Dodgers Turn to Chris Capuano on Short Rest For Sunday’s Finale in San Diego


Chris Capuano (2-4, 4.62) vs. Andrew Cashner (5-3, 3.56)

Dodgers Lineup:

Schumaker 7Puig 9Gonzalez 3Ramirez 6Ethier 8Uribe 5Punto 4Federowicz 2Capuano 1

The Dodgers have had some great starts from their pitchers of late, but the offense has rarely kept pace. Saturday night saw a win for the Dodgers behind a dominant eight-inning one-run start by Zack Greinke in San Diego. Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez were igniting early Fourth of July fireworks with two massive solo homeruns, and the Dodgers also took advantage of the two errors from the San Diego defense and the plethora of walks allowed by Edinson Volquez. The Dodgers defense on the other hand was pretty solid, and there was not one Blue error on the night.

Chris Capuano volunteered to start on three days rest. Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers were in a bind as to who was going to start the series finale on Sunday afternoon. Matt Magill hit the minor league seven-day disabled list, and has been serving up walks like nobody’s business during his time up with the big club. Capuano hasn’t pitched on three days rest since 2005 which was before his two Tommy John surgeries. The last pitcher to start for the Dodgers on three days rest was Chad Billingsley back on July 31, 2010. Bills pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings against the Giants. Capuano is only making his second start since returning from the disabled list, and will most likely be on a pitch count. This means that the Dodgers bullpen will have to put in some work to our dismay.

In New York on Wednesday, Cappy picked up the win after pitching 6 shutout innings and only allowing 3 Yankee hits. He also struck out 4 while walking none. Capuano faced the Padres in April when he was delegated to the bullpen during that first of the season. He did allow a disastrous 5 runs on 5 hits to the Padres over 2 innings of relief back on April 16th. Capuano is 5-5 with a 3.88 ERA against the Padres in his career.

The Padres will counter with flame thrower Andrew Cashner. Last time out against San Francisco, Cashner allowed 3 runs on a season-high 10 hits in the no-decision. We’ve seen Cashner come in and throw 100-mph in relief before, but this will be his first career start against the Dodgers. He is 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA and 14 strikeouts over 12 innings pitched against the Dodgers in his career. Cashner is supposedly averaging around 94 mph with his fastball this season which has decreased since we saw him hurl those 100 mph heaters last season.

San Diego slipped to third place in the N.L. West after the loss to the Dodgers on Saturday, but the Dodgers are still

Andrew Cashner will make his first career start against the Dodgers on Sunday.

way back in last place and 9 1/2 back of Arizona who is in first. The Dodgers will need to string some wins together in order to hopefully scratch and claw their way out of the hole they have dug for themselves.

Injury updates:

Ted Lilly threw a bullpen session on Saturday and reported no issues with his rusty neck. Lilly will throw some more bullpen sessions, and then he will go on a rehab assignment before potentially being activated.

Matt Kemp made a rehab start Saturday night with the Albuquerque Isotopes. He was their designated hitter, and he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

Scott Van Slyke also played in the same rehab game, and he went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and two throwing errors at first base.

I’m not impressed, but the two will play in another couple rehab games for Albuquerque.

The Dodgers offense has had some flashes of spark recently, but until the Dodger bullpen is able to hold a lead then each game will be very touch and go. I’m somewhat nervous about Cappy starting on three days rest, and I hope this won’t cause another injury to the lefty. The last thing we need is another disability stint from a starter. The bullpen will need to step up if the Dodgers hope to split this series.

Vin Scully will be back on Sunday on KCAL to announce the 1:10 p.m. game. Let’s go Blue!