While the Dodgers are a very good team, they are also always an adventure. The late innings of last night’s game was definitely that, leaving many Dodger fans still worried about the state of the bullpen.
Now it’s true that the Dodgers’ bullpen was depleted, having to go into emergency mode after Rich Hill left Wednesday night’s game after just one inning. Hill will not be able to throw a baseball for at least three to four weeks, as he rests his left arm dealing with forearm strain. He expects to be back pitching before this season is over.
Josh Sborz was called up and made his major league debut. He handled the eighth inning just fine, and went out to tackle the ninth with a five run lead but didn’t even register an out before Kenley Jansen was brought in to clean up the mess. Jansen wasn’t anywhere close to himself, but managed to not let the Giants tie the game, relying on some great defensive plays and the luck of a call going the Dodgers’ way.
As I’ve joked many times, it seems as though the Dodgers are just going to have to slug their way to a Championship, getting more runs than their bullpen gives up. The Dodgers aren’t always going to have back to back bullpen games, but we sit and wait to see what happens with the end of game pitchers.
The Dodgers now turn their attention to the Colorado Rockies who come in for a weekend series. The Rockies are in second place in the division, 10.0 games behind the Dodgers. They, like the Dodgers, are on a three game winning streak, just having swept the Diamondbacks in Arizona.
The Rockies come in to town a little beat up. Shortstop Trevor Story was just placed on the 10-day IL with a right thumb strain. Third baseman Nolan Arenado left yesterday’s game early, and it remains to be seen if he will be in the lineup for Friday night’s game.
As a team, the Rockies are averaging 6.5 runs per game, so this matchup against the depleted and tired Dodgers pitching staff should be another adventure. But the Dodger will start it off on the right foot, sending Walker Buehler to the mound. Buehler has only allowed one earned run in his last three games, going seven innings twice and eight innings once. He will face off against German Marquez, a righty with a 7-3 record and a 4.57 ERA. He went 5.2 innings in his last outing, allowing seven earned runs against the San Diego Padres.
Saturday’s afternoon game will feature Hyun-Jin Ryu and Peter Lambert. The 22 year old righty rookie is 2-0 with a 6.00 ERA. He allowed eight earned runs in three innings of work against the Padres in his last outing.
And to round out the series, Sunday’s matinee will see Kenta Maeda go up against Antonio Senzatela. The third righty of the series, Senzatela is 6-5 on the season with a 5.09 ERA and only 40 strikeouts. He went 6.2 innings against the Diamondbacks on Tuesday, allowing only one run.
Even though the Dodgers have quite the comfortable lead over the Rockies, a series win will only further help the cause. As long as the Dodger bats stay hot, they should be able to out-slug the just as hot Rockies offense.