M. Ellis 2B
Van Slyke LF
A.J. Ellis C
The Dodgers lost in disappointing style once again on Wednesday night in Phoenix. With a NL West Division win on the table, the Dodgers just couldn’t finish the job and fell to the Snakes in game three. The Dodgers will be vying for the series split in a afternoon series finale matinee on Thursday. Stephen Fife, who was starting in Clayton Kershaw‘s original slot, was roughed up right away by Arizona. Fife, who has been shaky since being used in unfamiliar relief situations made his first start since August to no avail. It wasn’t just Fife’s fault. Ronald Belisario was awful in the eighth inning, and he was dinged for five runs in the disaster of a frame. The Dodgers offense had two solo homeruns (one by Puig and the other by FedEx), but they could not overcome the shortcomings of the bullpen. Without Hanley, their spark plug, the lineup is less faceted and less effective.
Things got so tense that Adrian Gonzalez even got mad and was ejected on yet
another horrible call by the umpire team. Michael Young‘s hand was on the plate before Miguel Montero was able to swipe him with the tag, but he was called out. It was just one of many blown calls we have witnessed over this season. It seems like there is just about one bad call per game now. Next year’s expansion of instant replay and new challenge system will hopefully cut down on at least some of these horrendous calls.
It wasn’t just the blown call. It was just bad baseball. The Dodgers haven’t been playing well, and they’ve all but stalled out. Their *Magic Number remains at 2*. If they can squeak out this win, which is the last time the Dodgers will face Arizona this year, then they will finally clinch the division. Or they could lose, and the champagne would need to be trucked down to San Diego.
The Dodgers will need a decent bounce back performance from Ricky Nolasco. As you are well aware by now that Nolasco had a epically bad start on Saturday versus the Giants. He had to be hooked after four outs. He served up 7 runs on 7 hits with 3 walks as well in that fateful 1 1/3 inning. It led to the Dodgers allowing 19 runs to the Giants in a disgusting loss at home. It was strange because Ricky has been so good with the Dodgers since first wearing the Blue. He is 8-2 with a 2.63 ERA in 13 starts as a Dodger. He’s faced Arizona as a Marlin back in May and came away with a win. He also made his Dodger debut at Chase Field back on July 9th when he impressed with a one-run on four hit win. He won his third game against Arizona on September 9th when he only allowed 1 run on 3 hits in 6 2/3 innings of work. The right-hander has an overall career record of 8-2 with a 3.48 ERA against Arizona. He is 4-1 at Chase Field with a 4.54 ERA in 6 career starts. He’ll have to watch out for Miguel Montero who has homered against him back in the day.
Wade Miley will be heading to the mound for Arizona. Miley is 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA in his career against the Dodgers. It’s great that Matt Kemp is back, because Kemp has hit 2 homeruns with 3 RBIs against Miley in 6 at bats against the left-hander. Mark Ellis has also had plenty of success against Miley, and the second baseman has hit 3 homeruns against him. Scott Van Slyke has also gone deep against Miley as well. The Dodgers faced the 26-year old back in May, and Miley won that game after allowing 2 runs on 7 hits in 7 2/3 innings of work. Then on June 10th, the Dodgers came across Miley again. The D-backs won again even though Miley wasn’t involved in the decision. In his last outing against Colorado, Miley picked up his 10th victory on the season after allowing 2 runs on 6 hits with 5 strikeouts and a walk over 6 1/3 innings.
Can the Dodgers get their act together and close the book on this clinching thing?
There’s a lot of Dodger fans who have made the trip out to Chase Field in order to witness Blue history. But there’s nothing more than the Goldschmidts and Parras want then to spoil the Dodgers fun. The Dodgers will have needed to win just two games of this four-game series to capture the division crown. We’re down to the series finale this afternoon, and the fans are getting restless.
Tune into Prime Ticket for the 12:40 p.m. game. Will there be jersey shredding and champagne dousing or will the Dodgers move the party plans to San Diego?