M Ellis 2B
A Ellis C
The Dodgers Capped off an incredible month of August on Saturday with their 80th victory of the 2013 season. With a *Magic Number of 18* the Dodgers will embark on the final month of the regular season with one goal in mind: clinching. With every win the Dodgers get closer to taking that beautiful National League West crown. It wasn’t an easy road by any means, but we’ve been here the entire time. September sure could be sweet as the Dodgers hunker down and try to wrap this thing up in the coming weeks. Weeks. We only have 27 games left. This is the time when champions rise to the top and overcome any obstacle to get the opportunity to play in October. Our Dodgers have what it takes. Their talent is incredible. Now it’s crunch time. The Dodgers must continue to forge ahead and defeat their enemy. 2013 is our year.
Chris Capuano may be the weakest link in the Dodgers rotation, but I feel that Cappy has perhaps the biggest heart. After losing his rotation spot in Spring Training and then pitching out of the bullpen at the start of the season, the veteran southpaw has been a team player the entire season. He’s been willing to pitch out of any spot he’s asked of without complaint, and for a fifth starter he’s been just fine. Cappy pitched a solid 7 innings on Saturday and only allowed 1 run, a solo homerun, to the Padres in the Dodger win. The Dodgers may not pick up Cappy’s $6 million mutual option for 2014, but his contributions to the team over his last two seasons haven’t gone unnoticed.
Zack Greinke, who pitched phenomenally in August, will head to the mound in the series finale on Sunday afternoon. Greinke will be going for his sixth consecutive win. Last time out against the Cubs, Greinke almost went the distance and hurled 122 pitches. He couldn’t muster the final out, but his performance was magnificent up until he tired out in the ninth inning. He allowed 2 runs on 5 hits with 9 strikeouts and 2 walks in 8 2/3 innings. The right-hander has faced San Diego twice this season (one start was the disastrous Carlos Quentin brawl incident game back in April). Last time Greinke faced the Padres in June, he won after allowing 1 run on 4 hits with 8 strikeouts and a walk in 8 innings. Greinke has never lost to the Padres, and he is 2-0 with a 2.37 ERA against the Friars in his career (3 starts). The 29-year old has been dominant at home, and he boasts a 7-1 record with a 2.29 ERA in 11 starts at Dodger Stadium this year.
Tyson Ross, a 26-year old right-hander, will be starting for San Diego. San Diego acquired Ross from the A’s this past offseason.
Ross had been pitching out of the bullpen until July when the Padres moved him to the starting rotation. He lost in his last start against Arizona and went 6 innings while allowing 6 runs on 7 hits with 6 strikeouts and 2 walks. In his career, he is 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA in 10 innings pitched against the Dodgers.
Matt Kemp continues to rehab in Rancho Cucamonga where he has gone 0-for-11 with 5 strikeouts in his three rehab games so far. Kemp will play through at least Sunday with the Class-A affiliate whose regular season ends on Monday. I will be out in Rancho Cucamonga on Sunday taking in my first Quakes game so be sure to check back for future posts about my experience.
Tune into Prime Ticket for the 1:10 p.m. game. I hope you are having a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Go Blue!