Dodgers Look To Give San Diego The Labor Day Blues
By Scott Andes
Dodgers Lineup vs. San DiegoM.Ellis 4Victorino 7Gonzalez 3Kemp 8Ramirez 6Ethier 9Cruz 5Ellis 2Blanton 1
Andrew Werner-1-1 vs. Joe Blanton-9-12
Yesterday afternoon, I think we all thought the Dodgers were dead. Be honest didn’t you? I know I did. I was already starting to curse as I prepared my inevitable loss cap. As the Dodgers trailed by a run in the bottom of the ninth, losing three of four to Arizona at home, would have been a big blow to the Dodger’s playoff chances. Then finally, the clouds cleared, and Adrian Gonzalez came through with a clutch hit. First Mark Ellis singled, then Shane Victorino drew a clutch walk, off of Arizona closer J.J. Putz. Finally Gonzalez came to the plate, after being ohfer-the last week. Gonzo delivered with a two-strike, two-run line drive double, that scored M.Ellis, and Victorino, and just like that within a blink of an eye, the Dodgers had life.
The walk-off win gave the Dodgers a series split with the snakes. They will go to San Francisco to play the first of their nine games remaining with the Giants. They owe us a couple of Giant poundings after they made our lives so miserable. I’m glad to see the Snakes go. Good riddance.
The Dodgers will welcome into town, the San Diego Padres for a three game set. You might not know this, but the Padres have one of the best records in the National League since the all-star break. That’s right. It seems some of their young prospects are starting to develop, and Chase Headley has turned into an all-star, and team leader. The Padres will be making their final trip to Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers have won 8 out of 12 against San Diego this season.
For Adrian Gonzalez, it will be bittersweet, as he goes up against his old team. Gonzalez played for the Padres from 2006-2010, and is also a San Diego native. This will be the first time he has played against the Padres since being traded to the Dodgers and rejoining the National League.
As for the pitching match-ups, The Padres will be giving the ball to noob lefty Andrew Werner. Honestly guys, I have no clue who this kid is. Apparently he is a 25 year old form Peoria, Illinois, who has a career 7.8 whiff per nine rate in the minors, and a 3.57 ERA. This is only his third Major League start. The first two were pretty solid, two six inning two-run efforts. Last start he whiffed seven Braves, and walked none On Tuesday night’s start. That’s pretty much all I can tell you about this kid, who is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA for the season. I am assuming he was called up because of expanded rosters.
The Dodgers will counter with righty Joe Blanton. The former Phillie has been downright awful, until his last start. Nick called him a garbage pitcher. Which is actually an accurate description, up until the last start in Colorado. In that outting, Blanton looked like a completely different pitcher, pitching into the eighth inning, and only allowing three runs at Coors Field. He had never even pitched into the seventh inning in any of his previous Dodger starts. On the season for the Blue he is still 1-3 with a 6.67 ERA. Don’t be fooled of course. One start does not mean that he’s ya know, good. We’ll need at least one more solid start to begin to think that he’s turned a corner. Because of the injury to Chad Billingsley, we have no choice but to start him.
Against the Padres, Blanton is 2-2 with a 4.63 ERA. Blanton has had mediocre success against the Padres. San Diego is hitting .274 (17 for 62), against Blanton, but get this, with no home runs. Chase Headley is only 3 for 6 with two doubles. Blanton wil have to keep a close eye on Cameron Maybin. The Center fielder has hit him hard, to a tune of .421, (8 for 19) with two doubles, and a triple. Blanton is 9-12 against the league.
Last night the Albuquerque Isotopes clinched their division title, and a playoff berth. Congratulations guys! Let’s hope the Dodgers follow suit. Today is Labor Day, and marks the three quarter mark of the Baseball season. Take a look at the NL wild card standings.
Atlanta 75-59 –
St. Louis 72-62 –
Dodgers 72-63 .5
Pittsburgh 70-63 1.5
Arizona 66-69 6.5
The Dodgers are only a half game back of the second wild card. That huge four game series with the Cardinals at Dodger Stadium looms later in the month. Is this walk-off win the spark that gets the Dodgers rolling?
Hopefully the Dodger’s talented lineup begins to gel, and they can put together some wins. There is only 27 games remaining in the season folks. We’re getting down to the nitty gritty here. Can the Dodgers pull it out? Remember, the Pirates are slumping, having just gotten swept by the Brewers. The Cardinals have lost their shortstop former Dodger Rafael Furcal (Hit Machine), for the rest of the season. Now is the time for the Dodgers to strike, and make a move. Buckle your safety belts Dodger fans, it’s going to be one WILD ride.
The Labor Day matinee first pitch is at 5:05PM. Tune in to Prime Ticket. Then check back over here after the game for our daily Dodger recap. We’ll be here to give you our opinion as we see it happen, through our eyes. No matter what the outcome is, whether the Dodgers win or lose, rain or shine. Have a safe and Happy Labor Day everybody! Go Blue.