Dodgers vs Mets Pre-Game: Capuano Goes for Win No. 10, Again

The Dodgers started off their 10-game road trip in surprising fashion, scoring seven runs in a win over the Mets last night. It’s been a while since the Dodgers’ offense has gone on a tear like the one that they put on display yesterday. So I ask myself this one question: Will we see this Dodgers offense during today’s game?

Today they will face-off against veteran 41-year-old right-hander, Miguel Batista. This guy first broke into the Major Leagues in 1992 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and has found a way to stick around 20 years later. The Mets are the 11th team that he has pitched for during his lengthy big league career. Batista has been bounced around from the bullpen to the starting rotation for the majority of his career, with this season being no different, as he has made just four starts this season.

In 29 games Batista has a 1-2 record with a 4.33 ERA. His most dominant start came on May 14 against the Milwaukee Brewers, when he went 7.0 innings, allowing four hits, and striking out five. However, Batista hasn’t made a start since May 19, when he pitched just two innings against the Blue Jays. This could actually benefit the Dodgers offense in a big way. Although he’s a veteran, Batista could have a tough time going deep into the game after not starting a game in more than two months.

The Dodgers will counter and put left-hander Chris Capuano on the mound. It’s been quite a while since Capuano won a game, all due to poor run support and some horrific defense. One of the biggest surprises during the first half of season, Capuano has been stuck at nine wins, with his last win coming on June 23 against the Angels. Capuano pitched a solid 6 2/3 innings in his last start against the Padres, allowing five hits and four runs. You’re probably thinking four runs is not a solid start, right? Well all four of those runs were unearned because the defense managed to commit five errors on that day.

Capuano has a 9-5 record overall with an impressive 2.75 ERA on the season. One of those five losses came against this same Mets team back on June 28. In that game Capuano went 7.0 innings, allowing five hits, and three earned runs at Dodger Stadium. So Capuano for the fifth straight time will take the mound today in search of win number 10.

Los Angeles Dodgers (50-44) at New York Mets (47-46)
Chris Capuano (9-5, 2.75) vs. Miguel Batista (1-2, 4.33)
Citi Field, Corona, New York
10:10 a.m. PST, July 21, 2012
TV: KCAL
Radio: 570 AM (English), 1020 AM (Spanish)
Game-Time Weather: 77 degrees, Cloudy

Mets Projected Starters:
P:Miguel Batista
C: Josh Thole
1B: Ike Davis
2B: Daniel Murphy
SS: Ruben Tejada
3B: David Wright
LF: Jason Bay
CF: Andres Torres
RF: Lucas Duda

Key Bench Players: OF Scott Hairston, UT Jordany Valdespin

Dodgers’ Last 10 (3-7): W @ NYM, W vs PHI, L vs PHI, L vs PHI, L vs SD, L vs SD, W vs SD, L @ ARI, L @ ARI, L @ ARI.
Mets’ Last 10 (2-8): L vs LA, W @ WAS, L @ WAS, L @ WAS, L @ ATL, L @ ATL, L @ ATL, L vs CHC, W vs CHC, L vs CHC.

Keys for a Dodger Victory
– All-Around game
After a terrible showing by the defense in Capuano’s last start, the team needs to go out and play a solid game all-around in this one. The offense scored a big seven runs in last night’s game and could use another offensive outbreak like that one. So with Capuano usually consistent on the mound, the offense needs to score and the defense needs to make the routine plays. If all three of those things fall into place then the Dodgers should come out with another win at Citi Field.

-Jump on the Veteran
The numbers are just downright ugly for Batista, who could be pitching his final games as a Major Leaguer. Look for Bobby Abreu (12-for-31, .387) and Andre Ethier (5-for-11, .455) to continue to have success against the soft-tossing Batista, who struggles to strike out batters. Without any form of fooling hitters, it could be a long day for New York. Matt Kemp has also found his groove, which is scary for any pitcher.

Prediction: Dodgers 5, Mets 1

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