Dodgers Hope To Start May On A Winning Note
By Scott Andes
Dodgers Lineup vs. ColoradoPunto 4Hanley 6Gonzalez 3Kemp 8Ethier 9A.J. Ellis 2Schumaker 7Uribe 5Beckett 1
Juan Nicasio-3-0 vs. Josh Beckett-0-3
Last night’s Dodger 6-2 win was a feel good game, and a breath of fresh air. It was a welcome reprieve from all of the injuries and losing during the month of April. Despite all of the adversity the Dodgers somehow managed to wiggle out of April with a non-losing record. The Dodgers finished April with a .500 record of 13-13 and are hoping to make a push for first place in May.
Of course in order to do that they’ll need guys to stay healthy, and well that’s just not happening. We learned that Ted Lilly received a cortisone injection in his rusty back, and is still probable for his next start. We all should know by now that if Lilly has any sort of stiffness or discomfort in his back/neck/shoulder that he should not be allowed to start. Apparently Lilly wasn’t exactly forthcoming about his recent rustiness, and the results speak for themselves. Lilly can be an effective pitcher when he is healthy and non-rusty. We saw that during the start with the Mets. But when his rustiness starts plaguing him then he gets lit up like a Christmas tree. He needs to be watched.
Can Josh Beckett turn his season around-Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Carl Crawford remains sidelined with a tight hamstring which began bothering him before last night’s game. I am assuming the Dodgers will keep him out another day for precautionary reasons, with an off-day tomorrow before the team flies out for a series at the lion’s den(San Francisco). Crawford’s injury isn’t considered serious.
I also don’t expect for Mark Ellis to be in the lineup today either. He continues to be unavailable due to a sore quad. I don’t know why the Dodgers just don’t DL him, if they think it’s this serious. Otherwise he remains in limbo, just sitting on the bench with no further timetable of when he will return. It’s very frustrating. Let’s see if we hear any kind of update before the game tonight. Now that Hanley is back, and Monday’s travesty of a game is well behind us in the rear view, we focus on the task at hand here, which is winning this series from Colorado. The pitching match-up will feature one undefeated pitcher, going up against another winless pitcher.
The Rockies won’t make it easy I tell you that. So in order to further that, they will send Juan Nicasio to the mound against the Boys in Blue. Nicasio has been a somewhat familiar thorn in their side. The right hander has gotten off to a good start, or so it would seem. His shiny 3-0 record looks nice, but we know to look beyond that. In five starts he has a 4.62 ERA, and only 14 whiffs against 13 walks. He’s had trouble missing bats, but the high flying Colorado offense has helped him out. He’s been somewhat effective against the Dodgers. A 1-2 record in five starts with a 4.97 ERA. However he has whiffed 23 and walked only 6 in his 25 frames against the Dodgers. At Dodger Stadium he is 0-1 with a 4.26 ERA in two starts. The Dodgers have hit him hard in the past. The Boys in Blue are batting .429 (21 for 49) against Nicasio, with three home runs, and a 1.145 OPS. Andre Ethier is batting .637 (7 for 11) with a home run. Matt Kemp is hitting .364 (4 for 11) off of Nicasio, with two home runs. Hanley Ramirez is 2 for 3 against the Dominican right hander.
Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Juan Nicasio reacts after giving up a home run in the fifth inning against the New York Mets at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The Dodgers will counter with veteran Josh Beckett. The 32 year old right hander has not been very effective if at all this season. He is 0-3 with a 4.75 ERA. He does have a good strikeout to walk line of 25/8, but his 33 hits allowed and eight home runs don’t bode well for him. Beckett has pitched well against Colorado over the years. He is 5-2 against Colorado with a 3.70 ERA in eight starts. The Rockies are hitting .303 (20 for 66) with a home run off of Beckett. The man to watch out for is not Cargo, or Helton, or Mullet, it’s actually Yorvit Torrealba. The catcher has hit .375 (6 for 16) off of Beckett. Michael Cuddyer has hit the only home run.
I am just hoping that there are no more injuries before the game starts. I am going to grab some lunch and when I return I better not see any injury news. The way things have been going for the Dodgers, they better lock Kemp and Gonzalez in a closet until game time. Or wrap them in bubble tape. Anyways, Stacie will provide all of the coverage tonight as the Dodgers look to start May off on a winning note. Game time starts at 7:10 PM and televised on Prime Ticket. As always join us over here after the game for our postgame recap and analysis. Go Blue.