The “Hanleywood” Era Starts Tonight for the Dodgers in St.Louis


Dodgers Lineup vs. Cardinals

Abreu 7M.Ellis 4Kemp 8Ethier 9Ramirez 5Loney 3Cruz 6Ellis 2Harang 1

Aaron Harang-7-5 vs. Kyle Lohse-10-2


The Major League Baseball season is a crazy ride of ups and downs, twists and turns, and I don’t think any of us could have seen this turn. It’s bound to be a crazy ride from now until the end of the regular season. We’re in for one wild, wild ride Dodger fans. Buckle your safety belts.

The Dodgers announced their trade of Nathan Eovaldi and a minor leaguer for Infielder Hanley Ramirez, and lefty relief pitcher Randy Choate. The trade has changed the landscape of the trade market, and set Baseball on it’s ear. Other teams are starting to panic now, as the Dodgers continue to look for another position player, and a starting pitcher.

For now, Hanley Ramirez is expected to arrive a few hours before game time and will be in the lineup playing at third base, and batting fourth or fifth. Donnie has said Hanley will bat in the middle of the order, I am assuming behind Andre Ethier to provide lineup protection, and be the middle of the order power bat, the Dodgers so desperately need. Mattingly has said Ramirez will play shortstop until Gordon returns, and then likely switch over to third base. Although tonight he starts at the hot corner.

Of course the trade does come with some risk involved. Apparently Ramirez punched a fan in the dugout earlier this month, cut his hand, and then received an infection after he refused to take antibiotics.  However he is healthy, and was in the Marlin’s lineup last night actually. He has already told the press that he is excited to have a fresh start, and be playing for the Dodgers, and he will play anywhere that Manager Don Mattingly and the Dodgers need him to play. I like the sound of that. Besides, molding young troubled players, is Mattingly’ specialty. The Dodgers are hoping a change of scenery will help Ramirez regain his all-star form. Remember he won a batting title in 2009, and is a three time all-star.

The Dodgers will also miss starter Nathan Eovaldi, and will have to scramble to find a replacement for him on Friday night in San Francisco, when he was due to start. The most likely candidates are Stephen Fife, and or Allen Webster. (Webster is pitching in double AA). It is unlikely it would be John Ely, as he is not on the 40-man roster. Will we ever see the return of Elymania?

This was a move that had to be done for the greater good. The market is very short on impact bats, and this gives the Dodgers a young team controlled impact power bat. Ramirez is hitting .246 this year, with 14 home runs, 47 RBI, and 14 stolen bases. This was a shrewd trade that had Stan Kasten written all over it. As a result the other teams are scared and locking up their players. The Phillies today signed Cole Hamels to a six year 144 million dollar contract extension, so there is that. OH and Ryan Dempster was pulled from his start for the Cubs today and threw a tantrum, punching a water cooler apparently and doing his best Milton Bradley impersonation. Trade season is fun! (there are more rumors swirling around a possible Shane Victorino for Josh Lindblom trade).

If not for Miami’s disaster of a 2012 season, this trade would not be possible. I would like to thank Miami’s perfect storm of crap, for enabling us to Ocean Eleven away Hanley from their grasps. In regards to Miami’s fire sale, we didn’t start the fire, it was burning since the world’s been turning. It’s not exactly like Ramirez was in a normal Baseball environment over in Miami with Manager/hot-head Ozzie Guillen.

Oh and there is a game on tonight. The Dodgers take on the Cardinals in game three of the four game series. Aaron Harang will take the mound for the Dodgers. Harang is 7-5 on the season with a 3.46 ERA. Harang has been red hot in July only allowing four hits, and five earned runs, for a 2-0 record. IN his career against the Cardinals Harang is 7-13 with a 4.47 ERA and 105 whiffs. The Cardinals are hitting .283 (63 for 223) off of Harang with 11 home runs and 27 RBI. David Freese is 4 for 6 with a home run. Lance Berkman who coudld be injured is .259 (15 for 58), with seven, yes seven home runs off of Harang and ten RBIs. However Berkman is out with a knee injury. Carlos Beltran is hitting .375 (10 for 29), with two home runs. Former Dodger Rafael Furcal, also known as Hit Machine, is hitting .476 (10 for 21), with no home runs, but three doubles. However Moth-man Matt Holliday is only hitting .095 against Harang (2 for 21) with no home runs.

The Cardinals will counter with ten game winner Kyle Lohse. The 33 year old veteran is having one of his finest seasons. Against the league he is 10-2 with a 2.71 ERA. Lohse in his last start, allowed just one run over seven innings for his ninth straight quality start. He has only allowed more than three runs in any start, twice the entire year. However, back on May 20th, the Dodgers got to him for five earned runs on 11 hits through 5.2 innings in a 6-5 Dodger win. Lohse has always struggled against the Boys in Blue, posting a 2-3 record and a 5.36 ERA, and 31 whiffs in over 42 innings. The Dodgers are hitting .284 (48 for 169) with two home runs off of Lohse. Matt Kemp is 4 for 14(.286) with a home run and five RBI. James Loney is 5 for 16( .313) Andre Ethier is hitting .357 (5 for 14), however the guy that has given Lohse the most trouble? You’ll never believe me, it’s Adam Kennedy, hitting .405 against Lohse, (15 for 37) with three doubles and a triple. However he is hurt and is expected to land on the DL because of a groin injury. Kemp, and Mark Ellis have hit the only two home runs off of Lohse.

Hanley will wear number 13 and start at third base tonight, and not at shortstop, batting fifth. Luis Cruz will play shortstop tonight.This moves us closer to our dream of a team without Juan Uribe, who’s days as a Dodger are numbered. Check out Hanley’s debut as a Dodger tonight at 5:15PM on KCAL. Then head on back over here for our complete postgame Dodger recap of Hanley’s first game in Blue. The days of us as little fish are over. We’re big fish now, get used to it National League. Go Blue.