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Dodgers Against Southpaws Have Been Left Behind So Far This Season

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The Dodger offense hasn't been very effective so far this season, averaging just 3.11 runs per game through the first nine contests. They are hitting just .245/.310/.338, all numbers in the bottom third of the National League. They have an OPS of .667 against right-handed pitching, and one of just .600 against lefties so far this season. They will face a tough test this week in San Francisco, as they face two southpaws (Madison Bumgarner tonight, Jonathan Sanchez Wednesday night), and the one right-hander they do get to face just happens to be Tim Lincecum.

As one would expect, that .600 OPS against southpaws has been dragged down by the Dodgers' left-handed hitters. Dodger lefties have 26 plate appearances against same-handed pitchers this season, and have collected one single, one walk, and one sacrifice fly. That makes for a robust line of .042/.077/.042, an OPS of .119. The prime culprits of course for this lefty on lefty crime have been Andre Ethier (0-for-9 with a walk) and James Loney (1-for-10 with a sac fly).

Yes, these are obviously small sample sizes, but it's not like struggling against left-handed pitching as anything new for Ethier and Loney. Ethier has a .674 career OPS against southpaws, and hasn't been above .692 since 2007. Loney has a career .693 OPS against lefties, and since the beginning of 2008 the OPS is .653. Ethier and Loney in their careers against right-handed pitchers have an OPS of .917 and .809, respectively.

With the two lefties starting for the Giants in this series, Marcus Thames figures to get more playing time. In the early going, Thames is 2-for-10 against southpaws, including a Huff Triple®.

Juan Uribe, who is expected to pick up his championship ring privately during this series, is 0-for-6 against southpaws so far this season, with three strikeouts.

The best Dodger so far against lefties has been Matt Kemp, who is 4-for-8 with two doubles, a home run, and a walk in nine plate appearances.

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Giants' centerfielder Andres Torres has a mild strain of his left Achilles, and is expected to miss the entire series, according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News.

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Game Time: 7:15 p.m.

TV: KCAL

MLB Gameday