Aug 20, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu (left) jokes around with teammate right fielder Yasiel Puig (right) prior to a game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Slumping Dodgers Limp Into Arizona With Division Crown Within Reach

Dodgers Lineup @ Arizona

Punto 6
M.Ellis 4
Gonzalez 3
Puig 9
A.J. Ellis 2
Schumaker 8
Uribe 5
Buss 7
Ryu 1

Hyun-jin Ryu-13-6 vs. Trevor Cahill-6-10

 

The slumping Dodgers (86-63) limp into the desert looking to wrap up their division crown. The Dodgers can see it in their sights, but they come in having lost eight of their last 11 games. As of now, the magic number is still four, however remember since they’re playing Arizona, the head to head games are a two game swing. This means all the Dodgers have to do is split the series, and they win the division. The Dodgers begin their final road trip of the year with a four game set at Arizona, and then move on to play San Diego, and the Giants before coming home for the final three games against Colorado.

The Dodgers are 7-8 against Arizona through 15 games. The club has won four of six at Chase Field in 2013, and have a run differential versus Arizona of +5. The Dodgers normally hit pretty well in the desert though, so we may see the bats come to life somewhat. Keep your fingers crossed.

Hyun-jin Ryu-Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

All in all the Dodgers got killed in the final home series against the Giants. San Francisco came in and mopped the floor with the Dodgers. I knew right away they would lose this series, and I’m not surprised in the least. This actually may be a good thing and just what the Dodgers needed. They needed a wake-up call right now, and flying into Arizona having lost three of four to the last place Giants, who are already eliminated may teach them a valuable lesson. If you don’t get up for games, even the worst teams can beat you. The Dodgers phoned in every one of those games against the Giants this weekend. The team has returned to the same listless and sloppy play that plagued them in the first two months of the season. They look tired and they look defeated even before the games begin. I’ve noticed that the offense gives up almost every game, and even when they do get a few hits and put runners on base, they fail to get any of them home. The lack of speed and station to station running is hurting the offense a lot. Add that with the injuries, and a few managerial tactical blunders, and boom, the Dodgers are unable to beat even the worst of teams.

Wake-up Dodgers. Stop giving up. The problem is, the team can’t win with these triple-A lineups they keep putting out. Yasiel Puig, Hanley Ramirez, Andre Ethier, and Carl Crawford are all out with nagging injuries but that’s still no excuse to just give up because you have a big lead. And they still have yet to clinch the division. If the Dodgers want to give up on getting home-field advantage, then I’m fine with that, but win the damned division first. I figured they don’t have a chance at winning home field anyways. But don’t start rolling out the spring training lineups until AFTER you have won the division. Then once you do, you can play Nick Buss, and Drew Butera until your heart’s content. Go crazy. Throw in some League appearances if you want. Once the division is won, I don’t care. Just get the damned division won. Some of the guys may just have to play through these injuries, as long as they’re not career threatening, and none of them appear to be.

Not this guy again-Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Cahill?! Again?!-Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

As far as the injuries go, Hanley’s sciatic nerve problem isn’t very serious, and he is expected back tonight. Andre Ethier’s ankle injury is more serious, or so I think. The club is saying it’s like bone spurs, or shin splints. I don’t know what shin splints is, but I know it’s not good. He can’t run and I would be surprised if he is in the lineup. The club has also reported that Matt Kemp may be activated for tonight’s game. The club has been going back and forth with him for weeks now, and I can only speculate at this point since he’s been down in camelback ranch rehabbing. They can always play him once they win the division, but it’s going to take him at least a week or so to regain his timing, even if he is healthy enough to play, and who knows if he is right now. Crawford (back) and Puig (Hip) on the other hand, we’ll have to wait and see how they’re feeling before game time. If they roll out another minor league lineup, they’ll just lose again, I’m telling you all ahead of time right now.

The pitching match-up in game one, has left hander Hyun-jin Ryu facing off against Trevor Cahill. Ryu has had success against Arizona this year. But in his last start on Wednesday night, he took the loss after allowing three runs on ten hits through six innings. Ryu has been struggling a bit after winning six straight decisions, he has lost three of his last four. Ryu is 1-1 this year against Arizona with two no-decisions. He did win in Arizona back on April 13, when he pitched six innings, and allowed three earned runs on six hits and whiffed nine. Ryu overall is 13-6 with a 3.07 ERA and 140 whiffs. Take a look at the Snake’s numbers against Ryu below.

