Aug 11, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Carlos Frias (77) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the ninth inning at Turner Field. The Dodgers defeated the Braves 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Frias To Make First MLB Start Against Nationals in Rubber Game, Dodger Fans Pray For Rain

There are 23 games left, the Dodgers have a two game lead over the Giants in the NL West, and they’re starting Carlos Frias on the mound in the rubber game against the Washington Nationals. No, seriously this is what the Dodgers are doing.

I know it lines up the rotation perfectly for the San Francisco series later this month, but that doesn’t mean it’s ok to punt a game away to the Nationals. This is not going to end well.

Dodgers Lineup vs. Washington

Gordon 2B
Puig RF
Gonzalez 1B
Hanley SS
Crawford LF
Turner 3B
Pederson CF
Federwowicz C
Frias P

Jordan Zimmerman-10-5 vs. Carlos Frias-0-0

Thank god the Dodgers won last night behind another masterful performance from Clayton Kershaw. The 4-1 win kept the Dodgers two games ahead of the Giants and evened the series. If Kershaw doesn’t win the NL MVP this year than they need to rethink the voting process. Nobody is more valuable to their team than Kershaw is to the Dodgers. If only Kershaw could pitch more than once every five days.

But if the Dodgers lose and the Giants beat Colorado again, the lead is down to one measly game. Maybe we’ll get lucky and Colorado will beat the Giants, but come on. It’s the Rockies. They’re terrible this year. They’re not going to beat the Giants. Probably not.

Which is why starting Frias is a really bad idea. I know what you’re going to say. It’s either Frias or Dan Haren. Pick your poison. I would rather have Haren start. Listen it sounds insane, but the veteran has been pitching better of late. It’s not like Frias has been great. He has a 5.65 ERA in eight appearances this year. Although he has only walked two batters. Still, every game is important this late in the season with the lead this small. There is very little margin for error here people.

Geez Carlos cheer up-Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Haren has won three out of his last five decisions since August 1. He’s thrown four quality starts in August. In that month Haren is 3- 2 with a 3.48 ERA. Besides a couple of stinkers, Haren has been pretty good this month. I know he’s generally terrible from time time, but what else can the Dodgers do? Starting an unproven rookie seems risky, and foolish.

I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Frias will give us a quality start? Maybe he’ll pitch well, and the Dodger offense just won’t hit again. That actually could happen. I know Frias was a starter in the minors. Maybe he just isn’t a reliever, and when back in a starting role will surprise us all.

But we know that’s not going to happen. The thing is, using Haren probably wouldn’t be any better, even if he is pitching well this month. Can you imagine Haren pitching against the homer happy Nationals during the afternoon when the balls tend to carry more? Oh man, I don’t care to imagine that.

Not like Frias is going to be any better either. Ughhh, seriously Dodgers? Thanks injuries.

The Dodgers better have a game plan I tell you that. They better mitigate the biggest threats in a very dangerous and powerful Washington lineup. Don’t pitch to Jayson Werth. Be careful with Harper, and don’t underestimate Wilson Ramos.

I’m afraid this is going to backfire on the Dodgers. Why couldn’t they pitch him against the Dbacks or something? Against the Nationals? Really?!?!?!

Washington will be sending ten game winner Jordan Zimmerman to the mound.  The 28-year old right hander is 10-5 with a solid 2.93 ERA in 27 starts. He’s whiffed 148 and walked 25 to give him a 6-1 strikeout to walk ratio.

He hasn’t pitched well against the Dodgers though, so maybe there is some hope. He is 2-1 with a 5.61 ERA in five games against the Dodgers. At Dodger Stadium he is 1-0 with a 5.27 ERA in two starts. He’s allowed eight earned runs on 15 hits over 13.2 innings pitched at Chavez Ravine.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

But, but, the Dodgers are batting .345 (28 for 110) with three home runs and a .917 OPS against Zimmerman. The Dodgers have driven in 18 runs versus Zimmerman. The Dodgers have hit him hard. Hanley Ramirez is batting .455 (10 for 22) with two doubles and a home run against Zimmerman. Matt Kemp is hitting .429 (6 for 14) with two home runs and seven RBI. Hanley and Kemp have driven in 13 of the 18 runs.

 

We should see the return of Yasiel Puig to the lineup. We need Puig and Gordon to start hitting again or we’re going to have issues. This could get ugly so be prepared. Ryan Vogelsong will be countering random rookie Christian Bergman in a 12:10 start at Coors Field. Lord help us all.

The Dodgers are going to have to score a lot of runs to pull this off. Not sure this is worth the risk here. The first inning is going to be stomach churning.

The Dodgers are off on Thursday and then welcome the Arizona Dbacks in for a three game series over the weekend. Somehow the Dodgers have to win today. All hands better be on deck today.

Wednesday’s series will be a special 12:10 pm start time. So do whatever you have to do. Skip school. Play hooky from work. Call in sick! It’s afternoon pennant race Dodger Baseball!

Go Blue!

Tags: Carlos Frias Clayton Kershaw Hanley Ramirez Jordan Zimmermann Los Angeles Dodgers Yasiel Puig

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