At first it was comical. Now, I’m starting to think it’s miraculous.
The fact that the Dodgers are winning games with the lineup they currently boast is borderline inexplicable (let alone against all-stars like Wade Miley and should-be all-star Johnny Cueto). But at this point, who cares, right?
The Dodgers go for four in a row tonight with ace Clayton Kershaw back on the mound, looking to match his stellar outing from a week ago (7 innings, 1 ER, 9 K). For the Diamondbacks, 26-year-old Josh Collmenter takes the mound with a 4.41 ERA in just his seventh start of the season.
Collmenter began the season as a starter but gave up 20 ER in his first 18.1 innings (over four starts) and was quickly jettisoned to the bullpen where his numbers improved significantly. In two starts since re-joining the rotation, Collmenter has allowed just 2 ER.
Los Angeles Dodgers (47-37) at Arizona Diamondbacks (39-43)
Clayton Kershaw (6-4, 2.65) vs. Josh Collmenter (0-0, 4.41)
Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
6:40 p.m. PST, July 6, 2012
TV: Prime Ticket
Radio: 570 AM (English), 1020 AM (Spanish)
Keys to Dodger Victory:
Pitching: As we’ve said before, this offense is surviving on smoke and mirrors, so it’s only a matter of time before the runs stop coming. With that said, the Dodgers have a pretty good guy in Kershaw to handle that burden. With the All-Star break looming, the Dodgers have said they will have guys like Harang and Capuano available out of the bullpen if needed, but lets hope it doesn’t come to that, especially tonight.
Hitting: With guys like Luis Cruz, Elian Herrera and Scott Van Slyke manning the middle of an order, who needs anything else?!?! – Dodgers Triple-A reporter three weeks ago. Unfortunately, it’s the reality the major-league Dodgers are currently faced with and you’ve got to give these guys credit because they keep plugging away. As far as predictions go, I’m sensing a big game from James Loney tonight, so keep your eye out for him.
- The Dodgers are hitting .341 career against Collmenter (15-for-44), but no batter has faced him more than eight times
- On the other side, the D-Backs are hitting just .140 against Kershaw in 129 at bats with zero home runs while striking out 30.2% of the time (39-for-129)
- The Dodgers are 7-1 in Kershaw’s last 8 starts against Arizona dating back to the 2010 season