The Dodgers are in do-(and-get-help)-or-die mode now, as they look for their season-high seventh straight win. Chris Capuano gets the call in the middle game against the Giants, rounding out his regular season.
In many ways Capuano has had a very similar season to last year with the Mets.
If Capuano pitches at least 4⅔ innings on Tuesday, he will reach 200 innings for the third time in his career and the first time post Tommy John surgery. The last time the Dodgers had two left-handed pitchers throw 200 innings was in 1985, when Fernando Valenzuela (272⅓) and Jerry Reuss (212⅔) did the honors.
But the Dodgers likely need Capuano to pitch much longer than that to stay alive. He would follow in a line of stellar starting pitching of late for the Dodgers, as they have had six straight starts of giving up one run or less, with a 0.74 ERA during that span. Dodgers starters have allowed one earned run or less in eight straight starts, and in their last 10 outings have not given up more than two runs in any start.
On the other side of the ledger, Matt Kemp gets one more shot at Barry Zito. Kemp, who has four home runs and three doubles during the six-game winning streak, has hit .462/.533/.692 in 60 career plate appearances against the southpaw, including 6-for-9 with three home runs and a walk since the start of 2011.
I might have guesses this is Kemp's final shot at facing a left-handed pitcher this season, but the Giants twice on Monday used left-handed relievers against Kemp successfully. Both Jose Mijares in the sixth inning and Jeremy Affeldt in the eighth inning were left in to face Kemp in between lefties Andre Ethier and Adrian Gonzalez, and both induced a groundout to shortstop from Kemp.
Kemp against left-handed pitchers has hit .372/.437/.694 with 11 home runs in 135 plate appearances.
Game Time: 7:10 p.m.