Dodgers Still Hope to Gain Ground on Rockies in Weekend Series

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Baseball is a funny game. Things will happen in a game that make you scratch your head. On a night when your offense can’t buy a hit, the veteran who had been sent to Triple-A because of his lack of offense steps up to the plate and hits a pinch-hit home run. A relief pitcher that makes you cringe goes into Coors Field and throws two scoreless innings. A player who you thought needed to retire is suddenly hot, going 6-for-8 in his last three games with two doubles and a triple (I see you, Chase Utley). The same night the old man hits that triple, the guy who has been red hot at the plate and filling in for the old guy at second can barely scratch out one hit.

The baseball season is long and full of ebbs and flows. The Dodgers came into Colorado riding a five-game winning streak, with a hot offense. That offense couldn’t get anything going for the first few innings. Combined with a bad outing from Hyun-Jin Ryu, who gave up 10 runs over four innings, it appeared to be a game that they should just let go as a clunker and move on to Friday’s game.

But the Dodgers didn’t roll over, they battled back, and ended up scoring seven runs. At one point they had the tying run up to bat. They chased the starter Jeff Hoffman after 5-1/3 innings and scored four more runs off the bullpen. They made the Rockies bring in their closer. Even after a lethargic start, this is a really good thing. The Rockies pitching staff has been very good so far this season. Mike Petriello of MLB.com outlines it quite nicely.

This can bode well for the offense throughout the rest of the season. The Dodgers worked through the sleepy start, and got to the pitchers. Its just happened to be too little, too late this time. Although, if you don’t count unearned runs, (Colorado had five), the Dodgers actually won.

Ryu had a very bad outing. In his first start since having spent 10 days on the DL, Ryu gave up eight hits, walked six, and hit a batter. Adding insult to injury, he also balked home a run in the fourth.

“He just wasn’t sharp. He was missing out over the big part of the plate. You look at the first couple innings, he had two outs. He just couldn’t get that last out,” skipper Dave Roberts told MLB.com.

One can speculate whether the short stints on the DL meant to save some innings mess with the pitchers’ rhythm, and that will be something to watch as the season progresses.
Ryu was reinstated from the DL Thursday, and he was replaced by Kenta Maeda. After his longest outing ever, Maeda was placed on the 10-day DL with tightness in his left hamstring. Expect a parade of pitchers onto and off of the 10-day DL. Kershaw is not a fan of the six man rotation, and the Dodgers have a surplus of starting pitchers.
Clayton Kershaw starts for the Dodgers Friday. The last time Kershaw started in Coors Field, it didn’t go too well for him. He gave up his first back-to-back homers ever, three homers total. Still, he only gave up four total runs, which by Coors Field standards isn’t very much at all. I look for a better outing from Kershaw this time, and if the offense keeps rolling, another signature Kershaw win-after-a-loss.

(FOLLOW ANDY ON TWITTER: @DODGERGIRLINPA)

 

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