The Dodgers made a nice recovery to get back in the win column on Saturday afternoon with a 7-2 win over the Cardinals. Kenta Maeda pitched 5.2 effecting innings and the Dodgers scored 4 runs early in the game to give Maeda plenty of cushion. Outfielder Andrew Toles collected 3 hits and Ross Stripling provided two scoreless innings of relief as the Dodgers evened the series. Today the Dodgers will look earn consecutive road series wins as Scott Kazmir will counter 24-year old rookie Mike Mayers.
Kazmir is coming off of a dominant performance against the Nationals. Kazmir (8-3 4.30 ERA) has not lost a decision since May 9. That’s 4 wins and 6 no-decisions. Kazmir has allowed more than 3 earned runs in a start just once since May 9. So he’s actually been pitching well enough. The only problem is getting him through that dreaded first inning. He defeated the Cardinals back on May 14 when he limited the Red Birds to 2 earned runs on 5 hits across 8.2 innings pitched. In 3 career starts against the Cardinals he is 2-0 with a 3.20 ERA. This is his second career start at Busch Stadium. Matt Holiday has hit Kazmir well in the past but the rest of the current Cardinals have not.
Dodgers @ St. Louis
Scott Kazmir-8-3 vs. Mike Mayers-0-0
Game Time – 5:08 PM – TV -ESPN
Kazmir vs. Cardinals
The Cardinals will give the ball to rookie right hander Mike Mayers. The Grove City, Ohio native was a third round draft pick by the Cardinals back in 2013. Mayers has split time between the double-A Springfield Cardinals and the triple-A Memphis Red Birds of the Pacific Coast League. In the minors this year he has posted an 8-5 record and a 2.62 ERA in 18 starts. He’s struck out 7.4 per nine and has a 19-24 record with a 3.49 ERA in 9 minor league seasons.
Mayers has overcome a lot to make it to the majors including thoracic outlet surgery. Mayers uses a four-pitch arsenal which includes a nice 97 mph heater. He has a two-seamer that he uses to induce grounders and a slider and changeup. The Cardinals consider him to be a quality pitching prospect. He’ll be making his MLB debut so naturally that means he’ll pitch a 4-hit shutout against the Dodgers.
I joke, but seriously the Dodgers have a great chance to take this series and come home on a good note. The Cardinals don’t hit Kazmir well and there is a rookie on the mound. ESPN has picked up the game so everyone should be able to watch on Sunday. The Dodgers are 55-43 and remain 4 games behind the Giants in the NL West. The Giants are finishing their weekend interleague series against the Yankees in the Bronx. The Dodgers also remain one game ahead of the Marlins for the top wild card spot in the National League.
The boys in blue will fly home after the game to play their first game at Dodger Stadium since July 10. Monday is a scheduled off-day and then the Dodgers will face the Tampa Bay Rays for two games on Tuesday and Wednesday. That will kick off a five game home stand that will take them through the end of the month. The club is going to use a four-man rotation for now, but I think there will be a trade coming soon. This week should be very interesting. Things are starting to heat up!