As news finally broke last night that Matt Kemp was headed to the 15-day disabled list, the emotions were mixed. On one hand, the loss of Kemp leaves the Dodgers relying on a bunch of hitters who appear to be wild cards at best. On the plus side, it’s nice to know the Dodgers are playing it safe with Kemp and allowing him to fully heal before thrusting him back into the lineup.
Regardless of your reaction, however, the fact remains: the Dodger offense is going to need to come from someone else. While Andre Ethier and A.J. Ellis have been stalwarts for the blue crew this season, the likes of Dee Gordon, Juan Uribe, Bobby Abreu and James Loney will need to start providing some consistent production in Kemp’s absence.
Through all of this, however, the good news remains that LA also owns the third-best ERA in baseball amongst starting pitchers. On the mound Tuesday night is Chad Billingsley, owner of a 3.32 ERA this season.
Opposing Billingsley is a relative unknown, Wade Miley. Miley, however, has been impressive thus far this season, with a 3-1 record and an ERA of just 2.76 in seven starts this year.
Arizona Diamondbacks (15-21) at Los Angeles Dodgers (24-11)
7:10 PM PST, May 15, 2012
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California
Radio: 570 AM (English), 1020 AM (Spanish)
Promotion: Orel Hershiser Bobblehead
Game-Time Weather: 67 degrees, mostly clear
For more information on the Diamondbacks check out our pre-series report.
Dodgers Last 10: (7-3): W vs AZ, W vs COL, W vs COL, W vs COL, W vs SF, L vs SF, W vs SF, L @ CHC, W @ CHC, L @ CHC.
Diamondbacks Last 10: (2-8): L @ LA, L vs SF, L vs SF, W vs SF, L vs STL, L vs STL, L vs STL, L @ NYM, L @ NYM, W @ NYM.
- As a team, the Dodgers have logged just nine at-bats against Miley in his career. While Miley did appear in one game against the Dodgers last season, it was in relief, as he went one inning but gave up three hits and two runs, including a home run to Matt Kemp.
- Being that Miley is a relative unknown to the Dodgers, the Diamondbacks have seen plenty of Chad Billingsley – logging 268 career at-bats against him. In those at bats, the team is hitting just .254.
- In four starts last season against the Diamondbacks, Billingsley had mixed results. In his first outing of the season, Bills had one of his best starts of the season – lasting eight innings and allowing just one hit while striking out eight. In his other three starts, however, he allowed 12 runs in 18 innings, walking 10 and striking out just eight.
Keys to a Dodger Victory:
– Ewing theory
Grantland’s Bill Simmons always talks about the “Ewing Theory” which maintains that in some cases, when a team’s best player gets injured, the rest of the team rises to new levels in order to pick up the slack. Throughout the next two weeks, there will definitely be days when the Dodgers will need that kind of production, so lets hope they can come through.
While everyone will be looked upon to produce in Kemp’s absence, it’s these two guys who are expected to pick up most of the slack alongside Andre Ethier. Loney is currently in the midst of a six-game hitting streak in which he is hitting .450 (9/20), while Abreu has been almost equally as effective, hitting .350 in that stretch (7/20).
-Rely on the new guys
Nothing gives a team or a fan base hope quite like the emergence of a new star. While looking over the names added to the roster, it appears that none of the guys present will be future hall of famers, but I think Dodger fans would be quite content with an everyday major league player in their midst. Scott Van Slyke has been impressive in limited action this season, and if he or a guy like Jerry Sands can produce at a high level, the whole team will feed off that.
Best-Case Prediction: Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 1
Worst-Case: Diamondbacks 7, Dodgers 6