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.