The Dodgers fly into Milwaukee having won five of their last six games. Although those were all at home, in which the club is 13-2. On the road however, the club has a 3-6 record. Overall the Dodgers are flying high. They’re in first place with a 16-8 record, and have a three game lead over second place San Diego. The boys in blue will begin a four game series in Beer land which kicks off a seven game road trip. After the series with Milwaukee the Dodgers will play the weekend at Colorado before coming back home.
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As Hyun-jin Ryu, Yasiel Puig, and Kenley Jansen all work towards rehabbing their current injuries, and a return to the big club, the Dodgers have designated for assignment starting pitcher Scott Baker.
The veteran swingman made just two starts for the Dodgers before he was designated. One was a decent-esque start in San Diego, the other was a horrible start at Dodger Stadium. Overall Baker allowed seven earned runs on eleven hits in eleven innings pitched. He posted a 5.73 ERA, and whiffed eight batters.
Dodgers Lineup @ Milwaukee
Van Slyke LF
Game Time – 4:20 PM
The Dodgers cleared 40-man room so that they could acquire minor league infielder Andy Wilkins. In the meantime in regards to the rotation the Dodgers will be using Carlos Frias, and we’ll have to wait and see who they choose for the fifth spot in the rotation. They still have Joe Wieland and Mike Bolsinger in the minors. Fortunately Ryu is on the mend, and is expected back sometime this month.
Talk about two clubs going in different directions. The Brewers have been going straight down. They’ve gotten off to a 7-18 start, and are 3-10 at Miller Park. They currently sit in last place in the NL Central, and just canned their manager Ron Roenicke. In his place they have hired former Dodger player, and former Brewer Craig Counsell. The 44-year old played 50 games for the Dodgers back in 1999, and batted .259 in 122 plate appearances. Counsell played in MLB for 16 seasons which included six with Milwaukee.
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
The Brewers also have had their fare share of injuries as well. They lost star catcher Jonathan Lucroy for weeks with a fractured toe, and also lost outfielder Carlos Gomez to injury for most of the beginning of the season. Although Gomez was just activated from the disabled list (Hamstring) two days ago. Other players have just given them poor performances up until this point, including starter Kyle Lohse. Apparently third baseman Aramis Ramirez is also dealing with a hamstring injury, and may not be in the starting lineup. Although he did play on Sunday, and homered in the Brewer’s win at Chicago. Also note that Jean Segura, the Brewer’s shortstop was hit in the head by a pitch on Sunday, and was removed from the game. He may or may not be in the starting lineup, because apparently he was battling nausea.
Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell (right) is greeted by television announcer Bill Schroeder (left) after Counsell was named the team’s manager at a press conference before game against the Dodgers. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Tonight will see Kershaw, countering Lohse in the series opener. Kershaw has gotten off to a very un-Kershaw like start. He is 1-2 with a 3.73 ERA in his first five starts to the 2015 season. He just has looked out of sorts. Of course he’s still Clayton Kershaw, so out of sorts for him means 43 strikeouts against seven walks. But he’s allowed 32 hits in 31 frames, and given up four home runs already. His last start against the Giants was a loss in which he allowed two runs on seven hits in seven innings. Unfortunately the Dodgers got shutdown by Madison Bumgarner.
Kershaw is 5-4 with a 3.10 ERA in ten games against the Brewers. Kershaw is undefeated at Miller Park, posting a 4-0 record, and a 0.87 ERA in four starts. He’s allowed just three earned runs at Milwaukee lifetime.
The current Brewers are hitting .278 (35 for 126) with two home runs against Kershaw. Gomez is batting .353 (6 for 17) with a home run versus Kershaw. Former Dback Gerado Parra is 9 for 26 (.346), and fallen star Ryan Braun is batting .333 (10 for 30) with a home run versus the ace southpaw.
Milwaukee will counter with veteran right hander Kyle Lohse. He’s been pitching in the majors for 15 seasons. The 36-year old first came up in 2001 with Minnesota.
Lohse has gotten off to a terrible start. He is 1-4 with a 7.28 ERA. In 29.2 innings pitched he’s allowed eight home runs with 34 hits. The Reds hit him hard in his last start, (4 ER 7H) and he has allowed two earned runs or less in only one of his starts this year. Against the Dodgers Lohse is a career 2-4 with a 4.35 ERA in 12 games. At Miller Park, Lohse is 14-12 with a 3.91 ERA.
The Dodgers are currently hitting .238 (33 for 138) against Loshe, with four home runs, and 13 runs driven in. Adrian Gonzalez is hitting .385 (10 for 26) with two of the four home runs. Jimmy Rollins has hit the other two long balls, and has nine hits against Lohse.
While the Brewers are distracted announcing their new manager to the home crowd, hopefully the Dodgers can sneak in and out of town with three or four wins. I prefer four wins, but you know I would take three of four. I am sure you would too. Since the Dodgers are in beer country, let’s down a cold one.
New game- Every time Kershaw strikes out a batter, you must chug a beer.
Stat of the day – Adrian Gonzalez is batting .409 (39 for 96) with nine home runs in 112 plate appearances at Miler Park. He is also batting .346 in his career against the Brewers.
Also remember what Kershaw did the last time he was at Milwaukee. He did this…..
I’ll take one of those with a side of shutout ball please. Don’t miss the action on the field at 4:20 PM, and then catch the action over here with our recap of the game.