Updated at 3:32 p.m.: Matt Kemp and Juan Uribe will both be in the starting lineup tonight.
Another disappointing finish brings the Dodgers to a new series, with hopes to forget about the events that just passed in Denver and Chicago. The Dodgers return home, a place where they are 10-2, as compared to 8-6 on the road. They will host their arch-rivals the San Francisco Giants for a three-game set beginning tonight. On the mound for the Dodgers is Ted Lilly, who has been phenomenal this season, posting a 3-0 record with a 1.38 ERA. Opposing him is another pitcher off to a fast start, Barry Zito, who’s 1-0 record and 1.76 ERA offer hope for Giants fans that in the penultimate year of his contract, he may finally start to pay off.
San Francisco Giants (14-14) at Los Angeles Dodgers (18-10)
7:10 PM PST, May 7, 2012
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California
Radio: 570 AM (English), 1020 AM (Spanish)
Game-Time Weather: 67 degrees, mostly clear
For more information on the Giants, check out our pre-series report.
Dodgers Last 10: (5-5): L @ CHC, W @ CHC, L @ CHC, L @ COL, W @ COL, L @ COL, W vs WAS, W vs WAS, W vs WAS, L vs ATL.
Giants Last 10: (5-5): W vs MIL, W vs MIL, L vs MIL, L vs MIA, L vs MIA, L vs MIA, W vs SD, W vs SD, L vs SD, W @ CIN.
- The Dodgers trail the overall series against the Giants by a margin of 1,098-1,083. The Dodgers were 9-9 against San Francisco last season, including 5-4 at home.
- The Dodgers are hoping that Matt Kemp does play tonight, he is batting .452 with six home runs and 10 RBIs.
- Since last beating the Dodgers on May 8, 2009, Barry Zito is 0-3 with a 3.05 ERA in eight games, seven of which he started.
Keys to a Dodger Victory:
- Don’t Rely on Kemp
If the disastrous situation does occur and Matt Kemp is unable to go, the Dodgers must charge forward, asking somebody else to step it up, much like Juan Rivera did yesterday in Chicago. But as evidenced, one player cannot go at it alone. Kemp hits .426 against Zito, Jerry Hairston Jr. is hitting .364. Both are questionable. Take them out of the picture and the Dodgers are hitting just .174, 58 points fewer than with them in it. The next batter with success is Juan Rivera’s .269.
- About Face-time for Lilly
To be a member of the Dodgers is to understand how big the need is to defeat the Giants. Ted Lilly is missing this memo, posting a 3-4 record with a 5.81 ERA, including a 0-3 record with a 6.86 ERA in his last three appearances spanning two seasons. Given that the Giants are down right now, Lilly needs to jump on this and run with it.
- Extend the Lead
The Giants stand at .500 for the season, while the other three teams out West are below the even mark. This is a golden opportunity for the Dodgers to pad their lead in the division. A sweep of San Francisco puts them up by 7.0 games with nearly a fifth of the season in the books. Welcome the new owners to Dodger Stadium and this heated rivalry with a victory today.
Best-Case Prediction: Dodgers 6, Giants 2
Worst-Case: Giants 9, Dodgers 3