Okay, not really, since he’s almost certain to get sent down when Casey Blake returns sometime next week. Still, if he can get off to a good start and somehow grab at least a share of the 2B job, we’re that much closer to seeing Uribe stay at 3B (his better position) and having Blake off the bench (his only position).
With lefty Jonathan Sanchez on the mound, Tony Gwynn takes a seat in favor of Marcus Thames, also making his Dodger debut. Unfortunately, there’s no righty bats to take over for Andre Ethier (4 hits, 8/0 K/BB in 25 PA against Sanchez) or James Loney (4 hits, 6/0 K/BB in 26 PA). At least Matt Kemp‘s had success, with a .952 OPS in 29 tries against the San Francisco lefty.
On the other side, the newly enriched Chad Billingsley has made 15 starts against the Giants and made it through six or more innings in 12 of them. It’s actually better than it looks though, because two of the three he didn’t go six came in 2006 and 2007, which is practically ancient history at this point.
In fact, three of Billingsley’s top five career performances (based on Game Score) have come against the Giants – complete-game shutouts in 2008 and 2010, and eight innings without allowing an earned run last September. He’s particularly vexed Pablo Sandoval and Freddy Sanchez, who have combined to get on base just 12 times in 56 plate appearances against him.
The lineup (note: an updated lineup was just released with Juan Uribe benched and Aaron Miles included. Dylan Hernandez reports that Uribe’s left elbow is sore after being hit by Tim Lincecum yesterday.)
1. Rafael Furcal SS
2. Ivan DeJesus, Jr. 2B
3. Andre Ethier RF
4. Matt Kemp CF
6. James Loney 1B
9. Chad Billingsley P
Don’t get used to game thread posts, by the way, since I generally don’t do them; that said, I do plan on being around for the games on both Saturday and Sunday, so I’ll probably keep it up through the weekend.