I would like to apologize to you all. On Wednesday I wrote a pregame bragging about how it was “moving day” and that the Dodgers (64-50) were on a roll. What I meant was that the Dodgers would be “moving” into first place and the Giants moving into second place. I was right about the moving. Unfortunately I got the locations mixed up. Instead it was the Dodgers moving back into second place after their 6-2 loss to the Phillies and the Giant’s 1-0 win over the Marlins. I must apologize again because I’m pretty sure I jinxed the Dodgers.
If you look deeper into the situation you can plainly see that it probably wasn’t my fault. After all when I am grouchy and complaining the Dodgers seem to win. When I am sunny, cheerful, and optimistic the Dodgers fold up like a beach chair on a lovely afternoon.
The problem was many of you wanted me to talk about the front office in a more favorable light and talk about the good things that they have done. So as soon as I began to speak highly and praise the front office….boom. The club loses and falls out of first place. I blame most of you of course, (points finger at computer screen). Yes it’s your fault. The players may have something to do with it but I would rather go through my day believing that all of you are to blame. I hope you all understand now, that I have a method.
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Dodgers Lineup vs. Pittsburgh
Game Time – 7:10 PM – TV- SNLA
When I complain, the Dodgers win……….
It’s ok. I forgive you all. Next time I complain don’t tell me to stop being so negative or something. Because when that happens the Dodgers will lose. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The Dodgers will open a weekend series with the Pittsburgh Pirates. They sure had a heap of trouble with them when they visited at the end of June. That was Clayton Kershaw’s last start before he was placed on the disabled list with his herniated disc.
The Pirates aren’t doing very well. They have a 57-55 record and are in third place, 14.5 games back of the Cubs in the NL Central. They’re 2 games behind the second team in the wild card race, and 6 games behind the Dodgers. The Bucs have a 24-30 record on the road. The problem for the Pirates has been their mediocre pitching. Their starters have a 4.60 ERA (20) and overall they rank 15 with a 4.18 ERA.
They’ll give the ball tonight to newly acquired Ivan Nova. The 29-year old right hander was acquired from the Yankees for two players to be named later. Nova was 7-6 with a 4.90 ERA in 21 appearances this year. He started 15 of those and struck out 6.9 per nine while allowing 9.9 hits per nine. This is his second start for the Bucs. He won his first start by tossing 7 frames of 3 earned runs ball and striking out 5 against the Reds. He’s never faced the Dodgers, but Josh Reddick is 5 for 13 (.385) with 2 home runs against him.
Nova vs. Dodgers
The Dodgers will give the ball to right hander Ross Stripling. Newly acquired Rich Hill was scheduled to start tonight but he is still unable to go because of his blisters. The Dodgers have no idea when or if he’ll be able to start. So the Dodgers will have to turn to Stripling for another spot start.
Stripling is making his tenth start and fourteenth appearance. He is 3-3 with a 3.79 ERA. Stripling has struck out 44 and walked 21 in 59.1 innings pitched. He’s allowed 8.2 hits per nine and struck out 6.7 per nine. One of Stripling’s greatest strengths is his ability to keep the ball in the park. He’s only allowed 3 home runs this season. Last week against Boston he tossed 5 shutout innings and picked up the win. Stripling has been very serviceable and is always a good option in a pinch.
Hopefully Corey Seager is ok to play after being hit by a pitch on his right wrist in the sixth inning of Wednesday’s loss to the Phillies. Manager Dave Roberts said he was fine and x-rays were negative. It’s just a bruise. Otherwise start praying.
On a closing note, let’s all give Kenley Jansen a break. I know he’s blown a few games this year and at times has been a bit shaky. Let’s not forget he’s the greatest closer in LA Dodger history. The guy isn’t perfect and he’s going to give up a few runs. IT HAPPENS. He’s still one of the best closers in all of baseball. Go easy on him.