Sure, the Dodgers have clinched a playoff berth, but they are just getting started. Their magic number to clinch the National League West is just one, so a win this morning against Pittsburgh would get the job done. Either one Dodger win or Rockies' loss would assure the Dodgers of at least a tie for the division. But since a tie between the two teams would assure that both are in the playoffs, the division goes to the team that wins the tiebreaker. The first tiebreaker happens to be head-to-head record, and the Dodgers have already clinched the season series against the Rockies, winning 12 of their 15 match ups.
Clayton Kershaw takes the mound for his first start in 23 days. Kershaw, who struck out four Nationals in two hitless innings of relief Tuesday night, will be on a pitch count today, likely around 70 pitches or so. This will be Kershaw's 50th start as a Dodger. My, how time flies.
Daniel McCutchen, who allowed four runs in five innings at Dodger Stadium last week, gets the start for the Pirates.
Ronnie Belliard last night had three hits and three runs scored, including his fifth home run since joining the Dodgers. He is hitting .333/.385/.625 in 22 games in blue.
Casey Blake, originally in the lineup Saturday, was scratched because Joe Torre "took him out of the lineup because he didn't want to risk him re-injuring his left hamstring on the rain-soaked field," per Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. With a storm still in the Pittsburgh area and rain likely today, I wouldn't be surprised if Blake sits again.
In former Dodger news, Delwyn Young is in the worst slump if his young career. He has seven hits in his last 76 at-bats, and is hitting .092/.169/.145 since August 26. Andy LaRoche, on the other hand, homered last night, and is hitting .279/.343/.459 in September.
Happy 32nd birthday Vicente Padilla. May you enjoy these next eight days, the final eight days you will be on the active roster for the Dodgers.
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: 10:35am
TV: Prime Ticket