Can the Dodgers walk on water to secure a series win? Or will the Dodgers continue chasing waterfalls during the final game of their six game road trip? If the Dodgers win the third and final game at Kansas City, they’ll finish with a 4-2 record, and A winning trip. A loss means another .500 split. Of course the worst part of leaving Kansas City is that I won’t be able to use anymore water puns. Such is life I guess.
Tonight the Dodgers are using a more serious lineup. Dee Gordon is back at second base, and Yasiel Puig is back in right field. Adrian Gonzalez switches over to DH, as Scott Van Slyke will play first base. Hanley Ramirez’s shoulder is still bothering him, so Miguel Rojas will play shortstop once again.
Dodgers Lineup @ Kansas City
Van Slyke 1B
Dan Haren-7-4 vs. James Shields-8-3
Last night the magnificent Clayton Kershaw had the Royals chasing their own waterfalls with an eight shutout inning performance. For the third game, the Dodgers will give the ball to right hander Dan Haren. The free agent acquisition has been fairly consistent. However he isn’t turning heads.
Last week Haren allowed three earned runs in 5.2 frames against San Diego in a no-decision. Haren has allowed at least three earned runs or more in eighth of his last ten starts. Haren constantly has trouble in the first or second innings of his starts. Haren has allowed one or two runs in the first or second innings in ten consecutive starts. Which is unbelievably irritating. Expect for the Royals to be ahead 1-0 after the first inning.
Haren has a 7-4 record, with a 3.62 ERA this season. He’s whiffed 61 and walked 16 in 92 innings pitched. Haren has pitched well against Kansas City over his career. He’s 5-2 with a 2.77 ERA in 11 starts. The veteran is also undefeated at Kauffman Stadium. Haren is 4-0 with a 2.45 ERA in seven starts at Kansas City. In those starts, he’s whiffed 40 and walked six in a little over 47 frames.
But the current group of Royals Crush him, to a tune of a .336 (36 for 17) batting average against. K.C. has an .868 OPS and four home runs against him. Omar Infante is the one to watch. He’s hitting .556 (10 for 18) against Haren. Alex Gordon, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, and Salvador Perez have all hit home runs.
The Royals will counter with their ace, right hander James Shields. Also known as “big game James”, or “complete game James”, from his Tampa Bay days when he would pitch a lot of complete games. Shields is a good pitcher, but having a tough month of June. He has a 4.81 ERA in the month of June, coming into today’s affair. ‘
The 32-year old Newhall, California native is 8-3 with a 3.70 ERA. In 104 innings, he’s whiffed 85 and walked 23 in 16 starts. Shields has never faced the Dodgers before. However he is 8-9 with a 4.54 ERA at Kauffman Stadium.
Only three Dodgers have ever faced Shields. Hanley is batting .265 with nine hits, but he can’t play. Gonzo is hitting .348 (8 for 23) with a home run. Hanley has also hit a home run against Shields.
The Dodgers are now three games back of first place, after the Giants lost to San Diego last night. This is the closest the Dodgers have been to first place all season I think.
You can catch the game at 5:10 PM, and check back over here for our recap. Let’s hope the Dodgers don’t go chasing waterfalls. Instead we hope they’ll stick to the rivers and the lakes that they’re used to. Hey I couldn’t resist one last water pun (shrugs shouders). So sue me.