Dodgers Look to Stay Hot Heading into San Diego

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It was a pretty good weekend series for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dodgers took three of four games, extending their record to 7-3 on the season and their current road trip record to 5-1.

The most important thing that happened on Sunday was the return of Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers’ veteran looked like he did when he was in his Ace form, going five and two-thirds innings, allowing only three hits, all of which were singles, issuing no walks and striking out six. 70 percent of his 81 pitches were strikes, and he looked in control the whole time. His fastball was touching 93 mph, something it had not done in all of 2019.

“The four-seams away he was throwing me in the first inning, he hasn’t in the past thrown me a lot of those”, Diamondbacks first baseman Christian Walker said after the game. “They seemed like they had maybe a little bit more finish through the zone.”

It appears as if the long rest of his arm and body, coupled with what he learned at Driveline last off-season, have helped Kershaw regain some of his signature pitching. As long as his back still feels good in between starts, this version of Kershaw will again be a joy to watch.

And so the Dodgers now are in San Diego to take on the Padres. Coming into Monday’s game, the Padres sit at 6-4, third place in a tight NL West division. They have the highest average runs per game of any team in MLB at 5.9. The Dodgers have the lowest team ERA in all of MLB at 1.84, and a run differential of +30. The Dodgers had great pitching in the hitter friendly parks of Chase Field and Minute Maid Park, while the Padres just finished up a series at Coors Field in Denver, where they scored 15 runs, but lost two of the three games.

Monday night’s pitching matchup looks to be stellar. Walker Buehler will take the mound for the Dodgers, and Chris Paddack will start for the Padres. The tall righty made his debut last season and impressed. In two games so far this year, he’s allowed only two runs in 11 innings of work. Over his last six starts dating back to last season, he’s allowed only four runs over 42 innings.

Tuesday’s pitching matchup will be Dustin May and Dinelson Lamet. Wednesday will see Ross Stripling and Garrett Richards take the mound for their respective clubs.

With the Dodgers seeing all right handed starters, Joc Pederson should be given more of a chance to show his power. Mookie Betts will most likely be out for Monday’s game after hurting his left middle finger on a awkward swing, giving AJ Pollock’s hot bat a chance to remain in the lineup. We will also see if Corey Seager is well enough to return to the lineup. He may be the DH while giving his quad more of a chance to rest.

As for the Padres, Tommy Pham, Fernando Tatis Jr.and Manny Machado all are dangerous bats for the Dodgers pitching staff to deal with. Trent Grisham has three homers so far in the young season, and Pham has five stolen bases and a .969 OPS.

All games will be at 6:10 Pacific time.

 

7 thoughts on “Dodgers Look to Stay Hot Heading into San Diego

  1. I really dislike the Padres. And Machado being there is just another reason. I really dislike that smug SOB. It started when he obviously did not hustle as a Dodger. Play the game hard and you have my respect. Don’t and I will call you out every time.

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  2. It seems like there have been more injuries than usual this year, especially to pitchers. Maybe the Spring Training/Summer Camp stop/start had something to do with it.

    Ohtani, Soroka and Rodon just in the last two days, and lots of others before that.

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  3. Well that sucked. Buehler did his best impression of a mediocre pitcher. Could not find the strike zone and gave up 3 dingers. Dodgers K rate this year is bad. Struck out 10 more times. Belli and Joc went yard, but you are not scoring much with the middle of the order going 1-16 with 7 K’s. Me, I move Seager into the top 4, and drop Turner into the 5 hole. Muncy is not hitting. He almost hit one out, but close is only good in horse shoes and hand grenades. I wouldn’t bitch too much about our catchers, Hedges hit was his first of the year. He is hitting .056. He is in there because of his defense. Smith’s base running gaff at third might have cost them a run. We will never know since it was the 3rd out. Hitting with runners in scoring position was pitiful again. I like Beaty being in there, but where was Rios with the game on the line???

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    1. Good analysis Bear. Can’t disagree with anything you said, especially the Seager comment. New thinking says you hit your best hitters at the top of the order so you can possibly give them an extra at bat every game, yet Doc continues to hit him down in the order.
      Looks like Belli is beginning to come around. With that many good hitters you don’t need all of them doing well to succeed but you do need more than two in most games. Most years (not all, but most) this team seems to start slowly and then ultimately get going. Someone should remind them that this is a short season, although they are still winning at a clip that would get them 103 over a full season, so I suppose things could be a lot worse.

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      1. I doubt Colorado will continue to pitch like they have. But they have always had a good hitting team. 1 game back, I am not that worried, but I think they need to take the next 2 in SD to make a statement to the Padres that they are close, but not there yet.

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