After a disappointing three-game sweep at home by the Milwaukee Brewers, the Dodgers are ready to resume action on Tuesday night when they host the San Diego Padres for a three-game set. Both the Dodgers and Giants were idle on Monday, so the Dodgers remain 3 1/2 games ahead of San Francisco in the standings. With 36 games left in the regular season, the Dodgers will need to finish strong in order to defend their N.L. West crown.
With growing concerns regarding the Dodgers’ starting rotation, Ned Colletti reportedly is perusing the waiver wire like he does almost every year at this time. With a concern over Zack Greinke‘s elbow and the recent injuries to Hyun-jin Ryu and Stephen Fife, the Dodgers may need another starting pitcher to get them into the playoffs while fending off the Giants. While there has been no official word on an actual injury to Zack Greinke, we can only hope that he’s just tiring a bit down the stretch or experiencing a mechanical flaw of some sort.
In any event, recent trade acquisitions Roberto Hernandez and Kevin Correia have become increasingly important for the Dodgers at this point in the season. Both have pitched admirably, and Correia will be making a spot start in place of the injured Ryu on Tuesday night for the series opener against the Padres. Correia will be making his second start for the Dodgers, and he pitched very well in his Dodger debut last time out against the Braves. The Southern California native pitched 6 innings and allowed 1 run on 4 hits for the win. He faced the Padres in his last start for the Twins. He wasn’t involved in the decision after allowing 3 runs on 5 hits in 6 innings. Kevin in 4-3 with a 4.77 ERA is 24 career games (11 starts) against San Diego. He’ll have to be wary of Seth Smith and Will Venable who are both hitting over .300 against Correia.
The Dodgers will have to face old foe Ian Kennedy. Kennedy, also a So Cal born boy, has had a decent year with the Padres. Since his career year back in 2011 with the D-backs when he won 21 games, Kennedy has never really repeated that success. Kennedy, who was notoriously involved with the brawl between the Dodgers and Snakes, has only hit 4 batters this season so far. In 2012, he led the league with 14 plunks. Here’s to less bean balls!
Kennedy won his last start against the Rockies after allowing 3 runs on 6 hits with 8 strikeouts and 2 walks in 6 innings. He’s already faced the Dodgers three times prior this season, and he is 0-1 against the Dodgers this season with a 3.50 ERA. Over his career, Kennedy is 5-5 with a 3.99 ERA against the Dodgers in 14 starts. He’s made 7 starts at Dodger Stadium, and he’s 2-2 with a 3.14 ERA at Chavez Ravine. Andre Ethier has had the most success against Kennedy in the past. Dre is hitting .324 against the right-hander with 11 hits including 2 doubles and 2 homeruns in 37 plate appearances.
Correia, like Hernandez, seem rejuvenated after being traded from losing teams to a first-place team. Correia, who was supposed to
replace Paul Maholm as the long-reliever out of the Dodger bullpen, has suddenly been thrust into the rotation after Hyun-jin Ryu went down with an injured hip. Correia seems to be relishing in the moment, and it’s nice to see the veteran pitch in a winning environment.
Prediction: Andre Ethier collects a double off Ian Kennedy.
Hanley Ramirez is expected to return from the disabled list on Sunday after getting some time for his oblique injury to heal. Ramirez, who is looking to ink a new contract with the Dodgers this offseason, will need to be productive down the stretch in order to earn new terms. It is unclear whether Hanley will shift over to third base with Juan Uribe on the disabled list. With the defensively sharp Miguel Rojas playing shortstop of late, it looks as though the move for Hanley may come sooner than he wanted.
The Dodgers are a break even 30-30 at home after dropping three in a row to the Brewers. They look to gain more ground in the West by beating the third-place Padres.