The Dodgers return home tonight to face the Pirates, on free Dodger Dog night at Dodger Stadium. All fans at the game tonight will receive a voucher for a free Dodger Dog as they enter the stadium. Tonight is also USC Night at Dodger Stadium.
Somewhat shockingly, this the first time the Dodgers have seen the Pirates this season. The Pirates are spiraling downward, and have lost 33 of their last 45 games, having been outscored by 98 runs -- over two per game!! -- during that stretch. 2009 is the 17th consecutive losing season for Pittsburgh, a record for the four major professional sports. The Dodgers have only won one of their last seven home series, so the Pirates just might be what the doctor ordered.
The Pirates tonight will feature the only two McCutchens in MLB history, as Andrew McCutchen mans centerfield behind his non-related pitching teammate, Daniel McCutchen. James McCutchen "Doc" McJames, who played for the Dodgers in 1899 and 1901, doesn't count as McCutchen was only his middle name. Who the heck names their son James McJames, anyway? I hope James McDonald doesn't have a brother named Donald.
Andrew McCutchen has had a nice debut with the Pirates this season, helping soothe the fans still steaming over the loss of Nate McLouth. The 22-year old McCutchen is hitting .270/.347/.459 with 11 home runs in 88 games, with a .353 wOBA that ranks seventh among all MLB centerfielders. Andrew hit three home runs in one game earlier this season; Daniel has allowed three home runs in his first two major league starts. The 26-year old pitcher has walked just 1.9 batters per nine innings in four minor league seasons.
Jon Garland takes the hill for the Dodgers, his second home start with the club. Garland has pitched six innings or longer in 18 of his last 19 starts, with a 3.55 ERA during that span. As a Dodger, Garland is 1-0 with a 3.46 ERA.
In the month of September, James Loney leads the club in hits (16), runs (7), home runs (3), RBI (10), and walks (6).
Top 2009 draft pitck Aaron Miller gets the start for the Great Lakes Loons tonight in the third and deciding game of the Midwest League semifinals against the Fort Wayne TinCaps. Game time is 4:05pm, and you can listen online by clicking here or here. You can also follow the box score here.
In other minor league news, the Dodgers have named Scott Elbert and Dee Gordon as the Branch Rickey Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Year, respectively. Elbert, who was 4-4 with a 3.84 ERA between Double A and Triple A this season, was the top-ranked Dodger prospect by both Phil Gurnee and Canuck Dodger in our midseason prospect report. Kensai rated the 24-year old Elbert as his third-best prospect. Gordon, who led the Midwest League with 73 steals and 12 triples, was ranked sixth, eighth, and 10th by Phil, Kensai, and Canuck, respectively. Gordon, 21, shared league MVP honors with teammate Kyle Russell.
Check out Xeifrank's simulation of today's game here.
Get your guesses in for our today's "One, Two, Three Strikes, You're Out," here.
Game Time: 7:10pm
TV: Prime Ticket