Dodgers Look to Break Out Offensively Behind Chris Capuano


Chris Capuano (11-10, 3.59) vs. Joe Kelly (5-6, 3.51)

Dodgers Lineup: vs. Cardinals

Victorino 7Ethier 9Kemp 8Gonzalez 3Ramirez 6Cruz 5Punto 4Ellis 2Capuano 1

The Dodgers haven’t won since last Saturday. They’ve dropped four games in a row, and the Cardinals are looking to run them right out of the Wild Card race by capturing this series win in Los Angeles. Much like the movie Groundhog’s Day, every day seems to result in the same Dodger game over and over again. If they manage to score, their one to two runs is off four to five hits. They cannot hold a lead for long, and their bats seem to shut down completely as the game progresses with no hope of coming back in late innings. Yesterday they scored early in the first inning, but they weren’t able to do anything much thereafter to being home base runners. Once again Don Mattingly left a pitcher in a game just too long, and once again the opposition took advantage. Yet the problem cannot be attributed to the pitching. The pitching staff cannot reasonably be asked to pitch scoreless ball all of the time. Without runs you can’t win. It’s pretty simple, really. The Cardinals were able to squeak in that one extra run to come out on top. The Dodger lineup hasn’t been able to rise to the occasion during this final September push. When Don Mattingly is asked why they have floundered offensively, he responds with “I don’t know.” If our manager doesn’t even know the root of the problem, then how can the players fix the issues? This is Mattingly’s first pennant race, and so far he has failed to rally this talented lineup down the stretch. Sure, the team has gone through a lot of flux with the myriad of trades, but there’s no excuse for the absolute lack of any offense whatsoever. Even bad teams score runs sometimes. Heck, the Houston Astros scored six runs in their win over Philadelphia last night. The Dodgers haven’t scored six runs or more since August 29th in Colorado.

August 28, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Chris Capuano (32) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

Chris Capuano has struggled over the second half, but in his last two starts he has pitched well. Unfortunately for Cappy, the Dodgers total lack of visible offense only left him with two consecutive no-decisions. Last time out against the Giants, Cappy pitched 7 solid innings allowing 2 earned runs on 5 hits. Capuano hasn’t fared well in the past against the Red Birds. He is 5-6 with a 5.70 ERA in his career against St. Louis. He’ll have to fend off Allen Craig who has hit a homerun against the southpaw in the past, but most of the current Cardinal lineup haven’t had many at bats against Chris. Capuano will be vying for his 12th win of the season as he looks to finish out his first season with the Dodgers on a strong note.

Joe Kelly, who is from Anaheim, will be going to the mound for St. Louis tonight for his first start at Dodger Stadium. Last time out

Joe Kelly makes his homecoming in his first start at Dodger Stadium. Photo: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

against Milwaukee, the right-hander wasn’t involved in the decision after pitching 6 innings and allowing 2 runs on 5 hits. We saw Kelly when the Dodgers visited the steaming hot St. Louis back in July. Kelly took the loss after allowing 2 runs on 4 hits over 6 innings against the Dodgers which was his first and only time facing the team. Most of the team, since many of them have been acquired after the St. Louis series in July, haven’t faced Kelly before.

The dodgers, who seem to be in a downward spiral, have now lost 7 of their last 8 games. They sit two games back of the Cardinals for that coveted second Wild Card slot.

The 7:10 pm game will be televised on Prime Ticket. Stick around for our postgame summary and analysis.