Dodgers Seek Sunnier Days in Cincinnati
The Dodgers barely survived Coors Field over the weekend while losing Dee Gordon and Yasiel Puig on Saturday with hip injuries. A rain shortened Sunday evening series finale gave Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers a 6-1 win over the Rockies in 6 innings. The abbreviated game wasn’t exactly a bad thing for the Dodgers whose bullpen could always use a night off. Less innings at Curse Field also means less chance of further injuries. There was less baseball than scheduled on Sunday night, but the Dodgers still showed up with a triple from Matt Kemp and a monster homerun by Hanley Ramirez. I’m not kidding when I say that Hanley’s homerun was the biggest Dodger homerun I have seen in quite awhile.
Hanley still has all the talent in the world, and hopefully his bat is coming around now. Adrian Gonzalez continues to struggle with a
Adrian Gonzalez is in a career-worst slump. Photo: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
uncharacteristic slump. His .247 batting average is quite concerning. In fact, Adrian has not had a hit since Monday, June 2nd versus the White Sox. Even though the Dodgers’ second string players like Jamie Romak and Miguel Rojas got a start and each collected their first MLB hit on Sunday, don’t expect either of them to stick around for long. Hopefully. The Dodgers always seem to score plenty of runs (6 in Sunday’s game) when Don Mattingly puts out the worst possible minor league filled lineup he can.
Dan Haren (5-4, 3.50) vs. Tony Cingrani (2-6, 4.09)
Van Slyke CF
Even with the win on Sunday, the Dodgers still need to get their so-called butter and eggs from Gonzo and the middle of the order. At 9 1/2 games back of the Giants in the N.L. West, the Dodgers have a lot of work to be done. They can’t rely on weather delays and Jorge De La Rosa rainy day meltdowns to swing the games in their favor. The Dodgers need to get healthy and get aggressive in their pursuit of the division. There may not be another historic winning streak this season.
Dan Haren has progressively pitched worse and worse this season. He’s by no means terrible, and he has pitched admirably as the fifth starter this
The Dodgers have never had a hit against lefty Tony Cingrani. Photo: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
season for the Dodgers. A bout of back stiffness has seemingly turned his 4-0 start to the season into a 1-4 skid. The homeruns he has allowed has increased recently, so he’ll have to be very careful in the Great American Ball Park. The Dodgers have lost the last four starts Dan Haren has made. Haren allowed 4 runs on 6 hits over 6 innings in his latest loss to the White Sox. Haren is 3-3 with a 4.95 ERA in 8 career games (7 starts) against Cincinnati. He is 1-2 with a 6.08 ERA in 23 2/3 innings pitched at the Great American Ball Park. Brandon Phillips has 6 hits including 2 homeruns against Haren in 18 at-bats. Ryan Ludwick and Zack Cozart have also hit 2 homeruns each off Haren as well.
The young left-handed Tony Cingrani has only faced the Dodgers once in a start last July. He has no record against and a 0.00 ERA against Los Angeles since he pitched 7 shutout innings against the Dodgers in that one start. He allowed just one hit and struck out 11 Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. This time the Dodgers will have to battle the southpaw on his own turf. Like Haren, Cingrani hasn’t won in awhile. He has lost his last four starts, and the Reds have lost the last 5 games Cingrani has started. Last time out versus the first-place Giants, Cingrani allowed 3 runs on 6 hits over 5 2/3 innings. None of the Dodgers have a hit against Cingrani, and many have yet to face him for the first time.
The Dodgers have not been able to hit lefties at all this season. This has been one of the glaring weaknesses of this team in 2014. In fact the Dodgers are dead last in the league in fifteenth place for team batting average versus left-handed pitching with a .208 batting average.
Prediction: Hanley Ramirez goes haywire in Cincy with a multi-hit game.
Monday’s series opener will commence at 4:10 p.m. PT. Can the Dodgers string together any sort of winning streak? Will Adrian Gonzalez break out of this awful slump and finally get a hit in what has been a week of being shut out?
The Dodgers are not exactly in a great spot right now, and hopefully they can get healthy sooner rather than later. The season forges on whether you are on the D.L. or active. The Dodgers need to get very active in the winning department.