The Los Angeles Dodgers have had little trouble limiting the Pittsburgh Pirates' anemic attack in the first two games of this series.
Perhaps there's a chance Pittsburgh will break out in the finale after enjoying past success against Chris Capuano.
No NL team has a higher batting average against Capuano than the Pirates, who are searching for any sign of offense as they try to avoid a 14th loss in 16 games at Dodger Stadium on Thursday night.
Los Angeles (5-1) has limited Pittsburgh (2-3) to two runs and 11 hits in this series, but that shouldn't be surprising. The Pirates are the only MLB team yet to crack double digits with nine runs.
After Clayton Kershaw pitched seven sharp innings in Tuesday's 2-1 victory and Chad Billingsley went six strong in Wednesday's 4-1 win, the Dodgers are probably wondering what to expect when Capuano makes his home debut with the club.
Capuano was far from impressive in his Dodgers debut Saturday, giving up four runs while issuing five walks over 4 2-3 innings as he failed to protect a five-run lead in a 6-5, 11-inning victory at San Diego. The left-hander walked three in the fifth before he was pulled by manager Don Mattingly.
"Well, you know, obviously you can't do a whole lot when you're not throwing strikes," Mattingly said.
The Pirates are familiar with Capuano from his NL Central days with Milwaukee, batting .299 against him. Capuano is 4-7 with a 6.09 ERA in 15 career starts versus Pittsburgh.
Neil Walker and newcomer Clint Barmes have the most experience against Capuano, with each going 2 for 10.
While those .200 averages don't seem impressive, both players would likely sign up for them now compared to their current microscopic ones. Walker, who batted cleanup Wednesday, is hitting .059 while Barmes finally got his first hit with a homer off Billingsley and is now at .067.
"You want to show right away that you are worthy and you're here for all the right reasons," said manager Clint Hurdle about Barmes. "Right now he's trying to show everybody that he belongs."
Barmes' homer was the Pirates' second of the season, tying them with Boston, Philadelphia and the Angels for the fewest in the majors. Their five walks and .228 on-base percentage are also MLB's worst marks, and the Dodgers haven't issued a walk in this series.
Pittsburgh can only be envious when looking across the diamond at Matt Kemp, who went 3 for 4 on Wednesday for his fourth multihit effort to raise his average to .400. Juan Rivera added three hits and two RBIs for the Dodgers, seeking their first 6-1 start since 1981.
"Having Rivera there going back-and-forth in that four and five spot gives us the best look every day and adds a little more thump in big RBI situations," right fielder Andre Ethier said.
Jeff Karstens starts for Pittsburgh after turning in a solid season debut Saturday by giving up one run over six innings in a 2-1, 10-inning victory over Philadelphia.
The right-hander is 0-2 with a 4.82 ERA in four career starts against the Dodgers, but he's limited Kemp to a double in six at-bats.