May 29, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu (99) and third baseman Juan Uribe (5) in the dugout before the start of the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Dodgers Look to Fend Off Pirates and Avoid Fourth Consecutive Loss


What happened to the Dodgers who utterly dominated the Pittsburgh Pirates at Dodger Stadium last season? The Dodgers are half way through a four-game series, and they have yet to win one of the games against the Bucs. Friday night the offense was stagnant even after the bullpen threw four scoreless innings in relief. It seems like when the Dodgers are able to score, the bullpen implodes. When the Dodgers aren’t able to muster any runs off rookie pitchers and veterans alike, the bullpen comes in and doesn’t allow any runs. The consistency of this team’s inconsistencies is astounding.

The Dodgers are still looking to capture their 30th win of the 2014 season. San Francisco is long past 30 wins, and they keep on winning. The Dodgers have not been able to string more than 3 wins together this season, and they are on the verge of losing a season-high fourth consecutive game should they fall to the Bucs on Saturday afternoon in game 3.

Hyun-jin Ryu (5-2, 3.10) vs. Brandon Cumpton (0-1, 3.38)

Lineup:

Gordon 2B
Ethier CF
Puig RF
Hanley SS
Gonzalez 1B
Kemp LF
Turner 3B
Butera C
Ryu P

Josh Beckett was fine during his first start since he threw his memorable no-hitter on the 25th. He only allowed two runs, one of which was a solo homerun to Ike Davis. This was a good Beckett start, and the Dodgers wasted it by choking with the runners in scoring position, a theme weaved through this disappointing season up to this point. Even Vin Scully pointed out that Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez aren’t producing right now out of the middle of the lineup. There may be hope on the horizon after Hanley Ramirez’s bat looked more alive on Friday when he collected two hits including a RBI base hit. Hanley will start hitting, but will the Dodgers lineup ever fire on all cylinders as a cohesive unit?

Hyun-jin Ryu was perfect through 7 innings in his last start against Cincinnati which saw Todd Frazier break up his perfecto bid in the eighth

Brandon Cumpton will make his second career start against the Dodgers on Saturday. Photo: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

when he led off with a double. Ryu has won his last two games, and he has only allowed one walk in his last 3 starts. Ryu has only faced the Pirates one time before, and in that one start he took away the win while allowing 2 runs on 3 hits over 6 1/3 innings of work at Dodger Stadium. Of the few at-bats the Bucs have against Ryu, Starling Marte has 2 hits against him and Andrew McCutchen has 1.

Brandon Cumpton made his MLB debut against the Dodgers last year on June 15th and allowed 3 earned runs on 7 hits with 5 strikeouts and a walk in 5 innings. Saturday will be his 9th Major League start, and his fourth start of this season for Pittsburgh. The right-hander is still looking for his first win of the season. Last time out against the Mets, Cumpton pitched 6 innings and allowed 1 earned run on 7 hits. Most of the Dodgers haven’t faced Cumpton before, but Andre Ethier does have 2 hits against him, and Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, and Yasiel Puig have one hit each against Brandon.

Prediction: Hanley Ramirez has another multi-hit night.

Can the Dodgers wrap up the month of May with a win? The Giants are relentless, and the Dodgers can’t seem to fine their groove this season. Drama, injuries, disappointments, defensive blunders, bullpen meltdowns, position changes, contract distractions, and all the bunting has really put a damper on the Dodgers’ chances of defending their NL West crown. Momentum needs to be sparked. Perhaps the Dodgers need to recapture that sparkle they had when Yasiel Puig joined the team at this time last year.                                                           

The game begins at 4:15 p.m. PT, and be sure to swing back here for our postgame coverage.

Go Blue!

Tags: Brandon Cumpton Featured Hyun-jin Ryu Los Angeles Dodgers Popular

  • thomas rickard

    Until they shake kemp out not much will change, he’s dead weight. The bullpen is a big problem with little chance for change, about the only hope is Billingsley, not sure how, , but there is nothing else in the pipeline.

