Lineup:Crawford 7 Punto 4 Gonzalez 3 Hanley 6 Puig 9 Schumaker 8 A.J. Ellis 2 Uribe 5 Capuano 1
The Dodgers haven’t lost a series since June, but they are on the verge of losing a three-game set versus Boston if they fall to the Red Sox in the finale on Sunday. The Dodger offense could not overcome a four-run deficit on Saturday after Hyun-jin Ryu struggled out of the gate in the first inning. Although the Dodgers did manage to cut the Sox lead in half in the eighth inning when they plated two runs thanks to a RBI double by Adrian Gonzalez, the Dodgers weren’t able to do much against Boston lefty Jon Lester. The Red Sox won their first game at Dodger Stadium in Interleague play in front of quite a few Red Sox fans who were in attendance.
The Red Sox, who are tied in first place with the Tampa Bay Rays in the A.L. East, are a bearded brigade indeed. Saturday’s
game was chalk full of beards on both sides of the diamond. There was plenty of beard-on-beard action as Brian Wilson showed off his black beard as he made his Dodger Stadium debut in the eighth inning. The former enemy combatant got into a bit of a jam when he walked the bases loaded, but he was able to strike out Will Middlebrooks to end the threat. Is this beard trend a new style? I’m really not digging it. Even Shane Victorino is sporting a scraggly beard.
Chris Capuano, who has grown a beard in the past, will be on the mound for game three. Capuano has been reliably inconsistent this season. Although I have thought that his inconsistencies originally stemmed from the fact that he was asked to pitch out of the bullpen at the start of the season only to be transitioned back into the rotation when Zack Greinke and Josh Beckett succumbed to injury. Capuano has been willing to pitch in any role the Dodgers need him for, and without Capuano the Dodgers would have had to use Stephen Fife or Matt Magill. Fife has been plagued with on and off again shoulder bursitis although he has pitched well when healthy. Matt Magill struggled heavily when he was briefly called up to start. Fife started on Saturday night for the Albuquerque Isotopes and allowed 4 runs on 3 hits with 3 strikeouts and 4 walks over 5 innings of work. It has been suggested by Chris Jackson, who has first-hand knowledge of the Isotopes, that Fife’s routine was altered which threw him off a bit. There’s no reason to believe that his shoulder issues have resurfaced. Fife will likely be called up after the ‘Topes end their season on September 2nd, and he should be used to give some rest for potential postseason starters Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Hyun-jin Ryu in September.
Last time out, Capuano allowed 3 runs on 6 hits with a strikeout and a walk over 5 innings of work in Miami. He wasn’t involved in the decision, and his last three starts haven’t given him a win nor a loss. Capuano hasn’t lost a game since the 4th of July surprisingly which was a disastrous 6-earned run start in Colorado. Capuano has pitched with good control though, and he has not allowed more than 2 walks in his last 11 starts (and it was only once he allowed 2 walks in that stretch back on August 14th versus the Mets). Capuano is 9-7 with a 4.83 ERA in 23 Interleague games, but he has never faced the Red Sox. The southpaw has struggled at home this season, and he is 2-4 with a 6.23 ERA at Dodger Stadium this season (9 starts).
The Braves will send Jake Peavy to the mound, and the Dodgers are very familiar with Peavy who used to pitch against them when he was with the Padres. In his last start against the Giants, Peavy allowed 1 run on 5 hits with 4 strikeouts and a walk in 5 2/3 innings, but he wasn’t involved in the decision. Peavy has a lot of success against the Dodgers over his career, and the right-hander is 13-2 with a 2.27 ERA against the Dodgers. He’s started 12 games at Dodger Stadium, and he is 6-1 with a 3.08 ERA in those games against L.A. The last Dodger to hit a homerun off of Peavy was Matt Kemp back in 2009. Interestingly, Hideo Nomo hit a homerun off of Peavy way back in September of 2002.
The D-backs and Phillies were going at it through 18 innings last night after Arizona blew a 6-0 lead. Arizona finally scored in the 18th, and if they should hold on to win they would be 9 1/2 games back of the Dodgers in the N.L. West.
The 5:05 p.m. game will be on ESPN tonight which means another Vinny-less broadcast. Can the Dodgers hold off the Red Sox and win yet another series? Go Blue!