Clayton Kershaw is human. Sunday night certainly wasn’t his usual dominating performance. The ace left hander was handed just his second loss of the season in the Dodger’s pathetic 4-3 defeat. Kershaw can’t win every game and he’s going to have outings where he give sup a few runs. Maybe he had his strict pregame rituals interupted?
The Dodgers simply can’t put their entire season on his shoulders. That’s too much pressure for anyone. Whatever the reason is, he just didn’t pitch well on Sunday. What’s the offense’s excuse? The Dodgers couldn’t muster up more than 3 runs against a rookie pitcher making his MLB debut. It’s pretty embarrassing honestly. The Dodgers have now lost three games in a row in Pittsburgh and one more would give them a humbling sweep at the hands of the Pirates. The club is 8 games behind the Giants now. Scott Kazmir is pitching today. It’s pretty obvious how this is going to end.
Dodgers Lineup @ Pittsburgh
Van Slyke 1B
Scott Kazmir-5-3 vs. Francisco Liriano-4-7
Game Time – 9:35 AM- TV- SNLA
Kazmir has been remarkably unremarkable this year. His 5-3 record and 4.52 ERA have given the Dodgers very little stability in a rotation full of question marks. Kazmir has turned in just 6 quality starts out of his 15 and posted a 4.59 FIP. Kazmir has struck out 87 over 83.2 innings. The home runs and walks are what have really killed him in 2016. Kazmir has walked 3.4 per nine and allowed 14 home runs. Kazmir has made 2 career starts against the Pirates and allowed 13 earned runs in 9.2 innings. He’s 1-1 with an 11.17 ERA against the Bucs.
Kazmir vs. Pirates
The Pirates will counter with left hander Francisco Liriano. The 32-year old Dominican has had a terrible year. He’s posted a 4-7 record and an uncharacteristicly poor 5.17 ERA in 14 starts. Over his 78.1 innings pitched his problem has been his lack of command. He’s walked 49 and posted a 5.6 walks per nine rate. The big lefty has struck out 80 batters, so he’s almost walked as many as he’s struck out. He’s allowed 14 home runs as well. Home runs and walks will kill you. Ask Kazmir, he’ll tell you.
He’s dominated the Dodgers throughout his career and I don’t expect that to change on Monday morning, regardless of his poor performance this season. Liriano is 4-0 with a 2.73 ERA in 5 career starts against the Dodgers. Howie Kendrick is batting .455 (10 for 22) with one home run and 4 extra-base hits. He better be in the lineup.
Liriano vs. Dodgers
|Scott Van Slyke||8||8||1||0||0||0||1||0||4||.125||.125||.125||.250||0||0||0||0||0|
Since it’s getaway day and there’s a left hander on the mound expect to see the all righty loser lineup. That means Joc Pederson sitting out. The execrable Kike Hernandez will probably be batting lead-off. Scott Van Slyke will likely be at first base again, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Dave Roberts did something unbelievably stupid, like for example resting Corey Seager. Because you know, you gotta put your weakest hitters out there when a left hander is on the mound. Duh! The Dodgers will fly to Milwaukee after the game and begin a three game series at Miller Park.
The Dodgers haven’t been a disaster this season. They’ve just been a monumental disappointment. Just like the front office. The division race is over. The Dodgers are 8 games back and the Giants have the second best record in the majors. Let’s face it the Giants are a superior club in almost every facet of the game. The Dodgers have a chance at a wild card, but those chances wane every day as the club struggles to score runs and the starting pitchers don’t pitch past the fifth inning.
We still don’t know who’s going to be the fifth starter, although there are rumors it’s going to be Brock Stewart. There’s really nothing left to do this season but look at the stupid wild card standings and count the days until the dimwits in the front office are run out of town. Oh and Zack Greinke is just 10-3 with a 3.61 ERA/3.51 FIP. Sure would have been nice to have that in the rotation.
On the bright side we have Dodger baseball in the morning. So grab your cup of coffee, skip school, play hooky from work! Reschedule your appointments! It’s time for Dodger baseball in the morning!