Dodgers @ Cardinals August 8, 2013: Stop Bunting

August 8, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

buschstadiumI know I’ve said this a few times this season, but the Dodgers have to be playing one of the oddest schedules I’ve ever seen a team go through. To use just one of many examples, they had a rare day off in the middle of a homestand last Monday in between hosting the Reds and the Yankees, but then they have to go and do things like fly right from New York to San Diego (as they did in June) without an off day, or finish road trips and head home without the benefit of even an earlier start time on getaway day. That happened when the Dodgers finished off their series in Toronto in July, and it happens again tonight in St. Louis. This team merely has to head back to Los Angeles to face David Price and the Rays tomorrow night, and even if all goes well, they won’t likely get out of St. Louis until somewhere around midnight local tonight.

Dodgers
Cardinals
LF
Crawford
2B
Carpenter
2B
M.Ellis
RF
Beltran
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Craig
RF
Puig
LF
Holliday
CF
Ethier
3B
Freese
C
A.Ellis
CF
Jay
3B
Uribe
C
Johnson
SS
Gordon
SS
Kozma
P
Ryu
P
Martinez

Notice that if say “if all goes well,” because Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register has been tweeting out pictures of cloudy skies and the tarp on the field, though it’s not expected to delay the first pitch. Still, all it takes is a poorly-timed summer storm — along with the fact that the Dodgers don’t return to St. Louis this year — to make this a very bleary-eyed team when they take the field back home tomorrow night.

In the meantime, they face Cardinals rookie Carlos Martinez, making his first career start after 10 earlier relief appearances. Martinez is a highly thought-of prospect who was ranked as the #33 overall prospect before the season by MLB.com, who had this to say:

If you’re an undersized right-hander with electric stuff, chances are you’re going to be compared to Pedro Martinez. Sure enough, Carlos Martinez has been called “Little Pedro” on more than one occasion. His plus fastball can sit in the upper-90s with ease coming from a smooth and largely repeatable delivery. Martinez’s curve can be a plus pitch in the future, a tight 12-to-6 breaking ball. His offspeed stuff isn’t that far behind, a circle changeup that has some fade to it. He did have some shoulder tendinitis in 2012, but came back just fine, and up a level. Like with any smaller pitcher, there are concerns about durability, with some thinking the bullpen is a better place, but Martinez has the stuff and delivery to pitch near the top of a rotation some day.

In other, much more fun news, our good friend EephusBlue and his “STOP BUNTING” shirts made a welcome appearance on MLB Now with Brian Kenny today:

Stop bunting. Stop bunting forever.

In minor league news: John Baker was outrighted off the 40-man roster, opening up a free spot, and Brian Wilson is expected to pitch tomorrow night for Albuquerque after his 1-2-3 appearance for Rancho Cucamonga last night.

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