Dodgers vs Padres Pre-Game: Can Harang Awaken the Dodgers?

The Dodgers lost last night’s game to the San Diego Padres, 2-1. It was a loss that probably spoiled the Dodgers 2012 postseason plans. There are just eight games remaining this season and the Dodgers trail the St. Louis Cardinals by 4.5 games for the second and final wild-card spot. If the Dodgers have any slight chance of getting to the playoffs they will need to be perfect from here on out.

Today’s pitching match-up will feature Aaron Harang against Clayton Richard.

Richard has been one of the bright spots for the Padres this season, posting a 14-12 record with a 3.81 ERA. It has been quite a while since he lost his last game, which was back on August 14 against the Atlanta Braves. Richard has won five out of his last six starts since that day, with a no decision coming against the Dodgers. Overall Richard is 6-2 with a 2.82 ERA against the Dodgers in his career.

Harang has basically been the complete opposite of Richard as of late, winning his last game on August 18 against the Atlanta Braves. On the season Harang owns a 9-10 record with 3.80 ERA. He has lost his last two starts on the road, facing the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Washington Nationals. It will be important for Harang to end the season at .500 and get to double-digit victories.

In his career against San Diego he has a 4-5 record with a 3.97 ERA.

Los Angeles Dodgers (79-75) at San Diego Padres (74-80)
Aaron Harang (9-10, 3.80) vs Clayton Richard (14-12, 3.81)
Petco Park, San Diego, Calif.
7:05 p.m. PST, September 26, 2012
TV: Prime Ticket
Radio: 570 AM (English), 1020 AM (Spanish)
Game-Time Weather: 74 degrees, Mostly Sunny

Padres’ Projected Starters:
P: Clayton Richard
C: Yasmani Grandal
1B: Yonder Alonso
2B: Logan Forsythe
SS: Everth Cabrera
3B: Chase Headley
LF: Jesus Guzman
CF: Cameron Maybin
RF: Will Venable

Key Bench Players: 2B Alexi Amarista, OF Chris Denorfia

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Dodgers vs D’Backs Pre-Game: One Special Request

The Dodgers lost Game One of a short two-game series last night to the Arizona Diamondbacks, 1-0, which featured a pitcher’s duel between Ian Kennedy and Clayton Kershaw, but resulted in the Dodgers’ offense failing to come through once again.

The Dodgers have now lost five of their last six games, falling six games back in the division behind the first place San Francisco Giants.

Tonight’s pitching match-up is a rematch between Aaron Harang and Trevor Cahill, who faced each other a couple of weeks ago on Aug. 31 at Dodger Stadium, resulting in a no decision for both, but with the Diamondbacks going on to win that game 4-3.

Cahill is coming off of a win in his last start against the Giants, where he went 6.1 innings, allowing two hits, two runs, and striking out five. In 28 starts on the season, Cahill has a 10-11 record with a 3.98 ERA. The former All-Star from 2010 has enjoyed facing the Dodgers so far in his career, posting a 3-0 record and a 2.40 ERA against them.

On the other hand, Harang hasn’t won a game since August 18th against the Atlanta Braves. In his last two starts he hasn’t managed to pitch more than 5.0 innings in each of them. In three starts since his last victory, he is 0-1 with a 4.70 ERA. It hasn’t been easy for any Dodgers pitcher as of late, with the offense struggling to score runs on a nightly basis.

Harang is 9-8 with a 3.75 ERA in 27 starts this season. Throughout his 11 year career, the big right-hander is 3-7 with a 3.10 ERA against the Diamondbacks.

So who will come out with the victory in tonight’s rematch?

Los Angeles Dodgers (74-68) at Arizona Diamondbacks (70-72)
Aaron Harang (9-8, 3.75) vs. Trevor Cahill (10-11, 3.98)
Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
6:40 p.m. PST, September 12, 2012
TV: Prime Ticket
Radio: 570 AM (English), 1020 AM (Spanish)
Game-Time Weather: 90 degrees, Mostly Sunny

Diamondbacks’ Projected Starters:
P: Trevor Cahill
C: Miguel Montero
1B: Paul Goldschmidt
2B: Aaron Hill
SS: John McDonald
3B: Chris Johnson
LF: Jason Kubel
CF: Adam Eaton
RF: Justin Upton

Key Bench Players: IF Jake Elmore, OF Gerardo Parra

Keys to a Dodger Victory:
SCORE SOME RUNS PLEASE. That’s all.

Dodgers vs Diamondbacks Pre-Game: Searching for the Intensity

The Dodgers were shutout for the 12th time this season, and 5th time at home after losing 2-0 to the Diamondbacks last night.

Apparently, the Dodgers’ new offense went into hibernation after scoring 10 runs on Wednesday, failing to produce any against Diamondbacks starter Ian Kennedy.

