After an exciting Freeway Series where we saw the Dodgers win three of four games versus the Angels including both games at Angel Stadium, the bubble machine was packed up and boarded on a flight to Milwaukee. The Dodgers will face the first-place Brewers for the first time this season, and they will have a new starter on the mound as well.
On the heels of Hyun-jin Ryu‘s two hit gem on Thursday night, Roberto Hernandez will be making his Dodger debut against Milwaukee on Friday evening. Hernandez was acquired from the Phillies for two players to be named later or cash considerations. Josh Beckett, who was trying to pitch through a torn hip labrum, will likely be disabled list bound. If Beckett is unable to pitch again this season, I must say that I really enjoyed watching his determination on the mound this year. We will never forget his no-hitter and his tenacity to return to the mound after battling thoracic outlet syndrome. Here’s to a speedy recovery, Josh!
With Paul Maholm also out for the season with a torn ankle, the Dodgers had to go out and pick up another starting pitcher.
Roberto Hernandez is not exactly an ace, but he has pitched well for the Phillies over his last four starts. Last time out against the Nationals, Hernandez pitched 8 innings and allowed 1 run on 5 hits with 3 strikeouts and 1 walk. If Hernandez can pitch like that for the Dodgers, he will be a very respectable backend starter going down the stretch. The 33-year old Dominican right-hander has faced the Brewers two times prior this season. He is 1-0 this season against the Brewers, and he won his last start against them back on July 9th in Milwaukee when he pitched 8 innings and only allowed 1 run on 3 hits. He has a 2.57 ERA against the Brewers in 3 games (2 career starts) against them. Carlos Gomez has 2 hits against Hernandez including a double and a homerun in 8 at-bats.
Can the real Roberto Hernandez please stand up?
Hernandez pitched six years under the name of Fausto Carmona for the Cleveland Indians. He used the false name to obtain a visa to pitch in the United States. After his true name and age were discovered (he had claimed to be three years younger than he is), he missed much of the 2012 season due to lack of a valid visa and a suspension by the MLB for identity fraud. He returned as Roberto Hernandez with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2013 before signing with the Philadelphia Phillies before the 2014 season.
Kyle Lohse will be countering the sinker ball of Hernandez for the Brewers. The 35-year old Chico, California native, has pitched well for the Brew Crew this year, but last time out he got shelled by the Cardinals. He allowed a disastrous 9 runs on 9 hits in just 4 innings. He is 2-4 with a 4.66 ERA in 11 games (9 starts) against the Dodgers over his career. Lohse has pitched well at home this season and is 4-2 with a 2.32 in 9 starts at Miller Park. Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier are all hitting at least .300 against Lohse. Gonzo has 4 doubles and a homerun against him in the past.
Prediction: Matt Kemp sends another Bison Blast over the center field fence.
The Dodgers will be vying for their fourth win in a row after collecting their 66th victory on the season. They are a great road team and are 13 games above .500 on the road this season. The Boys in Blue now hold the third-best record in the MLB behind the Angels and the A’s.
Roberto Hernandez told reporters through a translator that he was excited but nervous after being traded for his first time in his career. The Dodgers have a great opportunity to pull even further ahead of the Giants in the N.L. West since they will have Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw following Hernandez in the Milwaukee series.