The Los Angeles Dodgers activated speedy shortstop Rafael Furcal from the 15-day DL. Furcal had sat out nearly a month with a left hamstring strain. Furcal was batting .305 with 6 RBI and 8 stolen bases before injuring his hammy on April 27th against the Mets. Furcal’s expected to lead off tonight in the start of a three-game series at Wrigley Field against the Cubs.
However, in typical Dodgers fashion, Los Angeles managed to lose one just as another was coming back. “The Brim Reaper”, setup man George Sherrill, was placed on the 15-day DL with a mid-back strain to make room for Furcal’s activation today. Sherrill has struggled this season, failing to show the form that made him such a intimidating force as the Orioles closer at this point last year. In 22 appearences, Sherrill has a 7.36 ERA withjust 10 strikeouts. The Dodgers will go with an 11-man pitching staff in Sherrill’s absence, as they won’t need a fifth starter until Friday night when they take on the Colorado Rockies.
Speaking of starters, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will kick things off for Joe Torre’s boys in the first of their six-game road trip starting in the Windy City. Kershaw has been lights out as of late, striking out 23 in his last three starts(all wins). He’s currently 4-2 on the season with a 3.23 ERA. He’ll be up against hard-throwing Ryan Dempster(2-4, 3.68 ERA, 58 K’s). In the second game, Chad Billingsley(also a winner of his last three starts) will be looking for his team-leading 6th win. He’ll be opposed by former Pirates hurler Tom Gorzelanny(2-4, 3.09 ERA). In the finale, red hot rookie John Ely, fresh off allowing his first walk in nearly four games, will take on Ted Lilly.
The key for the Dodgers will be shutting down free-swinging Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano. Sori’s hitting .326 withnine homers and 27 RBI. With third baseman Aramis Ramirez out witha sore thumb and first baseman Derrek Lee off to a slow start, hitting just .218, the Dodgers should take their chances by avoiding the Cubs’ $136 million man and making the other guys in that lineup beat them. The Dodgers currently sit a game behind San Diego for first place in the West and, with the Padres opening a home set against the Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles can make their move by breaking out the whooping sticks on the lowly Cubbies.
About the Author
Written by Dave Leonardis
Born and raised in New Jersey, I've been writing since I was 10 and blogging since I was 18. I'm a huge sports nerd, following football, baseball and basketball in particular in close detail. My style is very upfront. I don't pull punches and I'm not shy about criticizing anything I feel deserves a proper tongue-lashing. If you're looking for someone who says what he wants, when he wants, then look no further than this guy right here.