After the Cardinals roughed up Chris Capuano on Friday night in what manager Don Mattingly called "a tough matchup," the Dodgers will send fellow southpaw Ted Lilly to the mound on Saturday afternoon.
Lilly returns from the disabled list to make his third start of the season, and cursory search of Twitter suggests a lack of confidence in the Dodgers' chances against St. Louis.
I'd say get them next game, but Ted Lilly is pitching.— The LFP.com (@TheLFP_Blog) May 25, 2013
"Dodgers hand the ball to Ted Lilly ... at 4:15 PT" At about 5:10 PT, Ted Lilly hands ball back to Don Mattingly.— Bob Timmermann(@bobtimmermann) May 25, 2013
Ted Lilly is pitching tomorrow for the Dodgers? Good fucking grief. #Bums— Armen William Tunick (@WestCoastAmish) May 25, 2013
@dodgers -- I would assume that with Lilly becoming our fifth starter again that you have totally given on our season this year, right?— Rincon Bluffs (@RinconBluffs) May 22, 2013
@truebluela Lilly is starting the old-timers game earlier today, right. They have a major league caliber guy pitching the actual game?— Brad Allen (@lvbradius) May 25, 2013
The Dodgers are 3-17 this season in games started by Josh Beckett, Chris Capuano, Ted Lilly, Matt Magill, and Stephen Fife, so they haven't gotten much out of the back half of their starting rotation. With Magill having trouble figuring out where the ball is going all season (27 walks in his 37 innings between the majors and minors, to go with his 42 strikeouts), the Dodgers turn to Lilly.
I could point out Lilly's history against the Cardinals, that he is 7-3 with a 2.66 ERA against St. Louis or that Yadier Molina is just 6-for-34 (.176) lifetime against him, but in the end those are old numbers and don't matter much.
The fact is, Lilly is a 37-year-old pitcher coming off shoulder surgery with trouble staying on the mound. He has made more minor league rehab starts this season (four) than major league starts (two). The Dodgers are hoping he's healthy and effective, like he was on Apr. 24 in New York. But there is a fine line that Lilly walks and if he is just a little off, like with a strained right rib cage on Apr. 29, the results can be disastrous.
The Dodgers offense will need to show up, and on Saturday they face John Gast, a left-hander making his third major league start. I haven't checked Twitter recently, but I'm guessing there is a similar amount of faith in the offense as there is in Lilly.
Time: 4:15 p.m.