The Dodgers were embarrassed yesterday after nearly setting a major league record for consecutive scoreless innings to start a season. They were just one inning away from tying it before Alex Wood and the bullpen imploded to give up 12 unanswered runs to the Giants in a 12-6 loss. That was the first loss of the season for the Dodgers and they have now lost 9 of their last 11 games played at At&t Park. This will be a good test to see how they respond.
In the second game of the series the Dodgers will give the ball to rookie right hander Ross Stripling. The 26-year old will be making his MLB debut. You just have to go out and beat the Giants at At&t Park in front of a bunch of rabid Giants fans kid. No pressure.
Dodgers Lineup @ Giants
Van Slyke LF
Ross Stripling 0-0 vs. Matt Cain 0-0
Game time – 7:15 PM TV- SNLA
It will be a tough assignment for Stripling for sure. He pitched well enough in the spring to surprise everyone by grabbing the fifth starter job, thanks in help to the injuries to Brett Anderson, Hyun-jin Ryu, and Mike Bolsinger. Stripling is 6’3 and 210 pounds. He is from Bluebell Pennsylvania, and attended Texas A&M University. He actually pitched a no-hitter in college. The Dodgers could use some of that no-hit stuff tonight.
Stripling uses a full arsenal of pitches, and owns a 2.83 ERA in three minor league seasons. The Dodgers drafted him in the fifth round of the 2012 amateur draft. He was originally drafted by the Rockies in 2011, but did not sign with them. Stripling had Tommy John surgery in 2014, and did not pitch at all that season.
The Giants will counter with right hander Matt Cain. The veteran had an injury plagued season in 2015. He made only 11 starts and posted the worst ERA (5.79) of his 11 season career. Cain is 5-11 against the Dodgers in 30 starts with a 3.49 ERA. He is 54-51 with a 3.24 ERA at At&t Park.
The current Dodgers have hit Cain well as evidence by their .281 (48 for 171) average against. The Dodgers have hit 9 home runs and driven in 24 runs against Cain. Adrian Gonzalez and Chase Utley are the big boppers. Gonzalez is hitting .297 (22 for 74) with 4 home runs, and Utley is hitting .300 (9 for 30) with 4 home runs as well.
Dodgers vs. Cain
I know the Dodgers had to lose and give up some runs at some point. Believe me I understand that it’s a long season and it’s only been four games. I just would have liked to see them not get blown out like they did. The bullpen problems are one thing. We already are familiar with that situation. I just don’t understand why the front office chose Alex Wood over spending a little bit more money to bring in a more established starting pitcher. They didn’t have to sign David Price, or Zack Greinke. Please don’t give me the excuse that “nobody else was available”, because we all know that there were plenty of mid tier arms available on the market.
Here’s hoping that tonight’s game has a better result. Remember to come over here and check out the recap after the game. Go Blue!