Grantland’s got speculations!
Question 1. Will the Dodgers move Kemp? Grantland and the Magic 8 ball say “Can’t predict now.”
Questions 2 through 5. Who cares? The only guess about the Dodgers here is whether they’ll try hard to get one of the available starters: Lester, Hamels, Scherzer or Shields.
As Paul Harvey used to say, “Stand by…for news!”
Dodgers at Rockies, 5:40PM PT, TV: SPNLA
Dan Haren goes for the Dodgers. He’s 3-0 with a 0.69 ERA in his last four starts and 13-10 with a 3.99 ERA for the season. After that mid-season slump he’s seemingly reduced the number of sinkers he’s thrown by 12 percent, says one statistical outfit, and that may have helped the turnaround. He’ll face Tyler Matzek, a rookie whose 5-10 and 4.23 ERA look bad, but may be misleading. In his last four starts he’s given up just four earned runs, including a three-hit shutout against the Padres. He’s 3-1 over those games. The loss was a four-hit 6 1/3 inning performance in which he gave up two runs but got no run support.
In other news, Ryu’s shoulder MRI on Monday showed no damage. He got a cortisone shot and will meet the team in Chicago. He’ll miss his next scheduled start but he’ll throw a little in Chicago and see how the shoulder feels.
Nobody on the Dodgers’ side is explaining what the cause of the mild flareup of tempers between Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig was during last night’s game. The press and we bloggers have therefore been free to speculate, as Steve Dilbeck of the Times notes and sneers at.
Via Twitter: “The Dodgers select the contract of LHP Daniel Coulombe from Double-A. RHP Stephen Fife was recalled from Triple-A and placed on 60-day DL.”
Padres at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD
Clayton Kershaw is steaming toward another Cy Young Award with a 17-3 record and a 1.70 ERA. His opponent will be Odrisamer Despaigne, who’s 3-5 with a 3.06 ERA in his first 13 MLB starts. He pitched in LA on July 10 and gave up two runs in seven innings, losing to Kershaw 2-1.
If you thought Matt Kemp was finally getting back to full health and form, you’re right. In fact, this season’s OPS of .831 is only slightly below his career OPS of .842. For the second half of this season he’s got a slash line of .307/.376/.584 with 11 home runs. (That’s Batting Avg/On-Base Pctg/Slugging Pctg, for those of us who never remember).
Dodgers at Cardinals, 5:00PM PT, TV: ESPN
The Dodgers hope Kershaw (11-2, 1.78 ERA) can stop the bleeding while they get some runs from their anemic offense. The team has scored 11 runs in its last seven games, contributing mightily to a 3-4 record over that stretch. The Cardinals pitch Carlos Martinez, who is making his seventh start of the season after moving from an eighth-inning setup role. He’s 2-4 on the year with a 4.43 ERA in 63 innings.
Hmm. Kemp has been flailing badly at the plate. Putting him in the cleanup spot is an interesting move.
The Marlins beat the Giants earlier today, so the Dodgers can move back into a tie for first place with a win this evening.
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.
Rockies at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA
Colorado sends lefty Jorge De La Rosa and his 6-5, 4.12 ERA to the mound to face the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, who is 6-2 with a 2.93 ERA.
Can the Dodgers finally be getting onto some kind of a roll? They’ve won 8 of their last 12 and 4 of 5 on this homestand.
This should affect the lineup: “Kemp is hitting .419 with three homers and 10 RBIs against De La Rosa. Adrian Gonzalez is right behind him against the Rockies left-hander at .361, also with three homers and 10 RBIs.” Maybe facing this guy will help Adrian break out of his slump.
Shortly after the game last night Hanley Ramirez tweeted the following:
Lineup when available.
