We as Dodger fans tend to be pretty damn spoiled. Throughout the baseball season the Dodgers will play clubs that will make you say “thank god we’re not them!” Those teams are the ones that you should really feel sorry for and remember that hey maybe things aren’t so bad in Dodger land?
Thankfully that club right now is the San Francisco Giants. The Giants are bad guys, they’re real bad, and off to one of the worst starts in their franchise history. So far the Giants are 6-13 and were just shutout in Coors Field. Madison Bumgarner is out for months after junking his shoulder up in a dirt bike accident, and their bullpen is still awful. They can’t hit much and Buster Posey was hit in the head with a pitch. Yeah that’s how bad things are going up there, and it will make you smile with glee.
No matter how bad the Giants are in the present, they are not likely to stay this bad forever and they always perk up whenever the Dodgers come to town. This is the first trip to San Francisco of the season and it’s a long one, (four game stretch) spanning from Monday through Thursday afternoon.
Dodgers @ San Francisco
Hyun-jin Ryu-0-3 vs. Matt Cain-1-0
Game Time – 7:15 PM – TV- SNLA- MLB.tv
So hey the Dodgers aren’t that bad despite their 9-10 mark and third place standing, and the lines are running between +145 to -150 for tonight’s game. ( Bovada always has good value for the average joe, as noted here and they are always competitive) It could always be worse, and well the Giants are one of those teams that will make us thankful at the moment. Yet the Dodgers are still very frustrating. They’re already 4 games out of first place and are 3-6 on the road to start the year. To make things worse, the injuries are beginning to pile up yet again. Now Joc Pederson is the latest injury debacle to hit. The club is teetering on the verge of putting him on the disabled list after he pulled his groin in Sunday’s 6-2 win over Arizona.
With Joc unable to play that means we’ll see more Kike than ever before, and probably more Brett Eibner. You know how much that irritates me since both of those guys are no more than utility players. Amazing how the Dodgers have a 230 million dollar payroll yet are playing guys like Eibner, Kike, and Scott Van Slyke in the lineup every day. I’m sure there are plenty more guys they can pluck from obscurity to put in the everyday lineup. Before you lecture me, yes I am aware that Kike has been playing better of late. I hope he succeeds for the Dodger’s sake.
Let’s get to the pitching match-up for tonight, which will be right handers Hyun-jin Ryu going up against Matt Cain.
For Ryu, this is his fourth start to the season and he’s been pretty atrocious in the early going. What’s very concerning is his declining velocity. You’re just not going to win many games lobbing up 87 MPH fastballs right down the pipe. I like Ryu, but sadly for him serious shoulder problems can become career ending.
Looking at his numbers he has struck out 17 and walked only 4 across 15.1 innings pitched. Unfortunately he has also allowed 19 hits and 10 earned runs which gives him a 5.87 ERA. He’s 0-3 and has allowed 11.2 hits per nine innings and 6 home runs. I don’t care how good your strikeout to walk ratio is, you will never win allowing 11 hits per nine innings. My tip for Ryu is to become a finesse pitcher. Learn to use your off-speed pitches and try to keep hitters off balance. He may never regain the velocity that he once had. There’s no shame in learning how to throw a knuckleball either. Oh I kid guys, I kid.
Anyways, Ryu is 4-4 with a 4.07 ERA in 9 career starts against the Giants. He’s 4-2 with a 3.74 ERA in 6 starts at At&t Park. Here’s how the current Giants have done against him. Hunter Pence and veteran infielder Aaron Hill have both had some serious ownage against Ryu.
Ryu vs. Giants
Opposing Ryu will be Matt Cain who has been just as washed up as he has been. Last year he allowed over 10 hits per nine innings and his ERA was 5.64 over 89.1 innings. Cain has been derailed by injuries and age as he begins his thirteenth MLB season. While he’s definitely not the same pitcher he once was, he’s been better this year thus far. He’s 1-0 with a 3.31 ERA in 16.1 innings of work. Cain has allowed 8.3 hits per nine but only struck out 12. His strikeouts have been steadily declining and his control has diminished.
The Dodgers have always had some success against him. Cain is 5-11 with a 3.53 ERA in 32 career starts. Check out the Dodgers numbers against him. Chase Utley is hitting .344 with a 4 home runs against Cain, so look for him to be in the lineup tonight.
Cain vs. Dodgers
|Scott Van Slyke||2||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000||.000||.000|
It just doesn’t feel right going to San Francisco without Vin Scully. What is right is to make the Giants suffer and regain some lost ground in the standings. Here’s hoping the Dodgers make the Giant’s season more miserable than it already is. I want all Giant’s fans to be sad at work and school tomorrow.