The Dodgers are going to have to pick themselves up from their bootstraps and forget about Tuesday night’s demoralizing meltdown loss to the Marlins. It’s a tough one to get over because it happened against Clayton Kershaw. Even the best of them have bad nights. Kershaw has been flawless before that stupid inning. Fortunately there’s always another game the next day in baseball.
The real puzzler has been the lackluster offense. The club is simply not hitting at home. I’ll get into their offensive struggles at Dodger Stadium in another article, but this is eerily familiar to seasons past. So far through eight home games the Dodgers are batting just .224 with 28 runs scored and seven home runs. Their .224 average places them 22nd out of the 30 clubs. Their 28 runs scored puts them at the bottom of MLB. Last night they mustered three runs on six hits, but two runs were scored off of wild pitches, and the third run was driven in by Kershaw himself. The offense just has to get better. Going with a set lineup and ending the lineup shuffling could help get the guys going with the bats.
Dodgers Lineup vs. Fish
Game time – 7:10 PM- TV- SNLA
Tonight’s pitching match-up will see second year hurler left hander Justin Nicolino on the mound for the Marlins. The Dodgers will give the ball to Scott Kazmir in a battle of lefties. Nicolino is replacing the originally scheduled starter Jarred Cosart. The Fish optioned Cosart down to triple-A because he has sucked through the first month of this season. The Marlins are obviously going with a youth movement.
Nicolino is a 24-year old from Orlando, Florida. The Marlins acquired him in 2012 during the huge blockbuster trade with the Blue Jays. His first taste of big league action came last season. He made 12 starts for the Fish and finished with a 5-4 record and a 4.01 ERA. The problem with Nicolino is he has no swing and miss stuff. He struck out just 23 in 74 innings of work. That’s a 2.8 strikeout per nine rate. He had a 6.3 strikeout per nine rate in the minors. He’s an extreme pitch to contact guy. He has great control, but doesn’t strike guys out. The Dodgers have to be able to score some runs off this guy right?
He’s faced the Dodgers once last season. In four innings he allowed five earned runs on six hits and struck out two. He got the loss in that game and he’s never pitched at Dodger Stadium. The current Dodgers have only faced him a few times.
Nicolino vs. Dodgers
Scott Kazmir will try and turn his season around Wednesday against the Marlins. Other than his first start against San Diego, the veteran has been horrendous. He’s been battling a thumb injury, so I don’t know if that’s been bothering him or not. Kazmir has a 6.63 ERA through four starts. He’s allowed 21 hits over 19 innings and has a 6.03 FIP. He’s been that bad and it makes you wonder if this is just injury related or not. Perhaps it’s too small of a sample size to judge. Is this just a short-term struggle for Kazmir? Or does he just suck as a Dodger? It seems like he is not making any adjustments. He’ll get his chances to right the ship, but it better happen soon before the front office starts getting impatient.
Kazmir has little experience against the Marlins after spending his entire career in the American League. He has made four starts against the Fish and pitched well. He’s 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA and has struck out 31 Marlins in 24 innings.
The current Marlins are hitting .275 (11 for 40) against Kazmir with one extra-base hit. Only one Marlin has any success against him in the small amount of place appearances. 42-year old legend Ichiro Suzuki is hitting .323 (10 for 31) of off Kazmir.
Fish vs. Kazmir
I hope we don’t see the B-squad again against another left hander. It’s not helping. Go Blue!