As expected, the Dodgers on Friday recalled Stephen Fife from Triple A Albuquerque in order to make his second major league start in the series opener against the San Francisco Giants. Fife takes the roster spot of Scott Elbert, who was placed on the disabled list with left elbow inflammation.
Fife was a ground ball machine in his first outing, inducing 11 groundouts against the Phillies on July 17. He allowed one run in six innings and left with the lead, but he ended up with a no-decision after Philadelphia scored a pair of eighth inning runs to turn a Dodgers lead into a Dodgers loss.
With his outing against the Phillies, Fife's 1.50 ERA is the third best in Los Angeles Dodgers history, with a minimum of six innings. Watch out, Eric Weaver!
Elbert was used just once in the four-game series in St. Louis, and on Wednesday night he walked the only batter he faced on five pitches. Elbert is the 18th Dodger to be placed on the disabled list this season.
One of those currently disabled Dodgers, Justin Sellers, tweeted earlier Friday that he would begin a rehab assignment with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday. Sellers, on the 60-day disabled list with a bulging disc in his lower back, last played on May 22.
Since the beginning of 2011, Matt Cain is 11-7 with a 2.48 ERA in 25 home starts, with 40 walks, 158 strikeouts, and an average of 7.27 innings per start. He has pitched at least six innings in 24 of those 25 starts, and in the other outing he pitched 5 2/3 innings.
After missing him in each of the first two series against San Francisco this season, the Dodgers get Cain in Friday's opener.
Remember back when Cain seemingly couldn't beat the Dodgers? Those days seem long gone now. Cain in his first 14 career starts against the Dodgers pitched reasonably well, with a 4.32 ERA. But Cain was 0-8 and the Giants were 4-10 in those games.
But starting with his start against the Dodgers on August 1, 2010 in San Francisco, Cain hasn't lost against them. In his last five starts against the Dodgers, he has a 1.80 ERA, a 0.771 WHIP, five walks, and 28 strikeouts in 35 innings. Cain has won three of those games, giving up no runs in those games, and the Giants are 5-0 during that span.
The lesson here: score a run off Cain, and he won't get the win. It's science.
Former Dodger Talk host Josh Suchon, who grew up a fan of the Oakland Athletics, is writing a book about the 1988 Dodgers, entitled Miracle Men: Hershiser, Gibson, and the Improbable 1988 Dodgers. From the publisher, Triumph Books:
That Dodgers team crushed the author's heart as a teen-ager, but now he reflects fondly on an championship that's crazy even by Hollywood standards. Most champions contain a Who's Who of stars. That Dodgers team fielded a World Series lineup that had the audience asking, "Who and Who?"
The book is due out next spring, coinciding with (gulp) the 25th anniversary of the last Dodgers team to win it all.
Game Time: 7:15 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket