Dodgers vs Giants Pre-Game: Lincecum Struggles Could Be Dodgers’ Gain

The Dodgers lost a pitcher’s duel last night 2-1 to the Giants, which cost them sole possession of first place in the NL West. Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw both pitched brilliantly through 8.0 innings, with the Giants actually giving Bumgarner some run support to work with.

It will be up to the Dodgers bats to bounce back tonight in Game 2 against their arch rival.

Tonight’s pitching match-up will feature two right-handers, who have struggled throughout this season.

The Giants will send Tim Lincecum to the mound. It has been a miserable year for the man once known as “Big Time Timmy Jim”, although nothing has been big time this year about him. Lincecum has a 6-13 record on the season with a 5.45 ERA. Those numbers are a shock to everyone around the baseball world, knowing he is a two-time Cy Young Award winner in 2008 and 2009.

Everyone has been expecting Lincecum to find his way out of this funk and to start dominating opposing offenses again, it just hasn’t happened.

In his last three outings he has a record of 1-2 with a 4.24 ERA. Lincecum has a career record of 6-5 with a 2.87 ERA against the Dodgers. So it will be interesting to see what Lincecum shows up at Dodger Stadium tonight.

Dodgers hitter with most success against Lincecum:
Andre Ethier: .286 BA (10-for-35), 2 HR, 6 RBI

The Dodgers will counter with Joe Blanton on the mound tonight. This will be Blanton’s fourth try at winning his first game as a Dodger. He has struggled ever since he put on the Dodger Blue, posting a 0-2 record with an 8.22 ERA in three starts.

Blanton leads the National League with 26 home runs allowed on the season and continues to struggle to keep the ball in the park. Overall Blanton is 8-11 on the year with a 4.96 ERA. The career numbers for him against the Giants don’t get much better, 2-4 with a 4.75 ERA. The Dodgers are still waiting to see what the guy who they picked up for their second half surge can do going forward.

Giants hitter with most success against Blanton:
Angel Pagan: .500 BA (6-for-12 AB, 2 HR, 4 RBI

San Francisco Giants (67-55) at Los Angeles Dodgers (67-56)
Tim Lincecum (6-13, 5.45) vs Joe Blanton (8-11, 4.96)
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California
7:10 p.m. PST, August 21, 2012
TV: KCAL
Promotion: Fernando Valenzuela Bobblehead
Radio: 570 AM (English), 1020 AM (Spanish)
Game-Time Weather: 76 degrees, Mostly Sunny

Giants’ Projected Starters:
P: Madison Bumgarner
C: Buster Posey
1B: Brandon Belt
2B: Ryan Theriot
SS: Brandon Crawford
3B: Pablo Sandoval
LF: Gregor Blanco
CF: Angel Pagan
RF: Hunter Pence

Key Bench Players: IF Joaquin Arias, IF Marco Scutaro

For more on the Giants, check out our pre-series article.

Key to a Dodger Victory:
Run Support: The Dodgers can’t put up an 0-fer after a 10-game road trip when they never scored less than three runs, but they did. This team has to give their pitchers run support, especially Blanton. The Dodgers have to score more than three runs to win tonight’s game against the Giants.

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