My pregame predictions were correct, and it was indeed time for Stephen Strasburg to lose as the Dodgers knocked him around early to take the series in Washington. Justin Turner slugged two home runs and youngster Julio Urias pitched 4 effective innings. Adam Liberatore picked up his second win this season as the boys in blue defeated the Nationals by a score of 6-3.
One of the most important things to remember is that due to lose factor. Strasburg was 13-0 and nobody goes undefeated in an entire season. Sandy Koufax lost; even Cy Young himself never went undefeated. The Dodgers played the Nationals very well winning 5 out of 6 on the season series.
Unfortunately they also lost another player to injury as Yasiel Puig injured his hamstring once again late in Thursday’s game. We don’t know how long he’ll be out for, but rest assured I’ll be at work whenever the news is announced. My guess he goes back on the disabled list and joins the hordes of other Dodgers living there.
Dodgers @ St. Louis
Game time – 5:10 PM – TV – SNLA
The Dodgers will now finish the last leg of the road trip with a weekend set in St. Louis. Their former NLCS nemesis has had an up and down season and they are not nearly as formidable as they used to be. The Dodgers played the Cardinals back in May at Dodger Stadium and took 2 out of 3. The Cardinals are coming off of a four game sweep of the crappy Padres. They’ve climbed right back into the thick of the wild card race. The Red Birds have a 51-44 record and are one game behind the Dodgers. The good news is the Cardinals are poor at home with a 24-28 record. The bad news is the Dodgers are poor on the road with a 24-25 record.
The Dodgers will give the ball to Brandon McCarthy who has been very good since coming off of the disabled list as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. McCarthy is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 3 starts. The tall lanky right hander has struck out 22 and walked only 4. He’s allowed just 3 earned runs in 16 innings pitched. He’s made 2 career starts against the Cardinals and has a 5.73 ERA. The current Cardinals are just 7 for 40 (.175) against him.
McCarthy vs. Cardinals
The Cardinals will counter with NLCS nemesis Michael Wacha. His career has been hampered by injuries but he returned to form last year. This year he is 5-7 with a 4.45 ERA in 19 starts. He’s recorded 97 strikeouts and 38 walks across 109.1 innings pitched with a 1.4 WHIP. The Dodgers beat him back on May 13 which was a very sweet victory, although it’s sour grapes really. A victory three years too late. In 3 career starts against the Dodgers he is 1-2 with a 3.78 ERA.
Wacha vs. Dodgers
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As you know by now half of the Dodger’s roster is on the disabled list and players keep dropping like flies. These are the Dodgers currently on the disabled list: Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-jin Ryu, Brett Anderson, Andre Ethier, Kike Hernandez, Yimi Garcia, Alex Wood, Chris Hatcher, Casey Fien, Trayce Thompson and possibly even Yasiel Puig with more hamstring problems. Corey Seager is still out with the flu and it appears that Yasmani Grandal has caught same bug.
If Andrew Friedman doesn’t go out and get some reinforcements soon he may be looking at quite a big backlash from the fan base and possibly an angry Stan Kasten. We’ll discuss the Chris Archer rumors later, but the Dodgers appear to be trying to pull off a big trade with the Rays to get him. I wonder if Friedman knows he can trade with other teams besides his old mates in Tampa Bay? Did he get that memo? I’ll take Archer though, but I have my concerns.
#Dodgers are "Big Game Hunting,'' says a rival exec. They're looking for impact moves, not incremental upgrades.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 20, 2016
Anyways, the Dodgers need help. They need a starting pitcher or two and another bat in the lineup. Right now the Dodgers are 54-43 and are just 4 games behind the Giants in the NL West and it’s a miracle they are as close as they are. The Giants are beginning a three game interleague series at Yankee Stadium this weekend. They’ve now lost 6 in a row and we can only hope their slide continues. Are we seeing another trademark summer swoon from the Giants? If that’s the case the Dodgers better swoop in now while the time is right.