Randy Wolf-3-3 vs. Hiroki Kuroda-4-3
|Furcal is the dodgers leadoff bat, and a proven all-star defenseman, but he has been sidelined by a broken thumb, and has only played in 7 games this season.|
ok lets evaluate where there Dodgers are now, as we are about 25% through the regular season. the Dodgers are 19-23, third place in the NL west, 4 games out of first place.
the Dodgers are next to last in runs scored in the national League rankings. as stac put it yesterday " a 1 run off 4 hit offensive attack just wont cut it." nothing more true could ever be said in the history of mankind. while the bullpen is depleted because of injuries to Broxton, Kuo, and hawksworth, we all have high hopes, as the bullpen has pitched well this week. Newly called up rookies, Elbert and Guerra, each have had successful outings, inlcuding elbert striking out the side, and having another sucessful outing last night as mattingly asked him to come in for 1 out, and he retired his man. hopefully the youngsters can provide a bit of stabaility to the back end of the bullpen for the Dodgers. either way you look at it, despite the injuries to the bullpen, and the worry that Broxton is finished as a major league pitcher,(although possibly having a nice future in competitive eating), and Kuo might not come back from his anxiety disorder, the pitching is clearly not the problem.
the Dodgers have terrific starting pitching which keeps them in games. they now have four starters with ERAs below 3.60. (lilly being the only exception). the defense has been acceptable as well. its clear the Dodgers need offense help.
the Dodgers desperatly need their leadoff bat, and offensive sparkplug, Rafael Furcal (hit Machine). as you know if you read this blog, we call furcal hit machine. (not the hit machine, just hit machine). we gave him this name, last year after he had one of the greatest months of June we have ever seen from a dodger shortstop. he had 17 multi hit games in a 30 game stretch earning player of the month honors from the national league.
Furcal has been sidelined since early april after he broke his left thumb on a slide into third base, during a game in san francisco. hit machine has only played in 7 games this season. he finished playing in his second rehab game in albuquerque, he is due back around may 23, when the Dodgers begin a three game series in houston.
this may not be soon enough. Hit machine has been the heart and soul of the Dodger lineup for the last couple of years now, despite being often hurt. there is no question that when healthy, hit machine is the offensive soul at the top of the lineup for the Dodgers, and a proven all-star defenseman, with a canon for an arm. a week may be too little too late. the Dodgers cant afford to wait this long. does he really need that many games in AAA? three to four games should be enough to get back in game shape. the Dodgers might be buried in the standings by then.
the Dodgers are also awaiting the return of third baseman Casey Blake, who has battled injuries, and extreme rustyness, while only playing in 14 games this year. Blake has been out since mid april, with a staff infection in his elbow that left him hosptialized for several days. the Dodgers dont expect Blake back until end of may at the earliest.
well be going up against an old friend tonight. former Dodger Randy Wolf, will be pitching for the Brewers. the wolfman is 3-3 on the season, and 1-1 vs the Dodgers. the dodgers will counter with Hiroki Kuroda. coming off a very good start in pittsburgh. kuroda is 2-0 vs the brewers, but with a high era (6.28). this is the final game of this two game series, after tonight the giants come into town for a two game series, and then the dodgers hit the road. game time is at 710 on KCAL GO BLUE!