Reds at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA
The Reds have had to face two excellent pitchers already in Ryu and Greinke, and tonight they get Kershaw. All he’s done is go 3-1 on the season with a 3.49 ERA and 2-1 lifetime with a 2.78 ERA against the Reds. In those games the Reds are hitting .214. The Reds send Homer Bailey out against the Dodgers. He’s 3-3 with a 4.01 ERA in eight career starts against them and 4-3 with a 5.34 ERA overall on the season.
Matt Kemp is playing left field because Crawford has been placed on the 15-day DL. The Dodgers have purchased Jamie Romak’s contract from the Isotopes. Romak has been playing mostly 1st and 3rd in Albuquerque with 8 games in the outfield. He’s a 28-year-old from Canada. This is his twelfth year of pro ball and his first callup to the major leagues.
According to Jay Jaffe at Sports Illustrated, Yasiel Puig is a “disappointing” fifth in the first release of All-Star ballots for the outfield, behind Charlie Blackmon of the Rockies, Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates, Ryan Braun of the Brewers and Gioancarlo Stanton of the Marlins. Pack the ballot box, people!
Reds at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA
Zack Greinke brings his 2-runs-or-fewer per start streak (now at 22) and his gaudy 7-1, 2.01 ERA record out to face Alfredo Simon, who’s got a 6-2, 2.31 ERA record of his own.
Hanley Ramirez’s sore calf kept him out of the last few games, but he’s back in there at shortstop tonight. Matt Kemp is still out, which is surely not making him happy.
After yesterday’s excitement, the season goes on at a slightly lower level.
Reds at Dodgers, 5:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA
The Reds send Johnny Cueto to the hill. He’s 4-3 with a 1.86 ERA this season, coming off a bad outing in which he gave up six runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings in a loss to the Nationals. The Dodgers counter with lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu, who’s 4-2 with a 3.00 ERA. In his last start he went six innings and gave up two runs to the Mets, winning 4-3.
In an attempt to get Matt Kemp’s bat into the lineup without harming the defense, Mattingly is going to start him in left field for a while. In eight-plus years in the major leagues he’s averaged four errors per season, and he’s already got that many in just 39 games this year. And that doesn’t count the balls he’s not gotten to or taken bad routes on.
“Here’s where we’re going with Matt,” Mattingly said on Sunday morning after he put Andre Ethier in center for a third consecutive game. “We’re going to start working Matt a little bit in left field. We’re going to continue to work him in center. We’re just feeling like we’re giving him time to really get healthy. Not that’s he’s not healthy, but give him a chance to get all the way back.”
Kemp, who missed only 11 games from 2008-11, missed 145 games from 2012-13 due to injuries. He is currently hitting .264 with 13 doubles, five home runs and 13 RBIs in 42 games this season.
Lineup when available.
Dodgers at Phillies, 4:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA
Kershaw got shelled in his last outing, but this is about as misleading a sentence as I’ve seen in a non-political story: “After a brilliant start in which he tossed seven shutout frames against the Nationals on May 6, Kershaw has given up 10 runs in 8 2/3 innings since.”
Right. 7 runs in 1 2/3 innings in his last start against the D-Backs. 3 runs in 7 innings against the Giants in the no-decision start before that with 9 strikeouts and no walks. Overall he’s 2-1 with a 4.43 ERA.
Of greater concern, he was hit on the right shin with a line drive during BP Wednesday and it had to be bandaged. Whenever a pitcher gets hit on a foot or leg I always get an instant memory of Dizzy Dean changing his delivery after being hit on the foot by Earl Averill in the 1937 All-Star Game and never being the same pitcher again.
His opponent will be Roberto Hernandez, who is 0-1 in his only career start against the Dodgers, last August when he was with the Rays. He’s 2-1 with a 3.98 ERA so far this season.
The Dodgers have improved their offense over the past 15 games, hitting .272 over that stretch. Over the past five games, Adrian Gonzalez is 9-for-19 with three home runs and six RBIs. Additionally, Matt Kemp is hitting .344 (22-for-64) since May 3. Over his career he’s hit .390 (23-for-59) in 15 games at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.