June 1st and the Dodgers are nine comes over .500 and in a three way tie for first place with San Diego and Arizona. With 109 games to go the Dodgers are still a long way from finish line. As Pete Rose says the baseball season doesn’t really start until the kids are out of school! We’ll folks it seems now is the time to get down to the business of a full blown pennant race.
As always taking 2 out of 3 from the Nationals is a good way to start a 10 games road swing. The remaining games of the trip are as follows:
At Pittsburgh (4 games) – Inside stuff: The Pirates have only won 1 season series at home this year. Duke vs. Wolf; Snell vs. Kuo; Gozelanny vs. Penny and Maholm vs. Lowe.
At San Diego (3 games) – Inside Stuff: The Padres are red hot having gone 18-9 in May.
C. Young vs. Hendrickson; Maddux vs. Wolf and Peavy vs. Kuo.
I am bit leery of these matchups. It’s always tough for a first place club to go into someone else’s park and face their best pitchers. Despite that I think the Dodgers can take at least four out of the seven games. The key will be Kuo despite a so so season in Las Vegas he may get the ball twice this week. I would much rather have Grady Little give the ball to Chad Billingsley instead of trusting Kuo. Or at worst give youngster DJ Houlton a try he at least has been effective (his susceptibility to the long ball might not hurt him so much in Pittsburgh and San Diego).
The next big thing, Milwaukee blue-chip prospect Yovani Gallardo pitches tonight for Nashville against the 51s. You can listen to the game for free at the Las Vegas 51s website. Gallardo is likely to be called up to the big soon so do your self a favour and listen in. This guy could really help out your fantasy team in the second half push.
Jason Schmidt continues to rehab and looked great against some Single-A competition going 6 scoreless innings, giving up just 2 hits with a 7/1 K/BB ratio. 51 of his 71 pitches were strikes. Even better no pain the next day! So it would appear that he will be back soon.
UPDATE: Joe Beimel will take to the mound tomorrow against Pittsburgh instead of Kuo!