Josh Beckett Begins Rebound Campaign Tonight In Rubber Game


Dodgers Lineup vs. Giants

Crawford 7Schumaker 4Kemp 8Gonzalez 3Ethier 9Cruz 5Uribe 6A.J. Ellis 2Beckett 1

Tim Lincecum vs. Josh Beckett

The Dodgers look to recover from their first loss of the season in last night’s ohferfest against Madison Bumgarner. It won’t get any easier for the boys in blue as they’ll have to face former Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum. Hopefully they got all of their ohfers out of their system last night, and will actually ya know, swing the bats this time.

Can Beckett rebound from last year’s mediocrity?-Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight’s match-up will feature two pitchers who are looking to rebound from somewhat disappointing 2012 seasons.

Lincecum has been tough on the Dodgers in the past, but ultimately hittable in some starts. He had a very poor year last season, actually it was his career worst. He was 10-15 and posted a 5.18 ERA, with 90 walks and 190 whiffs. His walk rate was a career high 4.4 which seems to be Timmy’s undoing. However he still has decent strikeout stuff, and posted a 9.2 whiff per nine rate last season.

In his career against the Dodgers Lincecum is 7-5 with a 2.81 ERA, and 120 whiffs in 118 frames. He’s been decent at Dodger Stadium, with a 3-4 record, and a 3.58 ERA.

Historically the Dodgers have been unable to hit Lincecum, except for last season when they were able to finally find a chink in his armor. All total, the current Dodgers have posted a slash line of .218/.306/.292, (47 for 216) with a .598 OPS.  A few Dodgers have hit Timmy well. Oddly enough, Skip Schumaker is batting .304 (7 for 23) with one home run, and one double against Lincecum. Mark Ellis is 5 for 15 (.333) with one extra base-hit. Andre Ethier is .279 (3 for 12) with two home runs, and six RBI. The bad? Matt Kemp is batting .214 ( 9 for 42) off of Lincecum. Adrian Gonzalez is even worse, hitting only a paltry .190 (8 for 42) with 16 whiffs. And A.J. Ellis is 0 for 9 against the long haired freak, who is now a short haired freak after cutting his hair.

The Dodgers will counter with right hander Josh Beckett. The former Cy Young runner-up has had success in the past against the Giants. Most of it back in his Florida Marlins days. Beckett is 4-4 in his career against the hated ones, posting a 3.68 ERA, with 36 whiffs and 16 walks, in 42 frames. Beckett has pitched well at Dodger Stadium, going 3-0 with a 1.68 ERA in five starts, and posting a very impressive 33/11 whiffs/walk line.

While Beckett has had success against the Giants in the past, of course these current groups of Giants have hit him well, according to the numbers. The current group have hit .298 (17 for 57) with a .365 OBP. Marco Scutaro is batting .400 (6 for 15) with a triple, and Hunter Pence (6 for 14) against Beckett. None of the Giants have hit a home run off of Beckett.

Don Mattingly shakes up the lineup up a bit, and I am very curious to see how it works out. Skip Schumaker is at second base, and Juan Uribe makes his first start of the season at third base. Luis Cruz slides over to shortstop, and Carl Crawford is back in the lineup in the lead-off spot. I find this interesting considering that Mattingly continually said last night that Justin Sellers is still his starting shortstop and then here he is on the bench. I can’t believe I am writing this but I am actually not upset to see Uribe in the lineup. At least we can figure he won’t make any bumbling errors or throws. He’ll go 0 for 4 but at least it’s a clean 0 for 4 with out any fielding gaffes. We’ll see how this lineup fares against Lincecum tonight.

Tonight’s rubber game is televised on KCAL 9, and begins at 7:05 PM. Join us later tonight for a complete recap after the game, and our usual unique brand of twitter commentary and humor during the game. Go Blue.