Dodgers vs Cardinals Pre-Game: Capuano of old could end slide

The Dodgers lost Game One of a very important four-game series last night against the Cardinals, 2-1.

This is a series for the Dodgers that could move them into the second Wildcard spot, which after last night’s loss has them currently trailing the Cardinals by two games.

There are so many questions surrounding this Dodgers team as they make a final push for the postseason. Why are the Dodgers struggling? Is Matt Kemp playing hurt? Does this team lack good chemistry? When will they turn things around?

Everyone has been trying to get an answer to why this team has been struggling. The Dodgers have 18 games left to turn things around and put those questions to rest. These next three games could make or break this team, who’s on the verge of either digging a deeper a hole for themselves or becoming a team that can make a deep run in October.

Tonight’s pitching match-up will be Joe Kelly against Chris Capuano.

Kelly, the 24-year-old right-hander from Anaheim, Calif. has made 15 starts this season for the Cardinals, posting a 5-6 record with a 3.51 ERA.

In his last three starts he’s 1-1 with a 4.58 ERA, with his last win coming on Sept. 3 against the New York Mets.

In his career against the Dodgers, Kelly has a 0-1 record with a 3.00 ERA, picking up that loss in his only start against them on July 23 in St. Louis earlier this season. He went 6.0 innings, allowing four hits, two runs, with just one strike out in that game.

The Dodgers are still looking to find the Capuano that was winning games consistently during the first half of the season.

It has been the complete opposite during the second half for Capuano, who has now been more consistent at losing games, with just two wins total since the All-Star break, posting an 11-10 record with a 3.59 ERA in 29 starts this season, with his last win coming over a month ago on Aug. 12 against the Miami Marlins.

He has a 0-1 record with a 5.50 ERA in his last three starts.

Capuano’s career record against the Cardinals is 5-6 with a 5.70 ERA.

St. Louis Cardinals (76-68) at Los Angeles Dodgers (74-70)
Joe Kelly (5-6, 3.51) vs. Chris Capuano (11-10, 3.59)
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California
7:10 p.m. PST, September 14, 2012
TV: Prime Ticket
Radio: 570 AM (English), 1020 AM (Spanish)
Game-Time Weather: 83 degrees, Mostly Sunny

Cardinals’ Projected Starters:
P: Joe Kelly
C: Yadier Molina
1B: Allen Craig
2B: Skip Schumaker
SS: Daniel Descalso
3B: David Freese
LF: Matt Holliday
CF: Jon Jay
RF: Carlos Beltran

Key Bench Players: 1B Matt Carpenter

Key to a Dodger Victory
Capuano of old
The Dodgers need to get the Chris Capuano of the first half of season back, the one that was looked upon by some as an All-Star snub. He was 9-4 before the All-Star break and was the starter behind Clayton Kershaw in the rotation that the Dodgers could rely on. He is capable of dominating opposing offenses. In his last win on Aug. 12 against the Miami Marlins, he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, finishing with just two hits in eight shutout innings. If the Dodgers plan to win this important series or get into the postseason, they will need the Capuano of old to return to form.


Dodgers vs Giants Pre-Game: Capuano strives to change course

The Dodgers dropped Game One last night, 5-2 against the San Francisco Giants.

It was a loss that stings a little bit more than most, now trailing the Giants by 5.5 games in the National League West. If the Dodgers can take the next two games in San Francisco, this division will be far from over, but they face a tough task tonight.

The Dodgers will send left-hander Chris Capuano to the mound for Game Two.

Capuano has been dominant at times during this long season, except during the second half, where he has struggled to find that dominance. On the season Capuano is 11-10 with a 3.63 ERA, only two of those wins coming after the All-Star break.

It was on August 12th against the Miami Marlins when Capuano last picked up a win, which was arguably his best start of the season. He went 8.0 innings, allowing two hits, no runs, and struck out 10 in that game.

However, it hasn’t been all that great when Capuano faces the Giants, with a 1-6 record and 5.58 ERA in his career against San Francisco.

The Giants will counter and send one of the National League’s best pitchers to the mound, Matt Cain.

Cain has now been labeled as the Giants ace with Tim Lincecum having a not-so-good year, well when he isn’t pitching against the Dodgers.

It was earlier this season when Cain put the entire baseball world on notice, pitching a perfect game on June 14 against the Houston Astros, one of the most dominant performances that baseball fans had seen in quite some time, finishing the game with 14 strikeouts.

Cain has a 13-5 record with a 2.98 ERA on the season.

Fortunately, the Dodgers have found ways to beat this big right-hander, who has a 4-8 record and 3.45 ERA in his career against them. Although Cain did win the last time he faced the Dodgers on August 22 at Dodger Stadium. He went 7.0 innings, allowing seven hits, one run, while striking out five in that one.

