Final Leg of Road Trip Has Dodgers Seeing Red


Dodgers Lineup @ Cincinnati

Crawford 7
Puig 9
Gonzalez 3
Hanley 6
Ethier 8
Uribe 5
M.Ellis 4
Federowicz 2
Capuano 1

 

Chris Capuano-4-7 vs. Mike Leake-11-6

 

*83 toothpicks, definitely 83 toothpicks*

 

You know what they say, you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family. You also can’t pick your opponents. The Dodgers will be trying to pick apart the Reds during their three game set. Ok, ok, enough puns for the moment.

The Dodgers decided to spend an extra night in Denver in order to be well rested and take a flight at a more reasonable time. Otherwise they would have had to take a red-eye flight right after the last game at Colorado. Thank god we don’t have to go back to Coors Field until next year. Say goodbye to that house of horrors.

The Dodgers end the trip with a three game series against the Cincinnati Reds Friday through Sunday night. Keeping everyone healthy with three weeks to go in the regular season is what’s most important right now for the Dodgers. So We found out that Hyun-jin Ryu has a sore back. The Dodgers will start Chris Capuano tonight in his place, and push everyone back a day. Kershaw and Greinke both will start the Saturday and Sunday games, and Ryu won’t start again until Tuesday or Wednesday.

Chris Capuano-Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers enter Friday night’s game with a 12 game lead in the NL West. Yes, they lost a game and a half, and their magic number remains at 12. Arizona beat the Giants last night while the Dodgers were idle.

While the Dodgers (83-56) are enjoying a large lead in their division, the Reds are jockeying for position along with the Pirates and Cardinals. The Reds are in third place, 3.5 games behind the Pirates in the NL Central, but have a hefty seven game lead over Arizona and Washington, for the second wild card. It looks like the Reds should squeak into the playoffs this year.

The Dodgers should roll out the regular lineup in game one. We should see Yasiel Puig return to the lineup after sitting out two games because of a strained right knee. Everyone else should be in there. For the Reds, they have a couple of guys battling nagging injuries. At this time of the year, who doesn’t? Red’s catcher Devin Mesoraco is battling a hamstring issue, and second baseman Brandon Phillips, may or may not play due to a quad contusion suffered on Tuesday while turning a double play. Although if he is unable to play, it would probably be a blessing for the Dodgers, since Phillips is 14 for 35 with a home run against Capuano. Just whatever you do, don’t mention his OBP, or he may go on a tirade.

Speaking of Capuano, this pitching match-up is going to be a tough one for the Dodgers. Capuano will go up against right hander Mike Leake.

Mike Leake-Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

After four starts in a row where Capuano gave up three runs or more, his last start against San Diego was quality. In his last outing, Capuano allowed one run over eight hits in seven frames, and whiffed seven. Capuano has faced the Reds once this season. Back on July 28, he threw 6.2 shutout frames, and whiffed four while giving up just three hits. The Dodgers won that game 1-0 on a Puig walk-off home run, and Capuano got a no-decision. Capuano has never lost in Cincinnati. In Great American Ball Park he is 3-0 with a 4.50 ERA in six starts. All total against Cincy he is 3-3 with a 4.56 ERA in 14 starts. Overall Capuano is 4-7 with a 4.41 ERA, with 76 whiffs and 23 walks. Here’s how the Red’s numbers against him shake out. Not bad at all actually, but watch out for Phillips, who I mentioned above, and for Joey Votto, who us 8 for 18 (.444) with two doubles, and a home run versus Capuano.

PA

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

Brandon Phillips

35

35

14

4

0

1

4

0

4

.400

.400

.600

Joey Votto

19

18

8

2

0

1

2

1

5

.444

.474

.722

Jay Bruce

16

13

3

0

0

2

5

3

3

.231

.375

.692

Cesar Izturis

12

12

3

1

0

0

0

0

2

.250

.250

.333

Todd Frazier

11

9

1

1

0

0

0

2

3

.111

.273

.222

Chris Heisey

11

11

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

.000

.000

.000

Ryan Hanigan

8

6

1

1

0

0

0

2

1

.167

.375

.333

Ryan Ludwick

8

7

3

1

0

0

2

0

2

.429

.500

.571

Zach Duke

7

7

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

.000

.000

.000

Homer Bailey

6

5

2

0

0

0

1

0

3

.400

.400

.400

Zack Cozart

5

4

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

.000

.200

.000

Devin Mesoraco

4

4

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

.250

.250

.500

Bronson Arroyo

3

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

.000

.000

.000

Derrick Robinson

3

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

.000

.000

.000

Corky Miller

2

2

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

.500

.500

.500

Logan Ondrusek

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

.000

.000

.000

Total

152

140

37

11

0

4

15

9

34

.264

.313

.429

Leake a 25 year old right hander from San Diego, has had a pretty good year for the Reds, but has struggled over the past couple of months. Leake is 11-6 with a 3.51 ERA and a 1.2 WHIP in about 170 innings. He doesn’t strike out many, (5.5 K/9), but has great control with a 2.2 BB/9 rate. Leake allowed six runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings to the Rockies in his last start. Over his last four starts, Leake has allowed four runs or more, and failed to pitch out of the sixth inning.

The Dodgers haven’t faced him this year, but has faced the Dodgers three times in the past. Leake has beaten the Dodgers once, posting a 1-2 record, and a 5.45 ERA against the Boys in Blue. Leake is 22-16 at Cincinnati. The Dodgers have hit him well, busting him open to a .375 with four home runs, and an OPS over 1.000.

PA

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

  BA

OBP

SLG

Skip Schumaker

11

9

4

1

0

1

5

1

1

.444

.455

.889

Andre Ethier

9

9

5

0

0

2

5

0

2

.556

.556

1.222

Juan Uribe

4

3

2

1

0

1

2

1

0

.667

.750

2.000

Mark Ellis

3

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

.000

.333

.000

Dee Gordon

3

3

1

1

0

0

0

0

1

.333

.333

.667

Clayton Kershaw

3

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.000

.000

.000

Hanley Ramirez

3

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

.333

.333

.333

Scott Van Slyke

3

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

.000

.000

.000

Michael Young

3

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

.333

.333

.333

Zack Greinke

2

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

.500

.500

.500

Edinson Volquez

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.000

.000

.000

Total

45

40

15

3

0

4

12

3

7

.375

.409

.750

The Reds are 41-25 at home this year, while the Dodgers have a 40-28 road record, which is the best in the National League. We’ll be seeing former Dodger Dusty Baker, toothpick and all. The Dodgers are 3-1 versus the Reds this season, after winning three of four at Dodger Stadium in July.

In other news, Vin Scully was named Grand Marshall of the Rose Parade, and Clayton Kershaw won the Branch Rickey award for his philanthropy. Both of those honors are worthy of an article, but to be honest, it’s 100 degrees outside and I am far too lazy at the moment. So you can find out more information on Scully and the rose parade here, and Kershaw and his award here.

We have a 4:10 PM start time tonight, and the game will be shown on Prime Ticket. You can hop over here during the game for some Baseball chatter, or catch our recap afterwards. Either way we return to Dodger Baseball tonight. It’s just a matter of time before the Dodgers win the West. Let’s keep running out the clock. Go Blue.

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Tags: A.J. Ellis Adrian Gonzalez Andre Ethier Carl Crawford Chris Capuano Don Mattingly Hanley Ramirez Juan Uribe Los Angeles Dodgers Mark Ellis Yasiel Puig