While that was happening at Dodger Stadium, the Giants picked up another game on the Dodgers in the division, extending their lead to 4 1/2 games.

This team is struggling at the wrong time, so tonight will need to be the start of something positive.

It will be a match-up of two right-handers tonight at Dodger Stadium, with Aaron Harang opposing Trevor Cahill.

The Diamondbacks traded for Trevor Cahill this off-season hoping to get the All Star pitcher that he once was with the Oakland A’s in 2010, but have hardly gotten that, posting a 9-11 record with a 3.99 ERA in 26 starts.

The 26 starts have been huge for this Diamondbacks team, considering they’ve struggled to keep their pitchers healthy all season.

In his last time out against the Padres he only pitched 3.2 innings, his shortest outing of the season. In that short outing he allowed eight hits, four runs, three walks, with six strikeouts.

The last win for Cahill came on July 30th at Dodger Stadium.

He is also 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA lifetime against the Dodgers, which should give him some confidence going into tonight.

Aaron Harang has done his part this year so far as the back-end of the rotation guy, and will be trying to become the fourth Dodgers pitcher to win 10 games this season.

Harang is 9-8 with a 3.70 ERA in 25 starts going into the game tonight, coming off of a loss in his last outing against the Marlins, going 5.1 innings, allowing six hits, three runs, one walk, with four strikeouts.

However, in his last three starts he’s 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA.

Unlike Cahill, his career numbers against tonight’s opponent don’t favor him, as he holds a 3-7 record with an impressive 2.98 ERA against Arizona.

It looks like it will be up to the Dodgers offense to get a much-needed win tonight.

Arizona Diamondbacks (65-67) at Los Angeles Dodgers (70-62)
Trevor Cahill (9-11, 3.99) vs. Aaron Harang (9-8, 3.70)
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California
7:10 p.m. PST, August 31, 2012
TV: Prime Ticket
Radio: 570 AM (English), 1020 AM (Spanish)
Game-Time Weather: 79 degrees, Sunny
Promotions: Friday Night Fireworks

Diamondbacks’ Projected Starters:
P: Trevor Cahill
C: Miguel Montero
1B: Paul Goldschmidt
2B: Aaron Hill
SS: Jake Elmore
3B: Chris Johnson
LF: Jason Kubel
CF: Chris Young
RF: Justin Upton

Key Bench Players: IF Ryan Wheeler, OF Gerardo Parra

For more on the D’Backs, check out our pre-series report.

Keys to a Dodger Victory:
It’s quite simple, score some runs…

Dodgers vs Braves Pre-Game: Dodgers Expecting a Big Show

The Dodgers dropped a tough one to the Braves last night to go to 5-3 during this 10-game road trip. They scored three runs to back a dominate performance from Chris Capuano, only for the bullpen to lose the lead in the eighth inning and lose 4-3 in extras. The loss also puts the Dodgers back into second place, half a game behind the Giants for first place in the National League West.

Tonight will be a solid match-up of two right-handers in what will be the traditional MLB Civil Rights Game on the MLB Network.

The Braves will have Ben Sheets on the mound tonight, who they picked up before the All-Star break to help out their starting rotation. Before this year, Sheets last appeared in a Major League game in 2010 with the Oakland A’s. He sat out all of last season because of numerous arm injuries that also kept him out for the entire 2009 season.

So far he has been brilliant for the Braves in just six starts, posting a 4-2 record with a 2.13 ERA. However, Sheets did get knocked around in his last time out against the Mets on August 12th. He lost the game going 6.0 innings, allowing eight hits, four runs, and striking out five. Tonight Sheets will face a Dodgers team that he hasn’t had much success against, with a career record of 3-6 and a 3.78 ERA.

The Dodgers offense probably feels the same way, as only Juan Uribe and James Loney have had some success against Sheets. Here’s a look:

H/AB

BA

RBI

Juan Uribe

2-for-4

.500

2

James Loney

1-for-3

.333

The “Big Show” Aaron Harang will be throwing in this one for the Dodgers. Harang has been solid for the Dodgers this season as a middle of the rotation guy. He has an overall record of 8-7 with a 3.76 ERA on the season.

In his last outing against the Pirates on August 13 he came out with the win. Harang went 6.0 innings in that game, allowing five hits, two runs, with four strike outs. Tonight he will be facing a similar problem to Sheets, as Harang has a career record of 1-3 against the Braves with a 4.53 ERA. It won’t get any easier either because the Braves’ offense have had much success against this big right-hander.

The Braves have five different players who have hit home runs against Harang in their career.

