Clayton Kershaw continued his brilliant 2014 season by beating up on the Padres again on Monday night. Kershaw has battered the N.L. West this season. He is 10-1 against the division, and after Monday’s drubbing, he is 3-0 against San Diego this year. I’m really not sure how Kershaw picked up those three losses, but he is on his way to possibly a 20-win season en route to the Cy Young Award and M.V.P.
The Dodgers could help Kershaw’s cause more like they did on Monday night. The offense was aggressive, and they pounced all over Despaigne. Hanley Ramirez, whose time is now to shine, came away with a four-hit night. Hanley, who will be a free agent this winter, needs to have a big September and October in order to garner a deal to his liking. There’s nothing more dangerous in a lineup than a healthy Hanley Ramirez. The Dodgers needs him to heat up and stay hot in order to win a championship.
Sep 8, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Carl Crawford (3) and second baseman Dee Gordon (9) high five after defeating the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Kemp‘s rise from the ashes year has really boosted this team all season long. Kemp, who had to adjust to right field mid-season, has finally proven that he could be a healthy and productive player once again. It took two long years, but Bison Blasts have returned to Dodger Stadium. Once again, the Dodgers need Matt Kemp to win it all.
Before the Dodgers clash with the second-place Giants this upcoming weekend, they still have two more games left against the Padres. It’s the perfect time to rack up a win streak and widen the gap in the standings. A division win would certainly be an easier route than via Wild Card. I’m not sure my heart could handle watching the Dodgers play a one-game Wild Card elimination game.
My heart was happy after the win on Monday. That win recharged me. I’m ready for the Dodgers to sweep San Diego and go on a late-season tear.
Remember when the Dodgers could not win four in a row? Now if they could just hit that elusive grand slam…
Roberto Hernandez will try to channel his inner Kershaw on Tuesday night against the Friars. Hernandez is 2-2 with a 4.62 ERA in 5 starts with the Dodgers since being traded from Philadelphia. Fuasto..er I mean Roberto is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA against the Padres this season. Overall, he is 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA in 2 career starts against SD. He lost last time out against Washington after allowing 5 runs on 5 hits in 4 1/3 innings. He allowed 4 homeruns in the game. Alexi Amarista has hit a homerun against him, and Seth Smith has 4 hits against him in 8 at-bats.
Call to the Pen
Andrew Cashner, who will celebrate his 28th birthday on 9/11 this Thursday, has pitched better than what his 2-7 record indicates. In 15 starts, Cashner has only allowed 3 homeruns. Cashner has faced the Dodgers two times prior this season, but he wasn’t involved in either decision. The right-hander is still looking for his first win against the Dodgers. He is 0-2 with a 1.37 ERA against them in 16 games (5 starts). The Dodgers primarily have faced the flame thrower when he was working out of the bullpen. His two wins came back in April before he was sidelined with a shoulder injury. In his last start versus Arizona, he came away with the loss after allowing 4 runs on 5 hits through 7 innings. Juan Uribe has had luck against him, and he has 5 hits in 12 plate appearances against Cashner.
Prediction: Hanley continues to be red hot, and he hits a huge homerun.
The Giants take on Arizona Tuesday night, so the Dodgers need to make sure they don’t let San Francisco sneak up on them before the two teams fight it out at AT&T Park this weekend. If the Dodgers can gain another game or two on the Giants in the standings, the six games the Dodgers have yet to play against the Giants won’t be so critical.
Even though the Dodger offense was aggressive on Monday night, the defense still is a concern. The three-error play was one of the worst Major League plays I have seen. Luckily the three-way error didn’t factor into the game since the Dodgers had such a big lead, but they really need to shore this up before they take on Washington or Milwaukee in the playoffs. There’s no room for error, or three errors, when you are playing in October.