Series Preview: Dodgers Head to Seattle to Face Mariners

After an eventful week where the Dodgers only managed to get two wins in series against the Rockies and the Giants, the Boys in Blue take their stagnant offense and beleaguered bullpen to Seattle to play the red-hot Mariners.

Those series were book-ended by wins, with a demoralizing five-game stretch in between where the bullpen blew every single game. And to add insult to injury, it was a different relief pitcher every night. It took extra innings and a three inning scoreless outing by Pedro Baez for the Dodgers to finally get the squad another win.

While the bullpen has been quite disappointing, the starting pitching has not. Hyun-Jin Ryu came off the DL Wednesday and pitched six shutout innings. Clayton Kershaw went eight innings allowing only one run. The starting pitching has kept them right in the game, but the offense just hasn’t been able to get it going, while the bullpen can’t hold the tie or lead. A bad combo.

While it took 12 innings to secure the victory on Wednesday, it may just be the catalyst they need. The Dodgers have been hitting the ball hard, but right at people and not necessarily with people on base. And when runners are on base, they cannot get them in. There have been more stealing of bases this month than previously—perhaps a focus on small ball and getting away from power hitting has led to the lack of offensive production. That tide has to turn at some point.

And so the Dodgers hope to finally put all aspects of the game together in Seattle, against a Mariners team that is 70-52, 4-1/2 games out of first, and 2-1/2 out of a Wild Card spot in a tough AL West division. Los Angeles will avoid seeing their best starter, James Paxton. The Dodgers may be without Yasiel Puig for a game or two, if his suspension for fighting with the Giants’ Nick Hundley is upheld. Puig is appealing, though, so that suspension may be dealt with at a later date.

The Seattle offense is lead by shortstop Jean Segura, slashing .314/.343/.437/.781 with 27 doubles. Nelson Cruz leads the team with 30 home runs. Robinson Cano has just returned from his 80-game suspension for using performance enhancers.

In the first game of the series Friday nights, Walker Buehler will oppose Wade LeBlanc. Buehler is red-hot since coming back from his DL stint, posting a 1.40 ERA over his last three starts. He went seven scoreless in Colorado last weekend. LeBlanc is 7-2 on the season with a 3.80 ERA. The lefty is 6-1 in 12 games at home this season, but overall is 1-7 with a 4.18 ERA in 11 career games against the Dodgers.

Saturday’s game will feature Rich Hill and Erasmo Ramirez. Hill has not given up more than two earned runs in his last five starts. Ramírez is replacing former starter Felix Hernandez in the starting rotation. He had been previously on the DL for three months with a right teres major strain. In his first start back against Houston, he went five scoreless innings, giving up three hits. He is the first right hander the Dodgers will have seen in almost a week.

Sunday’s matinee will be Kershaw going up against Marco Gonzales. Kersh is coming off his best start of the season and has a 3.46 ERA in two career starts against the Mariners. Gonzales, another lefty, is 12-8 on the season with 125 strikeouts. He is 0-3 in his last three outings with a 7.94 ERA.

The Dodgers need to build some momentum soon, as they are now two full games out of first and two 2-1/2 games back of the Wild Card lead. They can’t wait too long or they may find themselves too far back to make up ground in the end.




There’s Still No Reason for Dodgers to Panic, but It’s Getting Close


To say this season has been frustrating is an understatement. Every time the Dodgers seem to get things going, some other piece of bad news hits the fan. It has been said that during any series at Coors Field, the best you can hope for is to get in, get out and hopefully everyone escape healthy. It didn’t quite happen that way this time.

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Dodgers Offense Will Need to Carry Depleted Pitching Staff


The Dodgers are facing a tough road to make it back to the World Series. With the loss of Kenley Jansen, a starting rotation not always looking as sharp as they could be (see Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda), and very close divisional race, the next few months are going to be interesting indeed.

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Dodgers’ Bullpen Faces Challenges Without Jansen

(Mandatory Credit: Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

The Dodgers‘ pitching staff has been hit with a lot of injuries this year, but none as serious as the latest. All-Star closer Kenley Jansen is expected to miss about a month due to an irregular heartbeat.

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Stacked Dodgers Offense Seeks Revenge Against Astros


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.

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Dodgers Rumors and Notes Ahead of Non-Waiver Trade Deadline


The non-waiver trade deadline is tomorrow and if you believe all the rumors, the Dodgers seem to be in on every pitcher out there. There’s also some crazy rumor that they’re in on Bryce Harper, who may or may not be available. No way they go all in on Harper even if he was on the trade block. The best thing will be when it’s after 4pm EST Tuesda, and we know what was or wasn’t done to improve the team.

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Dodgers at the Trade Deadline: Hold Steady or Go All In?


The non-waiver trade deadline is just over three days away. So far, the Dodgers have made probably the biggest splash, acquiring Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles. Will they make more? Do they really need to?

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Dodgers to See Roster Changes, Phillies, and Rain


The Dodgers were smart to get Manny Machado earlier rather than later during the trade deadline season. As we’ve previously mentioned, the Los Angeles squad opens the second half against a slew of tough opponents, and Manny’s bat in the lineup for those games helps tremendously. But now, it also appears that the Dodgers will be down their All-Star third baseman for most of those games, too.

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Dodgers Look to Start Second Half Strongly Against Brewers


Today, the Dodgers begin the second half of the season and probably their toughest stretch of games this year, facing four teams with better records that the Dodgers themselves currently possess, and one of those teams twice.

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Dodgers Acquire Manny Machado from Orioles


Rumors have been swirling and gaining strength all throughout the week. It even seemed early today that the trade was not going to happen. Tonight, though, the rumors became official news—Manny Machado is now a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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