Dodgers @ Giants July 28, 2012: Billingsley vs Zito

July 28, 2012 at 11:54 am | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

So, how are we liking Hanley Ramirez so far? I’m hardly the first to note this, but seeing that all San Francisco could do to patch their own infield woes was by acquiring soon-to-be 37-year-old Marco Scutaro just as Ramirez homered to beat the Giants in their own home makes for a pretty delicious situation on our side. I think… the Dodgers might come out ahead on that one.

At the time I’m posting this, we’re not aware of any roster move being made to return Stephen Fife to Triple-A and reinforce the bullpen, which used everyone other than Javy Guerra & Josh Lindblom last night (and Lindblom had already been used in four of five days before that). I suppose that’s just the club being cautious, because Fife is currently lined up to start the finale of the three-game series with Arizona on August 1, but I doubt there’s any one among us who doesn’t expect that the Dodgers will have added at least one (if not two) starting pitchers before then. On the other hand, I suppose Fife may yet be needed since we won’t know how any new acquisition would be lined up in terms of rest and availability to take that start. (Also, with Josh Wall not eligible to return barring someone else going to the DL, that really leaves only Michael Antonini to bring up anyway, and he’s not, you know, good.)

Dodgers
Giants
2B
M.Ellis
RF
Schierholtz
RF
Ethier
2B
Theriot
CF
Kemp
LF
Cabrera
3B
Ramirez
C
Posey
LF
Hairston
CF
Pagan
1B
Rivera
1B
Belt
SS
Cruz
3B
Scutaro
C
A.Ellis
SS
Crawford
P
Billingsley
P
Zito

The middle game of the series features Chad Billingsley vs Barry Zito, but it’s most interesting to see that Andre Ethier is hitting second as Mark Ellis leads off. Per Eric Stephen, this is the first time Ethier has hit second since October 2, 2010, and is of course the first time Ellis has led off as a Dodger. (He did so 221 times with Oakland of the years.) I don’t mind the move in theory, because the Dodgers don’t have a true leadoff hitter and anything that gets Ethier, Matt Kemp, and Ramirez more at-bats is a good thing. (Even if Ellis has been pretty awful since his return.) It just seems like an odd day to do that, because Ethier has reverted to his punchless ways against lefties and has particularly had trouble with Zito, having just six hits in 35 career at-bats. On the other hand, if there’s ever been a game for Matt Kemp to break out of his recent mini-slump, this is it, because Kemp kills Zito, reaching base in 30 of his career 57 plate appearances against him.

In other good news: Rubby De La Rosa! Out since last season’s Tommy John surgery, he’s finally getting back into a game, following Ted Lilly tomorrow for Rancho Cucamonga. Best case scenario, he could be back in the big league bullpen in September, but of course, don’t expect too much from him until next season.

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