The Dodgers come home tonight after a better than expected road trip. You might look at the Dodger’s recent trip to New York and Chicago and think them losing 4 out of 7 was an unsuccessful trip. To that I say you are wrong. The trip was very successful if only because I figured they would lose every game and bottom into last place. Of course I was pleasantly surprised when they actually took two out of three against the Mets and won a single game against the Cubs. I’m not all doom and gloom. It’s all about the silver linings.
Some of you may still be buzzing over my latest piece. My polarizing yet brutally truthful article was about improving the club’s chances at contending this season by making marginal yet logical decisions. I know some of you agree with me and some of you do not. You should all know by now that I have been very even keel this year. I predicted in spring training that the Dodgers would win 90 games, but lose pathetically in the playoffs. I still stand by that prediction, but now it’s looking like the club may not even get that far. Regardless I have not been as critical of the front office as you think I have been. I just was merely pointing out ways in which the Dodgers could improve their chances of winning this season. Not by making outlandish trades, or by signing expensive free agents (I still believe they should have resigned Zack Greinke), but by using some common sense and baseball IQ.
Dodgers Lineup vs. Atlanta
Game time – 7:10 PM – TV- SNLA-TBS
Simple things like not batting terrible hitters at the top of the order, or not signing injury riddled pitchers, or dumping roster spot wasters like Carl Crawford. For those of you who disagreed with me, I guess you love watching Carl Crawford bat. God bless you then. I mean hey, if you enjoy mediocrity then more power to you. Continue to watch this season and you’ll be very entertained. For others a .500 record is simply not enough. For us it’s about striving for excellence and winning championships. For others it’s just about enjoying the game and having a good time rooting for the club. For others it’s about both of those, and yet for others it’s about rooting for executives and hoping the Dodger’s payroll lowers. Whatever floats your boat I guess?
Remember that all opinions and thoughts are welcome here, whether you love the front office, or hate them, or just love to watch Chris Hatcher and his astronomical ERA. I do not however want to see any more name calling from anybody, including you Mark. No more calling people idiots or morons. Name calling is no longer acceptable over here. This is your site as much as it is my site and I appreciate all of you. I just want everyone to treat everyone else with respect.
With that said, let’s move on to today’s pitching match-ups. The Atlanta Braves are in town and I am sure the Dodgers are certainly glad to see them. The Braves are the worst club in the National League and the Dodgers should have no problem getting fat off of their terribleness. The Braves are in last place in the NL East with a 16-37 record. They play better on the road than at home like many of the teams in MLB this season. The Braves are 10-14 away from Turner Field.
Right hander and 25-year old Colombian native Julio Teheran will toe the rubber tonight for Atlanta. He’s pitched well this year but gotten zero run support from the Brave’s feeble offense. Teheran is 1-5 with a 2.77 ERA in 11 starts. He’s whiffed 62 and walked 20 and allowed 7.0 hits per nine. Teheran is 0-4 with a 5.63 ERA in 4 career starts against the Dodgers, and is 0-2 with a 7.30 ERA at Dodger Stadium. On April 20 he faced the Dodgers and got a no-decision after allowing two earned runs on 6 hits over 5.1 innings pitched. Speaking of feeble offenses, the Dodgers are anything but when they face Teheran. The boys in blue are batting .327 (37 for 113) with 3 home runs and 19 runs driven in. Yasiel Puig is still out with the strained hamstring. Otherwise it’s the same lineup that hasn’t produced all year long. Once again the futile Justin Turner is batting third and Carl Crawford starts yet again.
Teheran vs. Dodgers
The Dodgers will counter with Kenta Maeda. The Japanese right hander seems to be recovered from his sore hand after getting struck on a line drive in New York. Maeda is 4-3 with a 3.00 ERA in 10 starts. He hasn’t pitched past the fifth inning since May 6 in Toronto. However he did pitch well in New York before being taken out once his hand started to swell. In that start he tossed five innings of shutout ball. He has never faced the Braves. At Dodger Stadium he is 3-0 with a 1.91 ERA.
The Dodgers are still 5.5 games behind the Giants, but this is a perfect time to start making up some ground. The Giants just recently lost Hunter Pence for at least 8 weeks with a torn hamstring. Reports are indicating that he could require surgery. The Giants are also without Matt Cain, and Angel Pagan who also both tore hamstrings. It’s about time some Giants start pulling hamstrings instead of the Dodgers, because you know it’s usually the Dodgers. Not that I want anyone to get hurt or anything, but just saying that this is a good time to gain some ground.
Enjoy the game! Go Blue!