The Los Angeles Dodger are coming off of a long, extra-inning loss against the San Francisco Giants last night in what was an unideal start to their stretch of 29 games in 30 days. The close to five hour game on Tuesday night may take a toll on the two teams’ energy going into tonight’s game, and the Dodgers hope to regather and win game two of their three-game series with the Giants.
Both teams used nearly every pitcher in their respective bullpens in Tuesday’s tiring game. After optioning Paco Rodriguez to Triple-A, Brian Wilson was back to feeling healthy and many believed he would make an appearance against his former team. Ironically, the only reliever the Dodgers did not use was their newly activated setup man. With an exhausted bullpen, Wilson will more than likely make his return in Wednesday’s game.
On the mound for the Dodgers tonight is left-hander Paul Maholm. The 33-year-old struggled in his only other start of the season to say the least. When he faced off against the Giants two weekends ago, he allowed seven hits and 5 earned runs in 4.1 innings pitched in a humbling 7-2 loss for the Dodgers. Maholm has come out of the bullpen three other times during the season so far, and has had minimal success as a reliever, albeit in a small sample size.
With the Dodgers having close to no off days in the next month and little certainty on when Clayton Kershaw will return, the team needs Maholm to prove he can handle being in the rotation. Wednesday’s game is equally as important to the Dodgers as it is to the struggling starter as Maholm looks to prove himself as an asset to the organization.
Maholm will face off against right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, who did not fare too well in his first outing against the Dodgers. The 36-year-old starter gave up seven hits and four runs in just over four innings of work against the Dodgers and had a very similar outing against the Diamondbacks in his most recent start. After shining with the Giants during their 2012 postseason run, Vogelsong has gone downhill from there.
Andre Ethier, batting sixth in the lineup, is a career .294 against the right-hander. Whether it is in response to Tim Federowicz’s struggles at the plate or merely a day off, Drew Butera takes over catching duties. Somewhat surprisingly, Yasiel Puig is the odd man out among the outfielders. Puig hit a triple on Tuesday and could be seen in a pinch-hit situation.
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