At the so-far lowest point of the managerial career of new Dodgers’ skipper Dave Roberts, and as the vivid bright green hues of total embarrassment should be coloring every inch of Dodger Stadium, players’ faces included, we can rely on the talent and competitiveness of tonight’s starting pitcher to bring the team back and produce a victory in the third game of the current four-game series against Miami and former Dodger’s pretender-in-chief, the empty uniform non-manager don mattingly. Oh, wait – tonight’s starter is Scott Kazmir.
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|Scratch that thought. Even mattingly, especially as he is now being helped out by the suddenly red hot Giancarlo Stanton, should ease his team into a fourth straight win tonight. Recovering from his horrendous injury of mid-season 2015, Stanton had a slow start this season, but has now homered in three straight games, going six for twelve and raising his batting average 53 points. The Marlins are now 5-1 in games in which he has homered, 3-10 when he has not.|
The $48-Million-Dollar-Man Kazmir has been remarkably consistent so far this season, at least over his last three starts, throwing four innings, four innings and five innings, while allowing four, four, and six runs over that span, with the Dodgers losing all three. Should this be a surprise to Andrew Friedman and his incompetent stooges Farhan Zaidi and Josh Byrnes? Not if they ever looked at how he performed down the stretch of 2015 once the Houston Astros acquired him from Oakland. In his last three starts of 2015, with the AL West Division title and wild card spots on the line, Kazmir pitched three and two-thirds innings, three and two-thirds innings, and four and one-third innings, allowing three, six and six runs as he compiled a 2-6 record in an Astros uniform. He then made one postseason start, allowing three runs in five and one-third innings, blowing an early three-run lead as Houston went on to lose the American League Division Series to Kansas City.
Facing off against tonight’s Miami starter, left hander Justin Nicolino, will likely be the Dodgers’ second unit, as Roberts DARE not play his lefty batters, so the likes of Chase Utley, Joc Pederson, the resurrected Carl Crawford, and maybe Corey Seager and perhaps even yet again Adrian Gonzalez could all find themselves on the bench. Nicolino, 5-4 with
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|a 4.01 ERA as a rookie last season, began 2016 pitching in New Orleans, where he did reasonably well (2-2, 3.60 ERA) replaces Jarred Cosart in the Marlins rotation. Cosart has been handed an airplane ticket TO New Orleans, Miami shipping him and his 0-1 record and 7.98 ERA to Triple-A. The 25-year-old Cosart was 13-11 in 2014 and has fallen on hard times since, but I'd exchange Kazmir for him in a heartbeat. Alas, there is no chance of that happening.|
Having overcome an early Dodgers’ lead and coming back to beat Clayton Kershaw last night, the Marlins will be sky-high tonight, especially as they know just who will be doing the pitching against them this evening.