Behind a gem of a performance by Josh Beckett on Saturday night, the Dodgers were able to tie up the series with San Diego. Even though the Dodgers still have some issues to deal with including Yasiel Puig‘s injured hip and the atrocity of the bullpen, the Dodgers have been able to win more consistently and are within 4 games of San Francisco for first-place. Juan Uribe could be activated as early as Sunday, even though everyone thinks it will more likely be when the Dodgers open up a series in Kansas City. Miguel Rojas has been filling in admirably, so I’d have to think that Carlos Triunfel would be optioned back down to Albuquerque once Uribe is back.
Van Slyke CF
Hanley is finally coming around, and he had another two hits in Saturday’s game in San Diego with a RBI sac fly and a RBI single. Even Adrian Gonzalez, who has been on a historic slump, came up with a great hit which drove in a run on Saturday night. Puig seems to be hurting, and I’m not too fond of the idea of him playing through the pain. Why not rest Puig right now when there’s still time in the season before the late summer playoff push? Scott Van Slyke can play right field and Andre Ethier in center or vice versa while Puig is taking some time. I’d hate to lose Puig late in the season, and playing through injury never ends up going well.
Might as well take advantage of the fourth-place, light-hitting Padres and take this series. The Dodgers will move on to Kansas City for fun series with the Royals who have been playing well. The Dodgers shouldn’t just call it in on Sunday.
Hyun-jin Ryu will be vying for his ninth win of the season. Like Beckett, Ryu has pitched extremely well for the Dodgers this season and should also get an All-Star consideration. Last time out, Ryu beat the Rockies after pitching 6 innings and allowing 1 run on 3 hits. The last time Ryu faced the Friars was back on March 30th in San Diego (the Padres have yet to visit Dodger Stadium yet this season). The Dodgers lost that game, but Beckett wasn’t involved in the decision after pitching 7 shutout innings. That was Ryu’s only start at Petco Park in his career, so he has a 0.00 ERA at Petco going into Sunday’s game. In 2 career starts against SD, Ryu is 1-0 with a 0.68 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings pitched against them. Hopefully that all means that Ryu is comfortable pitching at Petco and against the Padres.
There’s more Dodger fans at Petco than Padres fans anyways.
Old friend Eric Stults will go to the mound for San Diego. Originally drafted by the Dodgers in 2002, the 34-year old southpaw began his career with the Dodgers from 2006-2009, but he’s been with the Padres since 2012. He’s been pretty bad this season, and he has nine losses already on the year with a poor 5.76 ERA in 15 starts. Stults is dead last in ERA amongst qualifiers in the NL. Stults has lost his last four starts, and he hasn’t won since May 10th versus Miami. The Dodgers haven’t faced Stults this season, but he is 1-3 with a 4.30 ERA against the Dodgers in his career (5 starts). Adrian Gonzalez has hit two homeruns off Stults in the past.
Sounds like the perfect time for…
Prediction: Adrian Gonzalez Homers in San Diego
Injury Update: Remember Scott Elbert? Well, he may be returning to a mound near you. He pitched in a rehab assignment for Rookie-level Ogden on Wednesday night. He was on a 20-pitch limit and allowed a three-run homerun. He struck out one and walked one. Rancho Cucamonga won their fourth straight game on Saturday where Scott Elbert pitched a 1-2-3 first inning. Juan Uribe, also rehabbing with the Quakes, went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Come back and check out our postgame coverage, and be sure to scroll through Kenny’s Game Ball Corner at the top of the homepage to see who we choose as each day’s player of the game.