AJ Ellis C
The Dodgers will hope to leave Miami with yet another series win under their Blue belt. After a dominating Zack Greinke start in game three on Wednesday evening, the Dodgers will have their ace Clayton Kershaw on the mound for the series finale Thursday morning. This Miami series has had more drama than a Bravo reality show as we saw some of the Dodgers headlining TMZ with their wild partying ways in South Beach and then Yasiel Puig‘s antics caused a stir after his heated game one outburst and mini slump caused Don Mattingly to sit him for game two only for him to hit a pinch-hit homerun in the eighth inning of the game. Puig was also fined a undisclosed amount of money for running late to the stadium on Tuesday. Hopefully all the drama will be left behind in Florida after the Dodgers set that atrocity of a homerun statue at Marlins Park ablaze. But seriously, what were the architects and stadium designers thinking? The Dodgers had a water fountain pegged for center field in one of the original concepts for Dodger Stadium. Let’s be very glad that never took shape. The only thing that belongs beyond the center field fence in Dodger Stadium is the many balls hit by Adrian Gonzalez and company for homeruns.
Clayton Kershaw will by vying for his 13th win of the season as he goes to the mound for his 27th start of the season. Kershaw is absolutely dominating all opposition this season. He is first in the league in ERA (1.80), second in strikeouts (182), and first in WHIP (0.85). Kersh has only allowed 9 homeruns in a league-leading 190 1/3 innings pitched. The brilliant southpaw has garnered wins his last two times out, and he has went 8 solid innings in those last two starts against the Rays and Phillies. Last start he totally dominated the Phillies by only allowing 3 hits and striking out 8 with one walk. The Rays only mustered three hits off Kersh previous to his last start as well. Kershaw is 4-1 against Miami over the course of his career with a 2.38 ERA. He’s only pitched at Marlins Park one time prior, but he collected a win in the start after allowing 2 runs on 3 hits in 6 1/3 innings of work. In that game he did allow a homerun to Justin Ruggiano back on August 10, 2012.
Henderson Alvarez, originally with Toronto, will be trying to go toe-to-toe with Kershaw and help the Marlins split the series with the Dodgers. Alvarez was part of the huge deal which sent him along with Adeiny Hechavarria, Jeff Mathis, Yunel Escobar, Jake Marisnick, Anthony DeSclafani, and Justin Nicolino to the Marlins from Toronto in exchange for Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, John Buck, and Emilio Bonifacio on November 19, 2012 in the so-called fire sale by the Marlins. Neither team really benefited much from the deal and both are mired in last place in their respective divisions. Alvarez has spent much of 2013 on the disabled list due to right shoulder inflammation. The 23-year old Venezuelan right-hander will be making his 10th start for Miami. Alvarez hasn’t won since July 31st against the Mets, and he lost his last time out versus the last place Giants in Miami. He allowed 4 runs on 4 hits with 4 strikeouts and 4 walks in 7 innings. Fours all the way across… This will be his first time facing the Dodgers.
The Dodgers remain 8 1/2 games ahead of Arizona and 22 games above .500 on the season with 36 games remaining. The
Dodger are now tied with Pittsburgh for the second-best record in the N.L. behind Atlanta.
Who’s hot: Juan Uribe, the Dodgers lovable third baseman, has been playing wonderfully this season. Juan is now hitting .282 with 7 homeruns and 36 RBIs in 102 games for the Dodgers. Uribe is second in the league in fielding % among third baseman at .985, leads in total zone runs as third baseman with 12, and fourth in range factor/9Inn at third base with 2.73. He’s only made 3 errors all year at the hot corner, and he will certainly be considered for a Gold Glove for his performance and perhaps Comeback Player of the Year as well.
The series finale between the Dodgers and Marlins will be broadcast on KCAL at 9:40 a.m. PT. The Dodgers have not lost a series since June, and even if they split that streak will continue. So far the Dodgers are 3-2 on this current road trip. They will return home Friday night to host the first-place Boston Red Sox.