H/AB

BA

HR

RBI

Michael Bourn

8-for-24

.333

1

3

Chipper Jones

5-for-11

.455

1

4

Brian McCann

6-for-11

.545

1

4

David Ross

2-for-3

.667

2

4

Dan Uggla

7-for-21

.333

1

4

Los Angeles Dodgers (65-55) at Atlanta Braves (70-49)
Aaron Harang (8-7, 3.76) vs. Ben Sheets (4-2, 2.13)
Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia
4:10 p.m. PST, August 18, 2012
TV: Prime Ticket, MLB Network
Radio: 570 AM (English), 1020 AM (Spanish)
Game-Time Weather: 80 degrees, Sunny

Braves’ Projected Starters
P: Ben Sheets
C: Brian McCann
1B: Freddie Freeman
2B: Dan Uggla
SS: Paul Janish
3B: Chipper Jones
LF: Martin Prado
CF: Michael Bourn
RF: Jason Heyward

Key Bench Players: OF Reed Johnson, UT Eric Hinske

For more on the Braves, check out our pre-series report.

Key to a Dodger Victory:
Crooked Number: The Dodgers offense has been arguably as hot as they’ve been all year during this road trip. They have scored three runs or more in every game resulting in that 5-3 record on the trip. In their last series against the Pirates, they scored 5, 11, 9, and 6 runs in those four games, losing just once. It will be tough to beat the Dodgers if they continue to put up crooked numbers, especially if their pitchers have outings like Capuano’s last night.

Dodgers vs Rockies Pre-Game: Awakening from the Slumber

The Dodgers dropped Game One of the series last night to the Rockies 2-0. It’s always tough to get shutout, but it’s even tougher to take when you get shutout by the team with the worst team ERA in the Major Leagues. A win last night for the Dodgers could have moved them into first place, with the Giants losing earlier in the night to the Cardinals.

Well, every day is a new day, a quote used by everyone these days, myself included. Tonight the Dodgers will look to get revenge against Rockies starter Alex White, who has an ERA of 6.16 on the season.

White has struggled this season, along with basically every other Rockies pitcher that has taken the mound. In 11 starts he has a 2-6 record with a 6.16 ERA that had to be mentioned twice. In his last start against the Cardinals he picked up a no decision, going 5 1/3 innings, allowing five hits, and two runs. That was actually a solid outing for the 23-year-old.

White was once drafted in the 14th round by the Dodgers in 2006 out of D.H. Conley High School in North Carolina, but chose to attend the University of North Carolina instead. He has faced the Dodgers two different times this year resulting in a 1-1 record. On June 3 he picked up a win against them, going 6 2/3 innings, allowing two hits, two runs, while walking five. So he will look to beat them again tonight and try to lower that ERA that I was about to mention for a third time. (I’m just bitter against anyone who chooses not to wear Dodger Blue).

The Dodgers will have big Harang on the mound for this one. Harang has been pretty solid for the most part this season, with a 7-6 record and a 3.76 ERA. However, you never know what you’re going to get from this guy. In his last start against the Diamondbacks he got beat up pretty bad by the long ball. He went 5.0 innings in that game, allowing nine hits, and seven runs, which came on a three run home run and a grand slam. In his start previous to that one against the Cardinals on July 25th was a different story. The big man ended up with a no decision but was in complete control going 7 1/3 innings, allowing two hits, and two runs.

When he last faced this Rockies team on June 2nd he finished with 6.0 innings pitched, allowing four hits, one run, resulting in a win. Which Aaron Harang will show up tonight?

The better question would be which offense will show up tonight? Or if any offense at all…

Colorado Rockies (39-68) at Los Angeles Dodgers (59-51)
Alex White (2-6, 6.16) vs. Aaron Harang (7-6, 3.76)
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California
7:10 p.m. PST, August 7, 2012
TV: KCAL
Radio: 570 AM (English), 1020 AM (Spanish)
Promotion: Sandy Koufax Bobblehead
Game-Time Weather: 82 degrees, Sunny

Rockies’ Projected Lineup:
P: Alex White
C: Ramon Hernandez
1B: Matt McBride
2B: DJ LeMahieu
SS: Josh Rutledge
3B: Jordan Pacheco
LF: Carlos Gonzalez
CF: Dexter Fowler
RF: Tyler Colvin

Key Bench Players: OF Eric Young, 2B Jonathan Herrera

For more on the Rockies, check out our pre-series report.

Key to a Dodger Victory:
ERA damage: The Dodgers have to take advantage of these Rocky ERAs, pun very much intended. It doesn’t happen often in the Major Leagues when you get to face pitchers on back to back days with ERAs over 5.00, so it would be nice to see the Dodgers score six or seven runs against this troubled Rockies pitching staff. Getting shutout by the team with the worst ERA had to light a fire under the offense and should have them determined to score more than just a few runs tonight.

Prediction: Dodgers 7, Rockies 3