Dodgers @ Orioles April 19, 2013: Interleague Play in April is Weird

April 19, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

camdenyardsDodger baseball… in Baltimore… in April.

Yes, it’s happening, and it’s still weird, even though we’ve known this was coming ever since the day it jumped off the calendar at us back in September when the schedule was announced. As I mentioned on Twitter the other day, it’s only the second regular season Dodger trip to the home of Omar, Bunk, & McNulty, and the first since 2002 when they took two of three behind starters Andy Ashby, Kazuhisa Ishii, and Odalis Perez. Yes, really. Baltimore second baseman Brian Roberts is the only player from either side still with one of the teams, though he won’t be seen this weekend due to injury.

The Dodgers, of course, also lost the 1966 World Series to the Orioles in Sandy Koufax‘ last moments as a Dodger, though he pitched only at home. The Orioles have no former Dodgers on their current roster, though shortstop J.J. Hardy and first baseman Chris Davis have been trade targets around here at various times over the last few years. One of the two former Orioles the Dodgers have is in the lineup tonight, as Ramon Hernandez (2006-08) catches and hits sixth, while Jerry Hairston (1998-2004) returns from his one-game suspension to man the bench. That makes two consecutive starts for Hyun-jin Ryu with Hernandez behind the plate, and I wonder if that becomes a trend.

Dodgers
Orioles
DH
Crawford
RF
Markakis
2B
M.Ellis
3B
Machado
CF
Kemp
CF
Jones
1B
Gonzalez
C
Wieters
RF
Ethier
1B
Davis
C
Hernandez
SS
Hardy
LF
Schumaker
DH
Pearce
3B
Cruz
LF
Reimold
SS
Sellers
2B
Casilla

For the first time this season, we’ll see the use of the designated hitter, and it’s unsurprising that Carl Crawford takes that spot tonight against Baltimore righty Jason Hammel. Hernandez’ presence puts A.J. Ellis on the bench, and makes the 6-9 of your lineup Hernandez / Skip Schumaker / Luis Cruz / Justin Sellers, which, yikes, even though Hernandez does have good history against Hammel.

However, help may be on the way sooner than expected, because Hanley Ramirez had “a full workout” and “hit with power” today at Camden Yards, with his hope being that he can get back in the lineup by his bobblehead day on April 30 against Colorado. As we’ve discussed, the offense badly needs him back, but I can’t pretend I’m full speed ahead on this; we’ve seen the effects of trying to rush back from injury end poorly too many times. Still, I don’t know how much more we can take of Cruz & Sellers, so… come back soon, Hanley.

In other injury news, Ted Lilly is expected to make his first start in place of Chris Capuano (and Zack Greinke) on Wednesday night in New York. I’ll be there on Thursday, and I’m now pretty happy I won’t be there on Wednesday.

Finally, the first game for the Dodgers outside the NL West is not only the first that we’ll have to put up with Eric Collins & Steve Lyons for, but it’s the first that weather becomes a consideration. It’s currently 77 and cloudy in Baltimore, but a round of heavy thunderstorms looks to move in just after gametime. Expect some sort of delay.

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