Dodgers Lineup vs. CubsVictorino 7M. Ellis 4Kemp 8Ethier 9Ramirez 6Loney 3Cruz 5Ellis 2Billingsley 1
* this is the first start for Hanley at shortstop tonight. Cruz plays third, and hopefully this signals the end of Juan Uribe’s tenure as a Dodger*
This season has been a roller-coaster ride of dizzying ups and downs for us Dodger fans. After a rousing sweep of the hated Giants in San Francisco where they scored 19 runs, the Dodgers came home to be swept by the Dbacks. The Dodgers were pathetic that series, scoring only four runs, including a disgusting two-hit shutout loss to journeyman pitcher Patrick Corbin. Of course we are used to that this year. The Dodgers have been shutout by many different types of pitchers this year, including, Rookies, journeymen, spot starters, relievers turned into starters, bench dwellers, Kevin Milwood, other assorted bums, and well everyone.
Anyways, after a much needed off-day the Dodgers continue their nine game homestand with a three game set against the Chicago Cubs. The standings have tightened up after the Dodger’s recent suckfest at home. The Dodgers certainly have sucked something awful at Chavez Ravine of late. After starting 21-5 at home, they are 8-18 since then, and since they started the season 42-25 overall, the Dodgers are 14-25. Let that sink in a bit, its pretty bad. Needles to say the Dodgers have sucked something awful since mid-June.
Hopefully the Dodgers can turn this around by beating up on the lowly Ryan Dempster-less Chicago Cubs. The Cubs come into town after selling off half of their roster. Geovany Soto…gone. Paul Maholm….gone. Reed Johnson….gone, and finally Ryan Dempter…..gone.
Speaking of Dempster, he was lit up in his first start with Texas. The Dodgers tried their darndest to get Dempster, but were unwilling to part with any of their top pitching prospects. The Cubs ended up flipping him to Texas for crap prospects. The Cubs called up a number of minor leaguers to replace all of the guys they traded on the roster. We should get a good look at all of them.
AS for the pitching match-up, the Cubs will send 27 year old left hander Jeff Samardzija to the mound. Samardzija is 7-8 and has posted a 4.19 ERA this year. In 120 innings, Samardzija has whiffed 121 batters while walking 47. That’s a whiff rate of 9.0 He hasn’t faced the Dodgers much if at all in his career. He is 1-0 against the Blue. The Dodgers are 8 for 21 (.248) against Samardzija. Hanley Ramirez is batting .500 against Samardzija (6 for 12), with a double. Shane Victorino is 2 for 4 with a home run, a triple, and two RBI. Nobody else has faced him more than two or three at-bats. Samardzija has pitched well of late though. He has recorded 11 quality starts, including his last outing. During his last five starts, he is 2-1 with a 1.91 ERA.
The Dodgers will counter with righty Chad Billinglsey. You know it would be amazing to see Bills actually put up two good halves in the same season. If that could ever happen, Bills would be very good. He had lost five starts in a row, before spending two weeks on the DL, with elbow problems. He has been excellent since coming back. In his last start at San Francisco, he won his second start in a row, tossing seven scoreless frames in the win. Against the league, Bills is 6-9 with a 3.89 ERA. Keep in mind that Bills has only walked 35 while whiffing 106 in 118 innings pitched which comes out to an 8.1 whiff per nine rate, which is pretty good. How has Bills fared against the Cubs you may ask? Well, the big thunder-thighed right hander, is 4-4 with a 3.47 ERA against Chicago. The Cubs results against Bills, matches his typical season results, Mediocre. The Cubs are batting .260 (20 for 77) collectively. Although to be fair he has held most of the current Cubs pretty quiet. Alfonso Soriano is still with the Cubs since they couldn’t pay a team to take on his bloated salary even if he shat out golden turds. Soriano is batting .238 (6 for 26) with a double. Darwin Barney is 3 for 10, and Starlin Castro is hitting .167 off of Bills, (2 for 12). The only current Cub to take Bills deep is Joe Mather.
The Dodgers are 56-50 and are now a half game back of the Giants who lost last night to the Mets. While the Dodgers are at home, battling the Cubs, the Giants will be at Denver playing the Rockies. Arizona is playing a series in Philadelphia. Game time is at 7PM, and televised on Prime Ticket.
The Dodgers lost two of three to the Cubs in Chicago back in Late April. The Cubs are 43-60, in fourth place, 20 games behind the Reds. The Dodgers have to start beating these bad teams, but if the guys don’t start hitting, then it won’t matter much. You have to score runs to win games. So can we please, please, please not lose to the Cubs at home? Check in with us after the game to check out our detailed recap of the game. Seriously, please win Dodgers. I’m not asking too much here am I? I didn’t think so. Go Blue.