The Brewers gave the Dodgers a taste of their excellent relief pitching and late-inning comeback winning ways in the 6-3 win over the Dodgers on Friday night at Dodger Stadium. Zack Greinke didn’t allow a run in his start, but he didn’t last long and walked a season-high five batters. Don Mattingly wasted five scoreless innings from Greinke and another two scoreless frames by rookie Pedro Baez when he bumbled through the disaster of an eighth inning.
Jamey Wright took the blame for the loss in his postgame interview, and the veteran was certainly hit hard by the tough Milwaukee lineup. It wasn’t all Jamey’s fault. Brandon League allowed the bases-clearing triple to Lyle Overbay which blew the doors wide open for the Brewers. Don Mattingly should have either brought in J.P. Howell to face Overbay or even started League in the eighth instead of Wright. Mattingly admitted he was “saving” Howell to pitch the ninth since Kenley Jansen and Brian Wilson were not available. Well, the ninth inning didn’t matter much after the Brewers hung up a high five in the eighth.
I could go on about how a manager should use their best pitcher in the most high leveraged situation of the game whether it’s the ninth, eighth or earlier. It wouldn’t matter though since Mattingly still believes in the closer in the ninth mantra, and he will not waver from that no matter the circumstances. For once, I’d like to see him think outside the box and use Kenley in one of those non-save situations, but I think I’d be waiting a long, long time.
Clayton Kershaw will go to the mound for the Dodgers and hopefully give the battered bullpen a bit of a reprieve. Kersh will by vying for his 15th win on the season. The ace southpaw hasn’t lost a game since May 28th. He may never lose again. Last time out against the Brewers in Milwaukee, Kersh picked up the victory after allowing 1 run on 6 hits over 8 solid innings. In his career, Kershaw is 5-3 with a 3.05 ERA in 9 starts versus Milwaukee. Gerardo Parra, Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks and Carlos Gomez are all hitting over .300 against Clayton.
28-year old Mexican pitcher Yovani Gallardo will be countering Kershaw for the Brewers. He beat the Cubs in his last start going 7
innings and allowing 1 run on 6 hits. He’s struggled against the Dodgers over the course of his career and is 1-4 with a 5.98 ERA against L.A. in 7 starts. At Dodger Stadium, he is 1-1 with a 9.53 ERA in 2 career starts. Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp have both hit Gallardo well in the past. Ethier is hitting .381 with 8 hits including 2 doubles, a triple and a homerun in 21 at bats. Kemp is hitting .353 with 6 hits including 2 doubles and a homerun.
Prediction: Clayton Kershaw strikes out 8 Brewers.
Luckily the Giants lost to the Phillies in 10 innings on Friday night, so the Dodgers’ loss to the Brewers was a bit less painful and they remain 5 1/2 games ahead in the N.L. West. Kershaw is going for his 15th win, the second Major League pitcher to do so this season after kickin’ Johnny Cueto secured his 15th win on Friday.
Juan Uribe was lifted from the game on Friday night as a precaution after he felt right hamstring tightness. He’s listed as day-to-day.
The Dodgers would like to gain even more ground in the West, but the Brewers are formidable foes. With Kershaw on the mound, they have a great opportunity to tie the series up.