Dodgers Need to Regroup and Focus on Task at Hand-Beating the Giants
Clayton Kershaw (5-3, 2.73) vs. Ryan Vogelsong (6-3, 2.41)
Dodgers Lineup: vs. Giants
Ever since Matt Kemp‘s brief return and subsequent second disability the Dodgers have been playing without vivacity and purpose. The offense has completely sputtered, and there has been but one homerun every week or so. The defense has also declined since Mark Ellis suffered a leg injury and emergency surgery. The unlikely heroes which included A.J. Ellis, Elian Herrera, Tony Gwynn Jr., and Jerry Hairston Jr. have come back down to Earth along with their batting averages. While we were watching amazing comeback wins and dazzling defensive plays earlier this season, now we are deep in a losing spell as our lead in the standings dwindles. How can the Dodgers snap out of it before they sink in the standings? They will look to their ace for an important win tonight at AT&T Park.
Last time out against the Athletics, Clayton Kershaw pitched like the ace that he rightfully is. Although a pesky bout of plantar fasciitis has plagued him this season along with an Opening Day bout with the flu, Kershaw is a warrior. Kershaw pitched eight innings, and only allowed three hits versus the A’s. Unfortunately the Dodger offense didn’t give him the run support for the victory. He has fared extremely well against our rivals in his career. He is 6-2 with a 1.34 ERA against the Giants. He has 94 strikeouts in 87 innings of work against San Francisco as well, and has held our orange and black foes to a .180 batting average. What’s amazing is that Kershaw has pitched phenomenally at AT&T Park. He is 4-1 with a 0.45 ERA in 5 starts at the park by the bay. None of the current Giants have a homerun against Kersh, and Buster Posy and Pablo Sandoval haven’t had much luck against him. Posey is hitting .111 in 21 at bats against Kersh.
The Giants will counter with Ryan Vogelsong who has been very tough at home this year. He has
held opponents to a 1.47 ERA at AT&T Park this season, so once again runs will be at a premium for the Dodgers tonight. Vogelsong has been very consistent this season as well, but against the Dodgers he has had a so-so result. In his career, he is 3-2 with a 4.17 ERA against us. Last time out against the Angels and Jared Weaver, Vogelsong took his first loss after winning 6 games in a row. Last time the Dodgers faced Vogelsong on May 8th, he snapped Kershaw’s winning steak at home at Dodger Stadium. The Giants won 2-1 on a Brett Pill homerun.
The games have been very frustrating as of late, but we can’t give up on this team just yet. We have seen them bounce back from the brink before to overtake their opponents. Every team goes through losing periods in a season, and even the best teams still will lose 60 games. The Dodgers need to concentrate on making each at bat good and not letting themselves lose patience at the plate. Sit back and take some pitches. We need some timely hits. Last night the Dodgers got some runners on, but no one could come up with that clutch hit. Matt Kemp will be back soon, but we can’t let the Giants overtake us in the standings while we are waiting for his return. We have to be able to win with or without him.
The game will be televised on KCAL at 7:15 pm. Please come back to check out our game recap tonight. Let’s get ’em tonight!