Marlins @ Dodgers Series Preview: Jose Fernandez heads to Hollywood, sans Kershaw matchup


May 9, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez (16) throws during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

As the Marlins get set to play the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodgers, we reached out to the co-editor of Lasorda’s Lair, Scott Andes to get some insight on the Dodgers. Lasorda’s Lair is one of the great Fansided sites, and they specialize in covering the Dodgers. Scott was kind enough to answer some questions that we had regarding the Dodgers. Here was our conversation.

MM: How disappointing is it that we are not going to see a Jose FernandezClayton Kershaw matchup?

Andes: Yeah it would be pretty cool to see another duel between the two aces. I guess we’ll have to wait until next year for the next match-up. Watching these two great pitchers battle is a lot of fun.

MM: The Dodgers actually come into this series with a worse record than the Marlins. What has been the issue early on?

Andes: There has been three main issues that have plagued the Dodgers since opening day. I’m not sure if they know how to fix any of them. The biggest problem is their horrendous bullpen. The relief pitching has been garbage this year. The Dodger bullpen leads the league in losses, and walks. The Dodger bullpen ranks as one of the worst in all of Baseball. All seven of their relievers suck. Not one of those bums can throw strikes or get anyone out. Having a strong bullpen is really important. if you can’t hold leads late in games, then your sunk. Which explains why the Dodgers have lost 7 of their 10 extra inning games.

The second problem is their horrific defense. The Dodgers are the worst defensive club in the majors. No other team has made more errors than the glove less wonders of Chavez Ravine. The third problem is the club just can’t hit at home. The Dodgers are 18th in the majors with a .248 average at home, and 23rd with a .298 OBP. The clutch hitting as been lacking as well. (.245 with runners in scoring position). The not hitting at home issue is most puzzling to me. The only thing I can think of is that they are not seeing the ball well at Dodger Stadium. although the opposing teams certainly have no problem hitting there.

MM: How has Yasiel Puig‘s sophomore season gone so far? 

Andes: Puig is having a great season. He’s been a breath of fresh air on this comatose roster of overpaid bums. The guy makes plays, and forces things to happen with his passionate play, and aggressiveness. He’s starting to develop some plate discipline, and he’s been hitting nearly every cut-off man this year. He’s had a few bumps in the road like his being late to batting practice on opening day. But he’s been playing very well lately, and I am hopeful that he’ll have another fantastic season, and avoid that sophomore slump.

MM: What do the Dodgers have to do differently to defeat the Marlins this time around? 

Andes: Well I think they would have to fix their pathetic bullpen, so they can hold a lead late in a game. But that goes for whoever they play. They simply just can’t win with a bullpen that is this poor. The Dodger relievers have walked a mind-boggling 74 batters this year. None of them can throw strikes, and if one bum doesn’t blow a tie or a lead, you can certainly expect for the next bum behind him to blow the game. They also need to stop pitching to Giancarlo Stanton for god’s sake.

MM: Can you give us a brief scouting report on the pitchers the Marlins will face this series?

Andes: In the first game they’ll face Dan Haren. he;s the guy they picked up in free agency from Washington. Haren is a huge control guy. He doesn’t walk guys, (unlike the bums in the bullpen who walk the world). He’s been pretty solid this year, and I think pitching in his home town and being near his family has helped him relax more. Haren had a stiff back in his last start, so we’ll see how that effects him on Monday night.

Veteran Josh Beckett will pitch game two. he;s had to battle back from thoracic outlet syndrome, and a thumb injury he suffered after slamming it into a clubhouse door. Beckett’s looked very sharp this year and has said he feels better than he ever had.

In the third game you’ll see left hander Paul Maholm, another free agent guy. Maholm has been predictably atrocious for the Dodgers this year, and I am hoping he gets a nice big fat pink slip soon. He can’t strike anyone out, or even miss bats, but he does get a lot of ground balls. So there is that.

MM: Have a bold prediction for this series? Can the Dodgers right themselves and exact revenge on the Marlins from last week?

Andes: Nope, sorry to say but they suck. I expect the Marlins to easily sweep, and I would put the odds of Maholm defeating Fernandez at about the same odds of me winning the lottery. No, the Fish will sweep the Dodgers easily, or win two out of three. Again the Dodgers have sucked at nearly aspect of the game. Even though the season is young, it’s hard to have any confidence in this club now. The relief pitching has been atrocious, the defense is pathetic, and the club can’t hit or score runs at home. The Dodgers have been so bad at home this year, it’s hard to imagine the club just “magically” turning things around on a dime. But I suppose miracles can happen. I’ll be rooting for a miracle.

There you have it. We want to thank Scott for giving us such great insight into the Dodgers, and remember to check out Lasorda’s Lair for all the latest Dodgers’ news and notes. For the Marlins sake and our sanity, hopefully Scott’s prediction for the series comes true. The Marlins need something positive to happen on the road in the worst way.