The Dodgers are back, and so are we. After the club rested and recharged during the all-star break, the second half of the season resumes with a three game series at St. Louis against the Cardinals. We’ll also be resuming our usual every day game coverage.
This is the first leg of a nine game road trip which will take the Dodgers to Pittsburgh, and then San Francisco before they come back home. The Dodgers enter the second half with a one game lead over the Giants in the NL West. Now is not the time to relax. It’s the time to kick it into high gear.
Dodgers Lineup @ St. Louis-TBA
The Dodgers are expected to get some of their injured back from the disabled list. Justin Turner is expected to be activated any day now, possibly on Friday before game time. Reliever Pedro Baez was already optioned before the break. So there is already roster room available. Josh Beckett and Chone Figgins are also mending and nearing returns.
According to Chris Cotillo, the Dodgers will also be finally calling up Paco Rodriguez from Albuquerque. Not sure who gets the boot to make room for him. My money would be on Triunfel. But we’ll see.
Source: #Dodgers calling up Paco Rodriguez. He will join team in St. Louis tomorrow.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) July 18, 2014
The schedule makers are cruel and unusual for making the Dodgers do another series in St. Louis directly after the all-star break. Anyone remember 2010? Yeesh. Different time and place I know. Thank god we won’t have to deal with catcher Yadier Molina. He’s out for weeks with a torn ligament in his thumb. That means Dee Gordon should have the green light to run wild on their backup catcher. Run like the wind Gordon, run like the wind.
Anyways, the Dodgers decided to shuffle their rotation to give the top guys more rest. So they are going with Dan Haren to open the second half. It’s both a great idea, and a horrendous one at the same time. It’s great to give Kershaw and Greinke extra rest, but leading off with Haren probably means another loss. And you don’t want to open the second half with a loss here. Bad for momentum.
But the Dodgers are doing it. Haren starts game one on Friday, and who knows what we’ll get out of him. Now to be fair to Haren, he does pitch better in the second half. However he’s been getting lit up like a Christmas tree for weeks now. His sore back has caused some major problems with his pitch location and mechanics. Haren is 8-6 this year with an ERA of 4.23.
Haren also can’t get out of the first innings. In 10 of his last 14 starts he’s allowed first inning runs, and has allowed runs in the first or second inning in 13 of his last 14 starts. That means the Dodgers are down before the chairs are warm. That can’t happen on Friday Dan.
Typically Haren has pitched well against the Cardinals. In six starts he’s 4-1 with a 3.86 ERA. At the new Busch Stadium he is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in three starts. Although he’s 3-4 all time at St. Louis. And look at that, the Cardinals are only batting . .247 against him. The only guy to worry about is Jhonny Peralta who seems to hit him well. Don’t forget about matt Holiday’s two home runs. Otherwise, the numbers don’t look so bad.
For the Cardinals, they’ll counter with Lance Lynn. The right hander is 10-6 on the year with a 3.14 ERA in his 19 starts. He’s whiffed 101 in 114 frames.
The Dodgers really roughed him up back on June 28 when they scored six earned runs on nine hits. Lynn lasted just two frames in that game. Against the Dodgers all-time he is 2-1 with a 4.95 ERA and just seven walks in four starts. Lynn pitches well at Busch Stadium. At home he is 24-10 with a 2.93 ERA.
Prediction- Yasiel Puig makes up for his all-star game drought and goes deep tonight. Do it Puig!
Game Time – 5:10 PM