Last weekend was fun for the Dodgers. They faced a yearly competitor in the Washington Nationals and won two out of three games. Now, they’re finishing up a series against the Miami Marlins, another NL East club that’s on a very different path.
Wednesday, after a 4:35 p.m. game at Dodger Stadium, they’ll pack their bags and head to San Francisco. After a three-game set with their historic rivals, they’ll spend four days in Arizona before heading down to Monterrey, Mexico for a series against the San Diego Padres.
On this road trip, the Dodgers will face every NL West team except the Colorado Rockies (who they won’t play until the 3rd week of May).
Here is what to expect in the coming weeks:
April 27-29 vs. the Giants at AT&T Park (San Francisco, CA)
For the third time this season, the Dodgers will face the San Francisco Giants. So far the two teams have split the season series, with pitching dominating each game. Saturday, the fans in San Francisco will play witness to a doubleheader, which was the result of a rainout three weeks ago.
Of all the teams in baseball, the Dodgers are one of the least likely to deal with unforeseen weather issues. This isn’t Boston or Cincinnati. Even so, the number of game cancellations due to weather this season, in both leagues, has been radical. Boston is covered in snow, Detroit is drenched in rain.
The Dodgers, however, can push rain delays towards the backs of their minds. After Saturday, I doubt we’ll be seeing much more if any, doubleheaders due to weather delays.
So, the question isn’t whether or not the Dodgers can handle a double-header this Saturday; they can.
The question is; how will Buehler fare against his teams most well-storied rival?
April 30- May 3 vs. the Diamondbacks at Chase Field (Phoenix, AZ)
I remember, not too long ago, the Diamondbacks were like the Padres. In other words, the Dodgers didn’t really see them as much of a threat. They were good, not great, and never went far enough to best the Dodgers.
Now? Now, times have most definitely changed. The Diamondbacks are real, and a legitimate threat to the Dodgers. They’re good. I, for one, believe the Dodgers are better. Even looking at both teams objectively, the Dodgers have a slightly stronger bullpen, with the exception of one Archie Bradley. Arizona’s rotation is stellar, but the Dodgers have versatility. The Dodgers use the 10-Day DL in ways that were once impossible.
The Dodgers are the better team, at least they have been. Should the two teams meet there again this fall in the playoffs, the victor will undoubtedly be seen as the better club.
I’m a Dodger fan, and I have never rooted for the D-Backs. Then again, we can’t keep ourselves from seeing the talent of a team, or a player, because we don’t root for the name on the front of their jersey.
That said, the Dodgers are my team, and I’ll be standing, yelling, clapping and dancing while watching the game come Monday evening.
May 4-6 vs. the Padres at Estadio de Béisbol (Monterrey, Mexico)
In just nine short days, the Dodgers will be playing the San Diego Padres at one of Mexico’s most historic stadiums. This isn’t the first time a major league team has played at an international ballpark. In fact, the Twins and the Indians played in Puerto Rico last week. There is also talk of the Yankees and Red Sox playing a series in London next season.
This series is interesting in many ways, not just for where it will be played. I, for one, have found one thing in particular worth mentioning—the rivalries.
I’m not saying the Dodgers are at the center of beanball wars and bench-clearing brawls, but if you were to tell me that two teams got into a fight mid-game, I would guess either the Red Sox and Yankees or the Dodgers and the Giants, merely because they own the biggest rivalries in baseball. The Padres, however, are coming down from recent tension with the Colorado Rockies, which caused a fight that lead to a notable Nolan Arenado suspension.
The season is still young, and though I hope the Dodgers don’t make a habit of brawling, it’s part of the game. Sometimes pitches that miss their spots get interpreted as intentional, and sometimes people just get hit and take their base (just ask Chase Utley, who has officially joined the 200 HBP club).
The Dodgers and the Padres had a bit of a dust-up last season, but I can’t see that resurfacing. What does matter is this series, and bringing great baseball to the great people of Monterrey.
So, as we venture into the coming road trip, all we can really do is hope that the Dodgers get it done, and stay above .500.
Summer is coming, and I hope I’m not worried about the Dodgers when it gets here.
(Follow Sarah on Twitter: @SarahManinger)