Apr 4, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; A Los Angeles Dodgers fan watches the game against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium. Giants won 8-4. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Dodgers Try To Avoid Embarrassing Opening Series Sweep Behind Zack Greinke

Dodgers Lineup vs. Giants-4-6-14

Dee Gordon 2B
Carl Crawford LF
Hanley Ramirez SS
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Andre Ethier RF
Juan Uribe 3B
Drew Butera C
Zack Greinke P

 

Matt Cain vs. Zack Greinke

You see that little boy in the main image? You think he wants to see the Dodgers getting swept by the Giants in the opening home series? No he doesn’t. He would be very sad if that happened. Do you want to make this boy and thousands more like him sad Dodgers? Not to mention this man here writing this pregame would be sad as well. Then please don’t get swept by the Giants tonight. That’s what the Dodgers are trying to avoid doing in tonight’s nationally televised game. They’ve got their work cut out for them.

Of course the Dodgers are off to another terrible start in April. They’ve lost the first two games of the series, and are in danger of being swept at home in the opening series by the Giants. It’s pretty embarrassing to be honest. This series has been filled with terrible pitching, shoddy defense, sloppy base running, and flustery metldowns for the Dodgers.

The Dodgers need a good outing from Greinke today or they’re screwed-Andrew Fielding-USA TODAY Sports

Every facet of the game for the Dodgers has been crap in this series. The Dodger’s pitching staff has been getting torched. The Giants have scored 15 runs combined in the two-game series. Neither of the Dodger’s starters this series (Hyun-jin Ryu, Paul Maholm), have gone more than five frames. Ryu allowed six earned runs in the first two frames on Friday, and Maholm allowed five earned runs in 4.2 frames on Saturday. As a result the Dodger bullpen has been burned up in both games.

But the real difference maker in the series has been the Dodger’s inability to hit with runners in scoring position. So far, the Giants are hitting .429( 9 for 21) with RISP. The Dodgers however have only hit .192 (5 for 26) in the entire series, and have left 14 men on base. Oh and by the way, tonight’s starter for the Giants, big Matt Cain has allowed a career .212 batting average with runners in scoring position.

So the pitching staff is getting lit up like a Christmas tree, the offense can’t score anyone with runners on base, and the base running and defense has been lackluster. No wonder the Dodgers are on the verge of being swept. Remember the club hit just .185 in the San Diego series. But the pitching was great in that series.

Yasiel Puig hurt his hand in the third inning of Staurday’s 7-2 loss, while sliding into first base trying to beat out an infield single. Puig pulled a Nick Punto, and in the process hurt his hand. The Dodgers actually had it x-rayed, and apparently he’s fine. But we’ll see if he ends up playing today.

Since it’s Sunday I wouldn’t doubt seeing the Sunday B-team lineup. Expect for Drew Butera, and or Chone Figgins to be in the lineup.

The Dodgers will have to face big right hander Matt Cain. The ace of the Giant’s staff threw a no-decision in his first start of the year. But he didn’t fare all that well against Arizona, allowing two earned runs on seven hits, with just two whiffs. Cain had a career worst year last year, throwing 184 frames, and posting an 8-10 record, with an ERA of 4.00. His strikeouts dropped from 193 the previous season, to 158 in 2013, and he allowed 23 home runs.

Cain has always been tough on the Dodgers despite losing his first eight decisions to the Boys in Blue. Now he is 5-10 versus the Dodgers with a 3.45 ERA, in 28 games, with 126 whiffs, and 60 walks. Cain has made 13 starts at Dodger Stadium, and pitched very well at Chavez Ravine. In those 13 starts, Cain has a 2.65 ERA, and 2-2 record. He’s allowed just five home runs in 78 innings pitched at Dodger Stadium.

Cain tends to limit home runs, when he’s on his game, and has allowed nine to the Dodgers overall. The boys in blue are batting .307 (98 for 319) against him, and driven in 33 runs. Adrian Gonzalez has hit four long balls with 13 runs batted in, and a .290 (20 for 69) average with four doubles. Andre Ethier has scorched Cain to a .441 (30 for 68) tune, with a home run, four doubles, and an OPS of over 1.000. Ethier has 30 hits against Cain. Matt Kemp has not fared well though against Cain, as he hits just .222 against him.