PA

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

Paul Goldschmidt

12

11

6

2

0

0

3

1

1

.545

.583

.727

A.J. Pollock

12

11

5

1

1

0

1

1

3

.455

.500

.727

Martin Prado

12

10

3

0

0

0

2

2

1

.300

.417

.300

Gerardo Parra

11

11

3

1

0

0

0

0

1

.273

.273

.364

Cliff Pennington

7

7

1

0

0

0

0

0

2

.143

.143

.143

Aaron Hill

6

5

4

0

0

1

2

0

0

.800

.667

1.400

Miguel Montero

6

5

2

0

0

0

0

1

2

.400

.500

.400

Willie Bloomquist

4

4

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

.250

.250

.250

Patrick Corbin

4

4

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

.250

.250

.250

Didi Gregorius

3

3

2

0

0

0

1

0

0

.667

.667

.667

Wil Nieves

3

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.000

.000

.000

Chris Owings

3

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

.333

.333

.333

Tuffy Gosewisch

2

2

1

1

0

0

1

0

0

.500

.500

1.000

Adam Eaton

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.000

.000

.000

Total

86

80

30

5

1

1

10

5

10

.375

.407

.500

The Dodgers will have to face Trevor Cahill once again. Man, how many times do we have to face this guy? I don’t know about you, but I am sick of watching Cahill pitch. The Dodgers have never beaten him. Ever. Last Tuesday night, Cahill allowed one earned on six hits through six innings in an eventual Dodger win. The Dodgers have never been able to hit him, despite the fact that Cahill has only whiffed 90 batters in 130 frames. Yes he’s a big ground ball guy. Cahill is 1-0 with two no-decisions this season versus the Dodgers, 5-0 with a 2.04 ERA in nine starts against the Dodgers, 3-0 with a 2.10 ERA at Dodger Stadium, and 6-10 against the League.

PA

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

  BA OBP   SLG
Michael Young

42

40

10

2

0

1

3

2

7

.250

.286

.375

Andre Ethier

23

21

4

2

0

0

2

1

2

.190

.217

.286

A.J. Ellis

21

19

7

0

0

1

1

1

3

.368

.429

.526

Carl Crawford

19

17

4

1

0

1

3

2

1

.235

.316

.471

Adrian Gonzalez

18

17

9

2

0

1

3

1

6

.529

.556

.824

Mark Ellis

15

13

2

0

0

0

2

2

1

.154

.267

.154

Hanley Ramirez

15

12

2

1

0

0

1

3

2

.167

.333

.250

Nick Punto

13

12

5

0

0

0

0

1

1

.417

.462

.417

Juan Uribe

10

8

1

0

0

0

0

2

1

.125

.300

.125

Edinson Volquez

8

7

1

0

0

0

0

1

4

.143

.250

.143

Jerry Hairston

7

5

1

0

0

1

3

2

0

.200

.429

.800

Dee Gordon

5

4

2

0

0

0

0

1

0

.500

.600

.500

Skip Schumaker

4

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

.000

.000

.000

Yasiel Puig

3

3

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

.000

.000

.000

Scott Van Slyke

3

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.000

.000

.000

Chris Capuano

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.000

.000

.000

Ricky Nolasco

2

2

1

1

0

0

1

0

0

.500

.500

1.000

Total

210

189

49

9

0

5

20

19

30

.259

.329

.386

I know things don’t seem good right now, but the Dodgers are still going to the playoffs. They have a 10.5 game lead with 13 games left to play. They still have the biggest divisional lead in Baseball. Even if they were to lose three of four to the Dbacks they would still be able to clinch in the San Diego series. So let’s try and remain calm and hope for a split in Arizona. The Dbacks are very mediocre this year, and have a 75-73 record. The Dodgers also lead the National League with a 40-31 record on the road. Here’s hoping the Boys in Blue can win a couple and start popping the bubbly. It’s coming guys, let’s be patient for a little while longer.

Game time-6:40 PM

TV-Prime Ticket

Tags: A.J. Ellis Adrian Gonzalez Andre Ethier Don Mattingly Hanley Ramirez Hyun-jin Ryu Juan Uribe Los Angeles Dodgers Matt Kemp Yasiel Puig

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