Stacked Dodgers Offense Seeks Revenge Against Astros

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Thursday night at Chavez Ravine saw the Dodgers‘ lineup at full strength for the first time this season, and boy, did it deliver. The Dodgers hit seven home runs, two each by Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson. Newly acquired Brian Dozier hit his second homer in as many days since joining the team. Justin Turner in his first game off the DL also joined in the fun. The team scored 21 runs total—a Dodger Stadium record. Thanks to losses by both the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles is back in sole possession of first place.

This lineup, now finally healthy, and with the additions of Dozier and Manny Machado, is stacked. There isn’t pressure on any one guy, and any one of them is capable of taking a pitcher deep at any time. It’s deeper than last year’s lineup, as is the bench. If one or two players slump, there’s plenty more to pick them up. The next few months should be fun to watch.

The first test of this high-powered offense is quite tough—Justin Verlander and the Houston Astros. Last year’s World Series opponents visit Dodger Stadium for a three-day reminder of what might have been.

The Astros will be without two of their stars, as second baseman Carlos Correa and shortstop Jose Altuve are both on the DL. Altuve is suffering from a knee issue and is on the shelf for the first time in his career. Correa is dealing with back trouble. The Astros are 69-41, first place in the American League West with a five game lead over the Oakland Athletics.

Alex Bregman leads the Astros offense with 22 homers and 35 doubles. Evan Gattis has 21 homers and George Springer has 18. They are 4-6 iover their last 10 games, but have a two-game winning streak at the moment.

Before Friday night’s game, Andre Ethier will be lauded for his wonderful Dodgers career as he announces his retirement. Fittingly, his last hit as a Dodger was in the World Series, driving in the only run for Los Angeles in Game 7.

Friday night’s matchup will see Verlander facing off against Alex Wood. Verlander is 10-6 on the year, with a 2.24 ERA and 190 strikeouts. However, he has been faltering as of late, getting just one win in his last eight starts, tallying a 3.54 ERA during that time. Wood is coming off a one-hit, 5-2/3 inning outing against the Atlanta Braves.

Saturday will feature Lance McCullers Jr.going up against Kenta Maeda. McCullers is also 10-6 on the year, but is 0-3 with a 9.22 ERA in his last three starts, allowing 16 hits and walking 10 batters. Maeda is coming off a poor start of his own, when he allowed four runs in 4-2/3 innings against the Brewers. The Dodgers are 8-10 when he starts this season.

Sunday’s matinee will be Gerrit Cole and Walker Buehler. Cole joined the Astros this past winter and has seen a bit of a resurgence in his career. He’s 10-3 on the year, with a 2.55 ERA and 194 strikeouts. Puig, Pederson and Turner all hit Cole well, with Puig’s batting average against being the lowest of the three at .455. Buehler looked much better in his last outing, when he only allowed one run in seven innings. Sunday will also see closer Robert Osuna join the Astros, their controversial trade deadline pick up. Osuna has been on a 75-day suspension for domestic violence.

Nothing is going to get Dodger fans over what happened last year in the World Series, but keeping the huge offensive explosion going against the Astros, and perhaps a sweep, might help a little.

 

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16 thoughts on “Stacked Dodgers Offense Seeks Revenge Against Astros

  1. Dodgers should be able to take 2 out of 3 no problem with the way their current lineup is shaping up. Turner’s return was merely the icing on the cake. NO starting pitcher out there will be able to get through that order more than once without getting lit up in the process, scary to even think about right now…
    O_O

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  2. Verlander should be a good test against the revamped lineup but even he hasn’t been at his very best lately. This is definitely not the Astros team that will be competing in the playoffs.

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  3. And today’s short straw goes to……………………………Goeddel. Right lat irritation. I’ll bet you he was irritated all right when he was informed he was the next one to the DL. As I mentioned earlier, why not just increase rosters to 28 or 30 with 25 eligible for each game? Everyone knows the front office is just playing games here.

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  4. Maybe we’re lucky we didn’t trade for Barraclough. He’s given up two walk-off homers in his last four appearances. At least Goeddel gave up his homer leading 12-2, and his lat was bothering him at the time (even though he probably didn’t realize it until Andrew told him).

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    1. Didn’t take long to see the nothing. This is who we are. Can we beat the good teams in a 7 game series? Absolutely maybe.

      3-7 in our thunder lineup with 13 Ks. Muncy looked overmatched. So did Kemp. Grandal with his blind squirrel act again. I expect it from him.

      Pitching looked good.

      McCullers with an ERA over 4. We can beat him. Right?

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  5. Yeah scoop, you’re right about Muncy, he looks lost right now. This is like watching joc last year, he looks frustrated after every at bat.

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  6. Rather than say something negative about my favorite team, I’m going to concentrate on the fact that Axford makes a great interview. When asked what he felt he would add to the bullpen, he paused and said “I thought they brought me in here to start.” If things get stressful in September the Ax and Kike show should keep everyone loose.

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    1. I’ll say something positive too:

      In Verlander’s previous 8 starts he had 1 win and 4 losses. The Dodgers helped him out with that yesterday.

      How’s that?

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  7. Blame Andre Ethier’s retirement ceremony for throwing the Dodgers off their game last night, lol! Seriously, Verlander did alright but the Dodger hitters were helping him out quite a bit (Muncy especially, he’s gonna be the next one to take :”time out” from the lineup soon at this rate) except for Pederson who continues to have his number. Matter of fact, had he not hooked that deep drive foul down the RF foul pole in that pivotal 8th inning, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion right now. And Bellinger better start playing better or he’s gonna follow Muncy to the little kiddie corner as well. That misplayed fly ball off Springer’s bat allowed the go-ahead (and eventual winning) run to score in that game. Can’t be playing half-cocked against a defending WS champion this late in the season, not gonna be tolerated anymore…

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