have not fared well against their N.L. West enemies this season. Even though they played the N.L. West during their rocky first two months when they were a completely different team, the Dodgers should not get too content because Paul Goldschmidt will certainly be ready to wreak havoc against them come September.
Chris Capuano has had a bipolar season. The veteran left-hander is still very crafty at times, and when his fastball is sharp he is very good. Yet when he is having one of his bad starts, there can be disastrous results. Last time out against his former Mets team, the ineffective Capuano was on the mound. He allowed 4 runs on 10 hits with 3 strikeouts and 2 walks over 5 innings in the no-decision. He has allowed 10 runs on 20 hits over his last two starts, yet he had a very good start before that when he pitched 6 1/3 shutout innings against the Cubs for a win on August 3rd. Usually we know right away if Capuano is going to have a good start during the first inning. Stephen Fife, the Dodgers sixth-in-line starter, just had a terrible start for the Albuquerque Isotopes on Monday. He allowed 6 runs on 1 hit and 5 walks in just 1/3 of an inning. Hopefully the right-hander’s shoulder bursitis isn’t flaring up again. Fife is 1-4 with a 6.11 ERA in 8 games with the Isotopes. The Dodgers will need Chris Capuano going down the stretch. Cappy is 6-5 with a 3.53 ERA against the Marlins in his career, but he has only pitched once at Marlins Park in the past. He did pitch very well in that lone start, and he struck out 10 and allowed just 2 hits over 8 shutout innings.
Jacob Turner, a 22-year old right-hander, will face the Dodgers for the first time on Tuesday afternoon. Although the young righty hasn’t won since July 10th versus the Braves, he has pitched admirably for the Fish this season. Last time out against the Royals, Turner allowed 2 runs on 4 hits but did walk a season-high 6 batters in the no-decision.
Brian Wilson is sure to make his Dodger debut on Tuesday or very soon. The Beard was activated on Monday after the Dodgers decided to option Scott Van Slyke back to AAA for the umpteenth time this season. They will go with eight relievers right now, which sort of worries me since the bench will now consist of Skip Schumaker, Nick Punto, and the back-up catcher Tim Federowicz for the time being.
Unfortunately this entire Miami series is televised on KCAL, and I have been forced to rely on the radio broadcast. Tune in at 4:10 p.m. for the first pitch, and please come back and join us after the game.
I’d also like to welcome Lucas Talbot to the Lasorda’s Lair crew! Lucas has already written two excellent posts, so please check those out and give him a warm welcome.