Seventh Straight Win and Series Sweep on Dodgers’ Radar
Let’s just take a moment to relish in this…
National League West
Ted Lilly (5-0, 1.79) vs. Joe Saunders (2-3, 3.55)
Dodger Lineup:Elian Herrera 8Jerry Sands 7Bobby Abreu 9Scott Van Slyke 3A.J. Ellis 2Ivan Dejesus 4Adam Kennedy 5Dee Gordon 6Ted Lilly 1*Justin Sellers late scratch from lineup with stiff back, Adam kennedy starts in his place at third base.*
I’m still thinking about that comeback win last night. I had all but given up on the game after that less than stellar Aaron Harang outing. Little did I know that the Dodgers would fight tooth and nail to scrape together five runs in the seventh, and then a hail Mary two-run double by Ivan deJesus would once again send a frustrated NL West opponent back to the clubhouse with the loss. Kenley Jansen almost gave us all a nervous breakdown in the bottom of the ninth, but he pulled off the save for his sixth on the season.
The scorching hot Dodgers will now vie for their seventh consecutive victory and a three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks in Arizona. It would also be their second series sweep in a row since they also eclipsed the St. Louis Cardinals in the previous series.
Ted Lilly, who remains the last undefeated Dodger starting pitcher, will go for his sixth win of the season. Last time out the four unearned runs during his last start cost him the chance at a win. Lilly only allowed four hits during his seven innings of work, and the Dodgers eventually took the game 6-5 over the Cards. Although Lilly has been excellent this season, the D-backs have given him a hard time in the past. In his career against the snakes, he is 5-7 with a 4.14 ERA. Willie Bloomquist and Ryan Roberts have both hit him well, and the tattooed Ryan Roberts has hit three homeruns against Lilly. Ted Lilly’s 1.79 ERA is second among NL starters. Brandon Beachy is slightly ahead with a 1.77 ERA.
The D-backs will counter with a lefty of their own as Joe Saunders tries to stave off the impending sweep. In his career against the Dodgers, Saunders has a 3-6 record and a 3.89 ERA. Bobby Abreu, Andre Ethier, and James Loney have had some success off Saunders. Loney even has two homeruns against the southpaw.
Hot hitters: Andre Ethier, who hails from Phoenix, has a streak of 10 consecutive games where he has reached safely against the D-backs dating back to July 29,2011. Dre, who is hitting .321, leads the NL with 40 RBI. He has 23 extra-base hits which is tied for second in the league. James Loney, who has always hit well at Chase Field, has been slowly coming around. His average is up to .254 with 2 homeruns and 14 RBI. He still is not where we’d like him to be, but perhaps there is a light at the end of the dark tunnel for James. I want him to succeed. I really do. Tony Gwynn Jr. has really embraced his increased playing time. Tony has been very effective in the leadoff spot as well, and is of course phenomenal in center field. He is now hitting .298 with 28 hits in his 94 at bats.
Tomorrow is an off day, and then Friday the Dodgers will be back home to host the Houston Astros for three games and the Milwaukee Brewers for a four-game series to wrap up May. Jerry Hairston Jr. and Matt Kemp are both expected to rejoin the team during the homestand.
The series finale will be televised at 6:40 pm on KCAL. Stay with us after the game for our recap.