Dodgers Pirates Game 1 Preview

dbeattie
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Hi everyone, Alex is away this weekend so your stuck with me.

As the regular season continues to count down, the Dodgers continue their home stand against the Pirates. The Pirates come in off a series win against the rival Cubs, at the cost however of one Jung Ho Kang who is lost for the season with a knee injury. Meanwhile, the Dodgers also coming off a series win, activated Howie Kendrick this morning which will certainly be a boost in the clubhouse.

For the Pirates, they send young lefty Jeff Locke to the mound. Not a particularly hard thrower, Locke has put together an 8-10 record with a 4.43 ERA in 28 starts. He has struck out 120 and has a WHIP of 1.41 on the year. Locke has struggled mightily when pitching away from PNC Park compiling a 5.96 ERA and 1.59 WHIP.

The Dodgers counter with Cy Young favourite, Zack Grienke who has put together a career year for the Dodgers. On the year, Grienke is 17-3 with an ERA of just 1.61. Grienke has struck out 182 and has a miniscule WHIP of 0.85. Grienke has been even better at home, compiling an ERA of 1.41 at Dodger Stadium. Grienke has a tough act to follow after Alex Wood‘s 8 innings of one hit ball against the Rockies.

The Dodgers again go with another interesting line up tonight.

Dodgers lineup:
Ruggiano LF
Utley 2B
Turner 3B
Gonzalez 1B
Ellis C
Seager SS
Heisey RF
Pederson CF
Greinke P

Ruggiano leads off and will look to continue his hot start to his Dodgers career in a favorable match up against the Pirates lefty. Despite not being your typical leadoff hitter, Ruggiano has done well and that role and could be a real sparkplug for tonight’s offense. Notably, Howie Kendrick doesn’t get the start against the left hander, with Chase Utley manning 2nd. It looks to me like Kendrick is close enough to be activated but will get another couple of days rest to be safe. Whilst on the issue of injuries, baby faced prodigy Corey Seager continues to play short while Jimmy Rollins recovers from a jammed knuckle. Don Mattingly recently announced that Rollins is ready to run and pinch hit but is still getting pain when throwing.

Ellis gets the start over the ailing Grandal (left shoulder) and looks to continue his second half resurgence. He homered against the Rockies on Wednesday. Finally, Heisey again starts against the lefty tonight. He hasn’t been good this year (.167 BA) and I don’t see him even being under consideration for the postseason which makes his continued playing time appear odd to me.

First pitch is at 7:10, GO DODGERS!

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