Los Angeles Dodgers (73-66) at San Francisco Giants (78-60)
Chris Capuano (11-10, 3.63) vs. Matt Cain (13-5, 2.98)
AT&T Park, San Francisco, California
1:05 p.m. PST, September 8, 2012
Radio: 570 AM (English), 1020 AM (S0panish)
Game-Time Weather: 63 degrees, Mostly Cloudy

Giants’ Projected Starters:
P: Matt Cain
C: Buster Posey
1B: Brandon Belt
2B: Marco Scutaro
SS: Brandon Crawford
3B: Pablo Sandoval
LF: Gregor Blanco
CF: Angel Pagan
RF: Hunter Pence

Key Bench Players: IF Joaquin Arias, IF Ryan Theriot

Keys to a Dodgers Victory
Get to the Bullpen
The Dodgers need to make Matt Cain throw a lot of pitches and force the Giants to use their bullpen early on. In Cain’s last start against the Chicago Cubs, he only managed to make it through 5.0 innings after allowing five runs. If the Cubs can knock the Giants ace out of the game that early then the Dodgers certainly can. It will be crucial for this to happen if the Dodgers want to win, because if Cain is going seven or eight innings it’s not a good sign for the boys in blue.

Dodgers vs Rockies Pre-Game: Calm Before the Storm?

It was a nightmare game last night as the Dodgers lost 10-0 to the last place Rockies. The offense was shut down completely, playing in just their third game with the new addition of Adrian Gonzalez in the lineup.

Tonight, the Dodgers will look to bounce back and turn the page on last night’s massacre.

The Rockies will have Tyler Chatwood on the mound against the Dodgers tonight. Chatwood has been a part of the Rockies struggles on the mound this season, posting a 3-3 record with a 4.98 ERA. He was called up late this season for bullpen help, but was moved into the four man rotation and has made five starts. In his last three outings Chatwood is 1-1 with 4.85 ERA. The young right hander from Fontana, California is 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA in his career against the Dodgers.

Chris Capuano will be throwing for the Dodgers tonight, hoping to get some run support in this one. The lefty has been brilliant at times this season with an 11-9 record and 3.37 ERA. He took a tough loss in his last outing against the first place Giants. In that game he only managed to pitch 5.0 innings, allowing six hits, six earned runs, with just two strikeouts. On August 12th against the Marlins which was his last win, he was nearly unhittable. He went 8.0 innings in that one, allowing just two hits, with 10 strikeouts. Tonight, Capuano will look to improve a career record of 5-7 against the Rockies with a 3.58 ERA.

Los Angeles Dodgers (69-60) at Colorado Rockies (52-75)
Chris Capuano (11-9, 3.37) vs. Tyler Chatwood (3-3, 4.98)
Coors Field, Denver, Colorado
5:40 p.m. PST, August 28, 2012
Radio: 570 AM (English), 1020 AM (Spanish)
Game-Time Weather: 88 degrees, Mostly Sunny

Rockies’ Projected Starters:

P: Tyler Chatwood

C: Wilin Rosario
1B: Tyler Colvin
2B: DJ LeMahieu
SS: Josh Rutledge
3B: Jordan Pacheco
LF: Carlos Gonzalez
CF: Dexter Fowler
RF: Charlie Blackmon

Key Bench Players: IF Jonathan Herrera, OF Andrew Brown

Keys for a Dodger Victory:

Wake up Bats: The Dodgers need to take advantage of their new and improved dangerous lineup, along with the launching pad known as Coors Field. Being shut out is one thing, being shut out at Coors Field is frowned upon, especially with a lineup like this. Tonight, Capuano will be on the mound and will need run support like every pitcher does. It will be a complete shock if the Dodgers don’t put up five runs or more for him after a poor showing last night.

Dodgers vs D-Backs Pre-Game: Southpaws Meet in Heated Game

It wasn’t the debut that Hanley Ramirez and the fans had in mind last night at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers just had one of those games last night, losing to the D-Backs 7-2. Those seven runs came on a three-run home run and a grand slam given up by big Aaron Harang. However, as usual the Dodgers didn’t roll over and were trying to score until the very last out of the game.

The Dodgers will look to rebound after the tough defeat. Tonight it will be a battle between two lefties at Dodger Stadium, Wade Miley against Chris Capuano.

Miley is probably the least talked about rookie in the Major Leagues this year despite making the National League All Star team. He was basically thrown into the D-Backs rotation early on due to numerous injuries and has done nothing but impress. On the season Miley has an 11-6 record with a 3.11 ERA. In his last outing he picked up a loss against the New York Mets, allowing nine hits and three earned runs in 5 1/3 innings of work. On July 5 in Arizona Miley got roughed up a bit by the Dodgers, allowing eight hits and four earned runs in 6.2 innings in that one. It will be interesting to see how the rookie prepares for a chance at revenge against this Dodger offense that got the best of him earlier this month.

Chris Capuano will take the hill for the Dodgers. This lefty is a veteran that has had an impressive year of his own. His numbers aren’t too far off from his opponent, with a 10-6 record and a 3.13 ERA on the season. Although Capuano hasn’t had the best second half of the season and is coming off of a bad outing in St Louis against the Cardinals. In his last start against the Cardinals he only managed to get through 4 1/3 innings, allowing 11 hits and five earned runs. On July 8 Capuano also got knocked around by this D-Backs team that he’s about to face, allowing nine hits and five earned runs in 5.0 innings of work.

