Yesterday was fun. The Dodgers should do that again.
Clayton Kershaw wasn’t at his best last night, but the Dodgers (mainly Enrique Hernandez) fared much better against Madison Bumgarner. The Giants’ defense helped the Dodgers a lot, and boy was it fun to see MadBum upset for most of the night. Reports are now coming out that Bumgarner pitched with a flu last night, which was his excuse after his first start in Milwaukee.
Tonight’s game features another rematch from last weekend in San Francisco, as Scott Kazmir and Johnny Cueto face off. Last Sunday, the Dodgers teed off on Cueto in the first inning by batting around and scoring five runs. The Giants chipped away and tied the game at six, and rode a three-run sixth inning to a victory in the finale.
Kazmir was excellent in his Dodger debut, but never got it going in his second start. I feel like he’ll find a middle ground for the remainder of the season, not shutting teams down, but also not getting lit up. He’ll probably give the Dodgers a quality start more often than not, and today would be a great opportunity for him to get back on track. Buster Posey, Brandon Belt and Angel Pagan each took Kazmir deep in Saturday’s contest and they will all be in the lineup today, so let’s just hope for better results this time around.
Cueto struggled hard in the first inning last Sunday and the Giants were warming a pitcher up with two outs in the first. However, he settled down and managed to give the Giants seven innings, six of which were very strong. He got the ball to the 1-2 punch of Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla, which gave the Giants the win.
Yasiel Puig sits for the first time this season. He didn’t look great at the plate yesterday and is 0-7 in his career against Cueto. Hernandez gets a rare start against a righty, and it’s good to see Joc Pederson back in the lineup after sitting in consecutive games against lefties.
In other less great news, Hyun-jin Ryu was scratched from his bullpen session. The positive is that it’s due to a groin injury and not an issue with his shoulder, but every missed bullpen is a longer delay in him returning to the rotation.
The Dodgers also signed reliever Joe Thatcher to a minor league deal. Bullpen depth is important, and the Dodgers have struggled at times to find the right bullpen combo. Chris Hatcher and Joe Blanton each threw perfect innings in last night’s game, but the bullpen is still a work in progress and Thatcher could give the Dodgers another lefty option if J.P. Howell and Adam Liberatore struggle.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 PST and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.