    • LasordasLair

      You’re right, they suck. I don’t see any possible way they’ll overtake the Giants. This season is pretty much toast. Unless they can get one of the wild card spots.

      • thomas rickard

        It’s not over yet, and might not be until end, the dodgers play SF 6 times in last 2 weeks, but only if offense can make up for the pitching, and it has to happen soon, in addition, the defense has to improve, that means moving Hanley to 3rd, and bringing Joc up, and moving Either to left. It’s time to shake things up.

        • LasordasLair

          yeah I’m sorry Richard but I just don’t see it this year. I believe the Dodgers need to start over from scratch and rebuild. It will take a few years, but is better in the long run. Ive tried to stay as positive as I can but this is not good. The club is filled with aging mediocre washed up veterans. The club needs an injection of youth.

          • thomas rickard

            I certainly agree about youth and some of it is already there, paying over 10mil a year for 2 Cuban infielders to play in minors is crazy, okay one has a little ear problem but the other has played in the last 3 games the dodgers have won

          • O M

            I agree with Thomas that it’s way too early to declare a wash out season.
            With this crew, anything can happen – and already has.
            It’s getting clearer every day to Colletti this team won’t cut it. I’m trusting (cuz what else can I do?) that they’re now plotting trades and moves based on where we are around the All-Star break and trading deadlines.
            Whether I trust in Colletti’s judgement is a different story.

          • Stacie Wheeler

            There won’t be another historic 42-8 run this season, but that doesn’t mean the Dodgers can’t get to the playoffs if they make some changes. The main issues are the bullpen and defense. If they can trade for a reliever and get rid of Maholm with Bills returning soon, the pen might be acceptable. Hanley and Gonzo need to step up with the bat, and they need to play Arruebarrena more with Guerrero coming up eventually. I’d like to see Joc, but until an everyday spot opens up, he’s not being called up until September.

          • O M

            The return of Bills can only be a good thing. I say start him at bullpen and if he’s lights out while Haren is only good for 5 innings, let’s give Bills starting status and see where it goes. Haren might be great for long relief out the pen.
            If Hanley’s bat gets hot (like today!!!) then we can survive his defensive limits.If he gives up a base hit or two, but drives in 2 runs, it’s all good.
            A lot depends on how Kemp reacts to things. A diva can be accepted if the RBI’s are part of the package. If not – hasta la vista, gap model!

          • LasordasLair

            If the club is going to get anywhere, Hanley has to start hitting. So this is a good start

          • Stacie Wheeler

            Gap Outet model lol, but wow looks like Hanley is back! We could win without Kemp, but we can’t win without Hanley.

          • LasordasLair

            Yeah getting Hanley going is imperative

          • thomas rickard

            He needs to be at 3rd, it’s not just the errors, it’s also about the balls he just watches, the numbers don’t lie, he is the worst shortstop in the majors, and one of the main reasons are starting pitchers rarely make it past the 6th inning

          • LasordasLair

            The starters not going past the 6th inning isn’t Hanley’s fault. They just make too many pitches. But I agree about Hanley’s defense being attrocious

          • thomas rickard

            Come on, it’s not about a full time spot, it’s about player control and when the clock starts, Joc needs a cup of coffee

          • Stacie Wheeler

            Well, yeah they want to have control over him as long as possible. He’ll get his cup of coffee, but probably not until September barring another injury to an outfielder or a trade.

          • LasordasLair

            Oh they’ll make moves at some point, but they’ll probably wait until they’re like 17 games out of first place. Sorry guys, I just don’t see it this year. I hope I’m wrong, but the Giants just have a superior club this year, It’s just reality. It sucks, but hopefully Guggs will clean house and start from scratch and we can have a title run sometime in 2016, or 2017.

          • O M

            I feel your pain, buddy – but I’m not at my hopeless point yet. Time is still on their side IF they can get their shite together. I just can’t give up on my team before the All-Star break.

          • LasordasLair

            I’m not giving up, but I just don’t see them catching the Giants. Unless they go on another huge 42-8 run again, which is unlikely. I suppose a wild card spot is possible