So it will be a game of adjustments and revenge for both left-handers as they go head to head tonight at Dodger Stadium.
(By adjustments I could be talking about more new teammates for the Dodgers? But I guess we’ll have to wait and see )

Arizona Diamondbacks (52-51) at Los Angeles Dodgers (56-48)
Wade Miley (11-6, 3.11) vs Chris Capuano (10-6, 3.13)
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California
7:10 p.m. PST, July 31, 2012
TV: Prime Ticket
Radio: 570 AM (English), 1020 AM (Spanish)
Promotion: Kirk Gibson Bobblehead presented by San Manuel Indian and Bingo
Game-Time Weather: Mostly Sunny, 74 degrees

Diamondbacks’ Projected Starters:
P: Wade Miley
C: Miguel Montero
1B: Paul Goldschmidt
2B: Aaron Hill
SS: Stephen Drew
3B: Chris Johnson
LF: Jason Kubel
CF: Chris Young
RF: Justin Upton

Key Bench Players: SS Willie Bloomquist, OF Gerardo Parra

Dodgers’ Last 10 (6-4): L vs ARI, W @ SF, W @ SF, W @ SF, L @ STL, L @ STL, L @ STL, W @ STL, W @ NYM, W @ NYM.
Diamondbacks’ Last 10 (7-3): W @ LA, L vs NYM, W vs NYM, W vs NYM, L vs NYM, L vs COL, W vs COL, W vs COL, W vs HOU, W vs HOU.

Keys to a Dodger Victory:
– Score early on:
The Dodgers need to come out and give Capuano an early lead in this one. It will be good for the struggling Capuano to pitch with a comfortable 2-0 lead at least in the first three innings. When he becomes comfortable on that mound, it will be cruise mode for him for about six or seven innings of shutout ball.

Prediction: Dodgers 4, D-Backs 1

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
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

Dodgers vs Angels Pre-Game: Capuano Tries to End Slide

The Dodgers will look to bounce back tonight against the Angels after blowing a 5-0 lead in Game One of the series last night. The Dodgers are also looking to put an end to their four-game losing streak, which has moved the San Francisco Giants to just three games behind them in the division standings.

Fortunately, the Dodgers will have left-hander Chris Capuano on the bump tonight, who has been the most consistent pitcher in the rotation so far this season. The numbers don’t lie, as he has an 8-2 record with a 2.71 ERA in 14 starts. In his last start against the Chicago White Sox, he had arguably his best start as a Dodger, going eight innings, allowing six hits, one run, and tying his season-high with 12 strikeouts.

However, on June 11 against the Angels at Dodger Stadium, Capuano went only five innings, allowing eight hits, two runs, and walked four in a 3-2 loss. So revenge will certainly be on the mind of Chris Capuano when he takes the mound tonight, at Angel Stadium.

The Angels will send their right-hander Ervin Santana to the mound to face the inconsistent Dodgers offense. Santana is coming off of his best start of the season against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The baseball world quickly took notice of his last start, when he took a perfect game into the seventh inning. Call me a jinx, because right as I tuned in to watch the game, bam, base hit to center field. Still, it was an impressive start as he pitched a complete game and allowed only that one hit.

That Santana doesn’t always show up though, on the season he is 4-7 with a 5.16 ERA in 14 starts. Those numbers won’t mean a thing though if Santana is pitching anything like he did against the Diamondbacks because then it will be a very long night for the Dodgers offense.

Los Angeles Dodgers (42-29) at Anaheim Angels (39-32)
Chris Capuano (8-2, 2.71) vs. Ervin Santana (4-7, 5.16)
Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California
4:15 p.m. PST, June 23, 2012
Radio: 570 AM (English), 1020 AM (Spanish)
Game-Time Weather: 73 degrees, Mostly Sunny

Angels Projected Starters:
P: Ervin Santana
C: Bobby Wilson
1B: Albert Pujols
2B: Howie Kendrick
SS: Erick Aybar
3B: Alberto Callaspo
LF: Mark Trumbo
CF: Mike Trout
RF: Torii Hunter
DH: Kendrys Morales
Key Bench Players: IF Maicer Izturis, OF Peter Bourjos
For more information on the Angels, check out our pre-series report.
Dodgers Last 10: (3-7): L @ ANA, L @ OAK, L @ OAK, L @ OAK, W vs CHW, L vs CHW, W vs CHW, L vs ANA, W vs ANA, L vs ANA.
Angels Last 10: (7-3): W vs LA, W vs SF, W vs SF, L vs SF, W vs ARI, W vs ARI, L vs ARI, W @ LA, L @ LA, W @ LA

Key to a Dodger Victory:

If the Dodgers can get off to a quick 5-0 lead like they did last night that would be huge. This time Capuano will be pitching, so you shouldn’t expect those five runs to go to waste. Also, this offense needs to show signs of consistency with another five runs or more because before last night this offense looked dead in Oakland. If Santana isn’t throwing his ace-type-stuff tonight expect the Dodgers to hit the long ball a few times, as Santana is tied for third in the major leagues with 18 home runs allowed already this season.