Dodgers Begin Another Long Grueling Road-Trip
By Scott Andes
Dodgers Lineup vs. MetsAbreu7M.Ellis4Kemp8Ethier9Rivera3Hairston5Cruz6Treanor2Harang1
Aaron Harang-6-5 vs. Johan Santana-6-6
The Dodgers embark on a ten game road-trip that may make or break their season, starting tonight in New York City. The Dodgers will play the Mets for three games, before heading to St.Louis for a big four game set, finally they will end the trip with a three game series in San Francisco. The Dodgers start the day 49-44, second place in the NL West, only two and a half games behind the Giants.
As we approach the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, the rumors are already heating up. We are already seeing the first couple of trades trickle in. The Royals and Rockies swapped Jeremy Guthrie, and Jonathan Sanchez. I am sure both teams are hoping that a change of scenery will help each pitcher, and we also have heard about the ten player deal between the Astros and the Blue Jays.
As for our Boys in Blue, they continue to look for trades that will improve their team’s chances of playing in October. The Dodgers have been aggressively trying to acquire corner infielders, a starting pitcher, and a left handed reliever. According to rumors, the Dodgers are still trying to acquire pitcher Ryan Dempster of the Cubs. It appears he will be moved soon, and the Dodgers have been the rumored front-runner for Dempster’s services for weeks now. We will let you know if any trades happen. The Mets are busy looking for bullpen help, since they have the worst ranked bullpen in the league.
In the meantime, the Boys in Blue, are looking to build upon the momentum of Wednseday’s thrilling come from behind victory, where they rallied for two runs in the bottom of the tenth to tie, and then won it in the bottom of the 12, on a walk-off two-run home run from Matt Kemp, to beat the Phillies. Now the Dodgers must take the journey of a 10 game road-trip, that will surely decide the team’s fate. If the Dodgers have a poor road-trip, they could be out of the race by the time they return home, but a successful trip, should give them better leverage to rationalize more trades to bolster the club for the stretch drive.
Tonight the Dodgers make their first and only trip to Citi Field, to take on the New York Mets. The Dodgers will give the ball to right hander, Big Show, Aaron Harang. The big guy has struggled against the Mets during the course of his career. As a matter of fact, if you remember, Harang got bombed the last time at Dodger Stadium on June 29, when they lost 9-0, an Harang allowed four earned runs, and walks four. Harang has a career 6.09 ERA against the Mets, and a 3-4 record. The numbers are not encouraging, and frankly a little frightening. The Mets are hitting a collective .355 (59 for 166), off the Big Show. The Mets have hit 11, yes 11 home runs off of Harang! I am not kidding.
Josh Tole is 7 for 9 with a home run. Daniel Murphy is 3 for 8 with a home run and 4 RBI. Ruben Tejada is 5 for 8. Ronny Cedeno is 7 for 23 (.304( with two home runs and 7 RBI. Now are you sitting down? You might need to. Jason Bay is 17 for 52 (.327-1.133 OPS.) with 6 doubles, five home runs, and nine RBIs. As for David Wright, he is batting .550 with a 1.500 OPS, (11 for 20), with four doubles, and a home run. Yikes! The Dodger’s offense better bring their A-game today. Against the rest of the league, Harang has been decent. Posting a 6-5 record and a 3.53 ERA.
The Mets will counter with lefty Johan Santana. The former Cy Young winner has struggled since his historic no-hitter on June 1. Since then he has a 5.67 ERA, and has allowed multiple runs in six consecutive starts. Of course none of that matters when he is facing the Dodgers. All total, Santa is 5-0 with a .50 ERA against the Dodgers. That is not a typo. A 0.50 ERA! That is microscopic! The Dodgers are (28 for 195), .144 against Santana. Then again, most of the pitchers in the league can shut-out the Dodgers by only half trying. Only two Dodgers have had any kind of success against Santana, Matt Kemp, and Bobby Abreu. The bison is batting .333 (4 for 12(, and Bobby Abreu, is hitting .375 ( 3 for 8(, with a home run, and a double. The Dodgers have hit three home runs against Santana. The other two came from Adam Kennedy , and Juan Uribe of all people. Against the rest of the league, Santana has put up very similar numbers to Harang. He is 6-6 with a 3.59 ERA, but Santana has struck out more and walked less, than Harang.
On Monday I will be starting up the Lasorda’s Lair podcasts again. I’ll be having a special hall of fame edition with our good friend David Krell, so look out for that. Tonight’s game is on at 415PM, and televised on Prime Ticket. Come back over here after the game and check out our Dodger Daily’s, leave a comment, and enjoy the game! Go Blue!