It was an important series for many reasons as the Dodgers took two of three from the Marlins this weekend. In the midst of a seven-game losing streak, everyone was hoping for a sweep and after Friday night’s loss, the possibility of losing a series to the Marlins was all too possible.
Two wins on Saturday and today gave reasons for optimism as in the past two games, the Dodgers cranked out 25 hits and 12 runs. Scott Van Slyke homered today and starter Chris Capuano gave the team a much needed night off from the bullpen.
Two wins won’t make the injuries and poor start go away, but it was absolutely necessary to win the series against the Marlins. With the Nationals in town this week, the Dodgers start a six-game road trip through Atlanta and Milwaukee this week and next.
The frustration for everyone wasn’t the fact that the team wasn’t getting on-base, but more the inability to hit with RISP. Their .337 on-base percentage ranks third in all of major league baseball, but it’s resulted in the second fewest runs scored.
First baseman Scott Van Slyke was called up and immediately hit a first-inning home run. With Adrian Gonzalez bothered by a neck strain, Van Slyke has a chance to make a real impact off the bench and in spot starts.
Chris Capuano turned things around today going 6.1 innings allowing just one run while striking out seven. Capuano gave the bullpen much needed rest and seems like he might be able to lock down the final spot in the rotation.
Zack Greinke is on-track to pitch Wednesday, which is a month sooner then anyone expected. The prize offseason acquisition was great in two starts and for the Dodgers to build off their two-game winning streak, he needs to bring rotational stability.
The Washington Nationals come to Dodger Stadium at 20-17, but have struggled after a torrid start. Picked by most to get to the World Series, the Nationals have scored only four more runs than the Dodgers and will be without right fielder Jayson Werth, who was recently placed on the disabled list.
Good thing for the Dodgers is they’ll miss flamethrower Stephen Strasburg, while they should have Clayton Kershaw and Greinke on the hill during the series.
While Matt Kemp might not be hitting for much power, the star center fielder is in the midst of an 11-game hitting streak and recorded his 1,000th career hit today.
Hopefully Kemp will regain the power stroke and the middle of the order can start producing. The past two days, Skip Schumaker and Juan Uribe have provided great support.
Series Prediction: It’s tough to imagine, but I think the Dodgers win both games started by Kershaw and Greinke. Dodgers take two of three.