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Dodgers Hope Pitching Isn't AWOL in Game Two Against Reds

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It's a little late, but Ronald Belisario is expected to be back for tonight's game in Cincinnati (Photo Credit: Jon SooHoo / LA Dodgers)
It's a little late, but Ronald Belisario is expected to be back for tonight's game in Cincinnati (Photo Credit: Jon SooHoo / LA Dodgers)

Heading into the second game of the series in Cincinnati, the Dodgers bullpen figures to be stronger starting tonight.  Ronald Belisario, who showed up to spring training 35 days late, is expected to be activated from the restricted list before tonight's game against the Reds.

Belisario, who put up a 2.04 ERA and 3.51 FIP in 70 2/3 innings as a rookie last season, has spent most of the last four weeks in extended spring training in Arizona.  He spent the first 17 days of the regular season not getting paid while on the restricted list.  Major league players are paid by the day over the course of a 183-day regular season, so with Belisario's major league salary at $412,500, his time on the restricted list cost him roughly $38,320.

Hiroki Kuroda will make his third start of the season still in search of his first unintentional walk of the year.  Well, maybe he's not in search of that walk, but the point is he hasn't walked anybody while Russell Martin has been in a crouch.  This shouldn't come as a surprise, of course, as he has one or fewer unintentional walk in 34 of 53 career starts, including no intentional walks in 20 starts.

If Kuroda can pitch deep into this game -- after pitching 15 innings in the first two games -- perhaps he can help improve on the Dodgers' ERA by inning (per Baseball-Reference.com):

Dodgers Pitchers By Inning
Split IP ERA BB/9 K/9 Opp BA/OBP/SLG
Innings 1-3 39.0 3.46 3.23 11.08 .264/.331/.399
Innings 4-6 39.0 6.46 5.31 6.23 .284/.378/.452
Innings 7-9 35.1 6.88 6.11 7.64 .237/.358/.443

Here are the lineups (thanks to Jamie Ramsey for the Reds' lineup):

Dodgers      Reds
SS Furcal CF Stubbs
CF Kemp
SS Cabrera
RF Ethier 1B Votto
LF Ramirez 2B Phillips
1B Loney 3B Rolen
3B Blake RF Bruce
2B DeWitt
LF Gomes
C Martin C Hernandez
P Kuroda        
P Harang

Other Notes

Xeifrank's simulation of today's game is here.

Game Time: 4:10pm

TV: Prime Ticket

Baseball Reference Preview  | Box Score | Gameday