Dodgers-Cardinals Game 3: Clayton, Please


Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

At the risk of sounding old timey, this game what aces were made for. A 3 game losing streak throwing out your 3 worst pitchers, it’s your aces turn to get your team back on track. This would normally feel like a sure win, if it were anytime except now, this season, against this opponent, at this particular point in the season.

You see, the Dodgers are just 9-14 in their last 23 games, most of the losing coming against the two teams they’ve very likely to see in the postseason. Mix in the fact that Clayton Kershaw has started the season off slowly, then throw in the fact that the Cardinals’ total devil magic that has created a mental block in the minds of most Dodger fans, and this series is set up for disaster (and it has been one up to this point).

But this is where things might shift, salvaging a split with that forsaken franchise begins with an otherworldly start from the game’s best pitcher trying to right the ship of his early season troubles. You’ll note that in the past 14 innings he’s allowed only 2 runs and struck out 17 batters. If that’s not a sample size to believe in then I don’t know what to tell you. It’s going to be tough with the lineup the Cardinals are throwing out there, but if there’s a silver lining, it’s the starter the Cardinals are running out there.

Jaime Garcia used to be very good in the early part of this decade, averaging 3 fWAR per season from 2010-2012, but looks to be a guy who sustained too many terrible injuries to regain his form, he underwent labrum surgery in 2013 (his second serious injury to his left arm). Then last year, he was lost to the infamous Thoracic Outlet Syndrome surgery that maybe spawned Josh Beckett‘s career resurgence. So he’s only thrown 118.3 innings since 2013, which makes it surprising that his velocity has actually increased in recent years.

Anyways, help is on the way, Yasiel Puig might be ready today or tomorrow, Hector Olivera is getting up to speed, whatever has plagued Scott Van Slyke is healing, Corey Seager is adjusting to AAA pitching and the calls for him are getting louder by more people, and Carl Crawford might eventually be ready! (even if he might not be one of the 3 best options in LF). The Dodgers are improbably in 1st place and that’s all that really matters, not figuring out the Cardinals, ending the streak of mediocrity is the priority, not the enigma that is their record against teams that are over .500.

Lineups: TBD