The Dodgers send their best two pitchers to the mound in the final two games of their weekend series with the Cardinals, but even with Zack Greinke on the mound on Saturday afternoon (and Clayton Kershaw on Sunday night), a novel approach might be to score some actual runs on offense.
The Dodgers scored two runs in Friday's series opening loss in St. Louis, but that counted as a windfall of sorts for Los Angeles, with just 10 runs scored in their last three games.
After getting an early 5-0 jump on Detroit on July 8, the Dodgers have scored 10 runs in their last 60 innings, 52 of which have been scoreless. In only two of those 60 innings have the Dodgers scored more than one run, directly following a stretch that saw the Dodgers score five runs in an inning four times and put up crooked numbers in three other innings in a 28-inning span in Colorado and Detroit.
The Dodgers have gone five full games and 189 plate appearances since their last home run, hit by Miguel Rojas on July 9 in Detroit against Max Scherzer.
The Dodgers get their chance on offense against Joe Kelly, who missed eight weeks with a hamstring strain, then in his first start back eight days ago allowed six runs in three innings in Milwaukee.
Carl Crawford, who took Kelly deep at Dodger Stadium in Game 5 of the NLCS last year, gets the start in left field, his second start in six games since returning from the disabled list. Crawford is 4-for-9 with that home run and two doubles against Kelly in his career.
Scott Van Slyke, who defeated Kelly in the infamous NLCS Game 6 pregame standoff, gets the start in center field on Saturday, his 14th start at the position this season and his ninth start against a right-handed pitcher this year.