PA

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

  BA

OBP

SLG

Adrian Gonzalez

80

69

20

4

1

4

13

10

16

.290

.375

.551

Andre Ethier

75

68

30

4

1

1

5

5

10

.441

.467

.574

Matt Kemp

58

54

12

4

1

2

3

4

15

.222

.276

.444

Hanley Ramirez

49

43

11

2

0

1

4

5

9

.256

.347

.372

A.J. Ellis

24

21

6

1

0

0

1

2

1

.286

.348

.333

Carl Crawford

16

15

5

1

0

0

0

1

1

.333

.375

.400

Juan Uribe

14

13

5

1

1

0

5

1

2

.385

.429

.615

Yasiel Puig

10

8

3

2

0

1

2

1

0

.375

.500

1.000

Paul Maholm

9

8

1

1

0

0

0

1

5

.125

.222

.250

Dan Haren

6

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

.000

.000

.000

Hyun-jin Ryu

6

6

1

0

0

0

0

0

4

.167

.167

.167

Chone Figgins

4

2

1

0

0

0

0

2

1

.500

.750

.500

Dee Gordon

3

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

.000

.333

.000

Justin Turner

3

3

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

.667

.667

1.000

Zack Greinke

2

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

.500

.500

.500

Total

359

319

98

21

4

9

33

33

67

.307

.373

.483

 

The Dodgers need a strong outing from tonight’s starter Zack Greinke more than anything. The bullpen has been severely taxed after Ryu and Maholm turned in their stinkers. The club is hoping to get that solid start tonight, and they give the ball to Greinke. The former Cy Young winner tossed just five frames in Sad Diego last week, but was able to secure a win. He allowed just two earned runs, on two hits in that game, and looked pretty good.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Greinke was 15-4 with a 2.63 ERA for the Dodgers last season. Greinke has faced the Giants just twice, and has no record, and a 3,18 ERA in 11 innings, with ten whiffs. Greinke is normally pretty dynamite at Dodger Stadium. He has a 9-2 record, with a 2,08 ERA, and 91 whiffs against just 17 walks, when pitching at home. The Giants haven’t seen much of Greinke, but in their short sample size, haven’t done well, hitting just .192 (10 for 52) off of Greinke. They have hit two home runs off of Greinke. (Michael Morse, and Hunter Pence)

PA

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

Hunter Pence

10

10

2

0

0

1

1

0

1

.200

.200

.500

Brandon Belt

6

5

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

.200

.333

.200

Mike Morse

6

5

1

0

0

1

3

1

3

.200

.333

.800

Angel Pagan

6

6

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

.333

.333

.333

Buster Posey

6

6

1

0

0

0

1

0

2

.167

.167

.167

Joaquin Arias

5

5

2

1

0

0

1

0

1

.400

.400

.600

Gregor Blanco

5

5

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

.200

.200

.200

Tim Hudson

4

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.000

.000

.000

Pablo Sandoval

3

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

.000

.333

.000

Matt Cain

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

.000

.000

.000

Brandon Crawford

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

.000

.000

.000

Tim Lincecum

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

.000

.000

.000

Total

56

52

10

1

0

2

6

3

12

.192

.236

.327

 

With the tigers coming into town, the club is likely to lose every game on this home stand. Seriously, if the Dodgers win one game it would be a miracle. This could be the worst opening home stand in years. All I ask is for the Dodgers is not to embarrass themselves and the city of Los Angeles by getting swept by the Giants in the opening home series. Just don’t get swept, that’s all I ask. I’m not asking for much here.

We expect another sell-out crowd tonight, as the has drawn over 100,000 fans this weekend, and with another 50,000 could mean nearly 150,000 Dodger fans have been embarrassed this opening weekend.

Stacie will be on deck with a complete recap for you. Will the Dodgers embarrass another 50,000 fans tonight? That would make two national television embarrassments on Sunday night in the first week of the season. Tune into ESPN tonight at 5 PM to find out. If Drew Butera, or Justin Turner are in the lineup, then all signs would point to a sweep. That better not happen. If that does happen, rest assured I’ll probably be belligerently drunk to numb the pain. Go Blue!

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Tags: A.J. Ellis Adrian Gonzalez Hanley Ramirez Juan Uribe Los Angeles Dodgers Matt Kemp Yasiel Puig Zack Greinke

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