Can The Dodgers Field A Competitive Lineup Against Giants Tonight?


Dodgers Lineup vs. Giants

Crawford 7Hairston 3Kemp 8Ethier 9AJ.Ellis 2Schumaker 4Uribe 5Gordon 6Magill 1

Matt Magill-0-0 vs. Ryan Vogelsong-1-2

(Apparently Gonzalez is ok despite being seen wearing a neck brace in the clubhouse. Crawford makes his return tonight as well. Thank god. And the Dodgers make it official, Hanley to DL, and Dee Gordon called up. Gordon is in the lineup batting eighth. Thank god we’ll see some semblance of a competitive lineup. At least for the moment.)

Can the Dodgers even field a competitive lineup tonight for the second game of their three game series against San Francisco at phony book park? That is the question we ask ourselves tonight as we enter game number 29 on the season. The answer is no. No, they can’t field a competitive lineup tonight, and if you can’t do that you won’t win many ballgames, or any at all.

The Dodgers are besieged with injuries. We expect for Hanley Ramirez to be placed on the DL today, and the Dodgers to call up someone from the minors. However no official announcement has been made by the club yet. As Kenny Shulsen explained very well in his article last night, the Dodgers could use a spark at the top of the lineup, and with Hanley, out, and Crawford unable to play in his usual lead-off spot, the Dodgers could greatly benefit from some speed on the roster. As I’ve pointed out before, the Dodgers are the worst and least aggressive base running team in all of Baseball.

Can the rookie magill pick the Dodgers up tongiht?-Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Hanley injured his hamstring while running from first to third on an A.J. Ellis base-hit. I’ve seen some people criticize his decision to take that extra base, but I don’t agree with that. I love the decision to run in that spot there. The Dodgers need to start being more aggressive on the base paths. Hanley slid into third, and then came up lame, and had to be helped off the field. What a disaster.

Anyways, with Hanley’s pulled hamstring, and Adrian Gonzalez’s sore neck, the Dodgers are in a lot of trouble. Gonzalez was seen wearing a neck brace in the clubhouse, and reportedly wasn’t able to move his neck the night before. So I doubt he’ll be in the lineup tonight. Another Dodger that is ailing but not seriously enough to be placed on the disabled list right away is second baseman Mark Ellis. He is recovering from a sore quad muscle. According to the Dodgers, if he isn’t ready to play by Monday, then he probably will be placed on the DL.

Here’s the problem, if you keep playing with a short bench, then you are asking for trouble. It’s just stupid. There really is no reason at this point to not be calling up Dee Gordon, or even someone like Elian Herrera. Gordon’s speed can at least be an asset to the offense. Hey it’s not like the Dodgers can get any worse on defense. The club ranks 27 out of the 30 teams in total team defense. So it’s not like Gordon’s defense could make them any worse. Herrera is a switch-hitter that can play anywhere. There is no reason for those guys to be languishing in Albuquerque. It’s time to make a move.

Carl Crawford is still day-to-day to with a tight hamstring, but at least he pinch-hit last night, so maybe we’ll see him in the lineup tonight. Note I said maybe.

Well, I guess it doesn’t matter who is on the mound tonight. But the Dodgers are hoping that somehow rookie Matt Magill making his first start against the Giants ever, can lift their spirits. But can the 23 year old rookie shoulder the load? Now that the Dodgers placed Ted Lily on the DL, we know that Magill isn’t going anywhere for a while, even if Chris Capuano is returning on Monday, they’ll still need Magill to cover Lilly’s spot until either he comes back, or Zack Greinke does, which won’t be for a while.

In his first start against Milwaukee, Magill pitched 6.2 effective frames, allowing just two runs, on four hits, and whiffing seven. He didn’t get the win, but showed his tenacity on the mound. The kid will have to work on his command, and keep developing his secondary pitches. The Royal High graduate is mostly a fastball, changeup, slider guy.

Matt Magill-Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants will send Ryan Vogelsong to the mound to counter. The right hander has struggled this season, posting a 6.23 ERA, in five starts. He is 1-2 and has allowed seven home runs. The Dodgers have only hit .234 (26 for 111) with one home run off of Vogelsong in the past. Matt Kemp is hitting .294 (5 for 17) with a home run and triple, and Andre Ethier is 4 for 13 (.308) with a double. Of course Mark Ellis is batting .313 against Vogelsong, but alas, he is unavailable to play. Vogelsong has reached the sixth inning or later in only three of his five starts this season. He was bombed for five earned runs in his last outing against San Diego. Career against the Dodgers, Vogelsong is 4-3 with a 3.19 ERA and 41 whiffs.

Bill Shakin is reporting that Dee Gordon is already on his way to San Francisco, but again no official word from the team yet.

We can’t stick our heads in the sand any longer. Nor can we ignore the realities of what’s going on. The Dodgers can’t win ballgames if they don’t field competitive lineups, and right now they are unable to do that because of all the injuries. Crawford, Mark Ellis, and Gonzalez are the entire offense, and they’re all hurt.

I don’t expect the Dodgers to win any of these games in San Francisco, but I hope I’m wrong. You can’t win when half of the lineup is out hurt.

Tonight’s game will be on Prime Ticket with a start time of 6:05 PM. Vin Scully will have the call, and Stacie will have the recap. And I’ll be leading the prayer vigil on Twitter tonight, because divine intervention may be the only thing that can save the Dodgers this season.