As the Dodgers host the Brewers for the second game of a three-game weekend series, Stephen Fife will try to do something not done by a Dodgers starter in two full weeks: win a game. Hyun-jin Ryu was the last Dodgers starting pitcher to win a game, with his victory on Apr. 13 in Arizona.
The Dodgers have won four of their last five games but their starters have no-decisions in the last time through the rotation. Josh Becket
has yet to win a game himself this year, and Friday night was the first of his starts won by the Dodgers this season.
"I'm not too worried, as long as we win," Beckett said. "That's a positive for me. I don't really care who gets the win."
Fife on Saturday night will look not only for his first victory of 2013 but his first major league win as well. He has pitched decently enough in his six major league starts with a 3.45 ERA and 25 strikeouts and 13 walks in 31 ... innings, but is 0-2.
Since the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958, the only longer stretches of winless starts to begin a Dodgers career were by Clayton Kershaw (nine starts, 2008), Elmer Dessens (eight, 2004-2005), and Jerry Reuss (1979). Yes, there was a time when Clayton Kershaw was 0-3 with a 5.18 ERA (he is 63-36 with a 2.66 ERA since then).
The Dodgers won Fife's last start, last Sunday in Baltimore, even though he allowed three first inning runs. However, Fife recovered and was able to limit the damage somewhat by striking out five and allowing just one ore run while pitching into the fifth inning.
"Early on my fastball command was no good," Fife said. "I had to rely on my other pitches."
Part of the reason why the Dodgers' starters haven't racked up wins of late was (a) the six-game losing streak; and (b) a lot of the damage in the last five games have come against the opposing bullpen. The Dodgers have scored 13 runs in 25⅓ innings against starters in the last five games (4.62 ERA), but have punished bullpens to the tune of 14 runs in 19⅔ innings during that same span, a 6.41 ERA.
Time: 6:10 p.m. PT
TV: Prime Ticket