Dodgers at Giants, 7:15PM PT, TV: SPNLA
The end of July is probably a little early to be declaring a series crucial, but this one feels important because the Giants and Dodgers have been trading first place between them for the past three weeks or so, with the largest margin no greater than the two games it was before the Giants lost to the Phillies yesterday. In light of that, the Dodgers set their rotation early; it will be their top three starters Greinke, Kershaw and Ryu to face the back end of the Giants’ rotation: Tim Lincecum, Ryan Vogelsong and Yusmeiro Petit.
Notes: Puig may start tonight. He took extra BP Wednesday. Ramirez is probably not going to start until later in the series, if at all. The Giants have won 7 of the 10 games the two ancient rivals have played so far this season. The Sunday game will be televised on ESPN at 8:07PM ET.
Lineup when available.
Pffft. Ramirez is starting and hitting cleanup, despite what I said above. I based that on his not taking any batting practice, unlike Puig. Thanks, Don!
Dodgers at Pirates, 4:05PM PT, TV: SPNLA
Hyun-Jin Ryu brings his 10-5, 3.44 ERA record to bear against the Buccos and Edinson Volquez, who threw a complete game his last start and is 8-6 with a 3.65 ERA on the year.
Ryu had better hope the Dodgers’ offense comes to life. They’ve scored 16 runs in their last eight games; it’s asking too much of the pitchers to hold the opposition to only one run. They may have to do without Yasiel Puig in the lineup and without Hanley Ramirez as well. Puig’s hand will be x-rayed today in Pittsburgh to see whether the original x-ray in St. Louis Saturday night correctly showed no structural damage. Ramirez was hit twice in yesterday’s game, but it’s the second one that’s worrisome: that got him on the hand.
Lineup when available.
Ayup. No Ramirez, no Puig. Thank you, St. Louis pitchers!
Padres at Dodgers, 1:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD
Hyun-Jin Ryu had a horrid start his last time out. Staked to a five-run lead against Justin Verlander and the Tigers, he promptly gave up that lead and two more runs besides in 2 1/3 innings. That performance was a shock, because he’s been so good this season. He’s lasted at least six innings in 13 of his 17 starts this year, going 9-5 with a 3.65 ERA.
He’ll face Tyson Ross, who’s 7-9 with a 2.93 ERA on the season. He’s gotten no help from his teammates — in four of his five June starts, Ross received just one run of support while he was on the mound and he took the loss in each. Ross is San Diego’s only All-Star Game representative, by the way.
Carl Crawford has been working out in center field, while Justin Turner starts a rehab assignment at Rancho Cucamonga today.
News of the day: the Dodgers have placed Josh Beckett on the 15-day DL. By doing it now he may only miss one start. Pedro Baez has been called up from the Isotopes to fill Beckett’s roster spot.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports says Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies may ask for a trade to a contender, but not until after this season is done. Rosenthal thinks there’s no way Colorado’s GM would trade him within the division, so even though the Dodgers would love to replace the older and often-banged up Hanley Ramirez, it seems unlikely to him.
Dodgers at Tigers, 4:08PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MLBN
Hyun-Jin Ryu (9-4, 3.08 ERA) will pitch for the Dodgers. The Tigers send out Justin Verlander, who’s having a very un-Verlander-like season: 7-7 with a 4.71 ERA. Given this: “Verlander is 22-2 with a 2.56 ERA in his career against National League teams,” one hopes his poor luck this year continues for today.
Indians at Dodgers, 12:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA
Hyun-Jin Ryu will pitch the final game of the four-game series for the Dodgers. The lefty is 9-4 with a 3.12 ERA, including seven quality starts in his last eight outings. The Tribe sends out Trevor Bauer, who’s 2-4 with a 4.39 ERA. That’s a little misleading; he’s got five quality starts in eight tries this season. Bauer is a Southern California product; he went to Hart High School in Santa Clarita and was the first round pick (and third overall) by the D-Backs in 2011 after attending UCLA. The Indians acquired him as part of the three-team deal in which they sent Shin Soo-Choo to the Reds in 2012.
As bad a game as Kemp had last night, I’m a little surprised he’s not sitting today rather than Puig.
Jon Weisman has put together a “40 Greatest Hits of the First Half” video collection. See it here.
I’m not sure I believe this, but the Dodgers have won the regular-season series over the Cardinals each year since 2011. It surely doesn’t feel like it.
Cardinals at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA
It’ll be Carlos Martinez (1-3, 4.33 ERA) for the Cards and Hyun-Jin Ryu (9-3, 3.06 ERA) for the Dodgers tonight. This will be Martinez’s third start of the year; as noted yesterday, the injuries to the Cardinals’ regular starters have forced them to pull guys out of the pen. Ryu is on somewhat of a roll: he’s 6-1 with a 3.12 ERA since May 21.
Dodgers at Padres, 1:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD
Hyun-Jin Ryu goes for the Dodgers against old acquaintance Eric Stults. Ryu has an 8-3 record with a 3.18 ERA this season. Past history with the Padres? He’s 1-0 with a 0.68 ERA in two career starts. Stults has had a miserable year so far: he’s 2-9 with a 5.76 ERA, and he’s given up 15 dingers in 75 innings.
Rockies at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA
The Rockies pitch a kid making his second big league start, Tyler Matzek. The Dodgers counter with southpaw Hyun-Jin Ryu, who is 7-3 with a 3.33 ERA on the season. Young Mr. Matzek is a native of Mission Viejo and a 2009 first-round pick (11th overall) out of Capistrano Valley High School. He will be taking on the Dodgers in front of friends and family.
The Rockies have won five straight, including three come-from-behind wins against the Giants in San Francisco over the weekend, while the Dodgers took two of three from the D-Backs.
In case you missed it, Hall-of-Famer Tony Gwynn died earlier today of cancer of the salivary gland. The cancer first appeared in 2009 and then came back in 2012.
My first memory of Gwynn is as a point guard for San Diego State. When he played for SDSU the school was in the WAC, as was the U of Hawaii. You know how some guys do their best against particular teams? Gwynn seemed to be on top of his game whenever UH played SDSU, as did Marshall Faulk for the Aztecs in football.
Here’s Gwynn at SDSU:
Dodgers at Reds, 4:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA
The Dodgers send out Hyun-Jin Ryu, who’s been spectacular on the road this season. He’s 5-0 with a 0.95 ERA away from Dodger Stadium. Overall, he’s 7-2 with a 3.08 ERA. The Reds counter with Johnny Cueto, a righty with a 5-5 W-L record and a 1.97 ERA. If you see that ERA and say “shouldn’t he be better than .500 in wins and losses?” you’d be right. Eleven of his thirteen starts this year have been quality ones. Either his bullpen has let him down or he’s gotten no decision in half of those starts.
Dodgers at Rockies 5:40PM PT, TV: SPNLA
After a 4-6 homestand, the Dodgers take their show on the road. Tonight they send out Hyun-Jin Ryu, who is 6-2 with a 3.09 ERA overall and a shiny 4-0 away from Dodger Stadium with a 0.56 road ERA. The Rockies will send out rookie Eddie Butler, who’s considered their Number 2 prospect. He’s a right-handed 23-year-old who was 4-4 with a 2.49 ERA in 11 starts at Double-A Tulsa. Last year, he had a Rockies organization-best 1.80 ERA in 28 starts split between A and Double-A.
Via Twitter we learn that the Dodgers have optioned Erisbel Arruebarrena to Triple-A and selected the contract of Miguel Rojas from the Isotopes. In addition, they moved Chris Withrow to the 60-day disabled list.
Young Mr. Puig went hunting for snow (can it be that this is the first time he’s been in the stuff? I suppose so!) and built an “LA” fort.
More Puig: Jay Jaffe of SI celebrates the Wild Horse’s one-year anniversary with some applause and some video.
Lineup when available.