Dodgers Head to Arizona with High Expectations

The Dodgers head into Arizona this weekend with a record of 8-8, a little sub-par for what most Dodger fans were hoping. Los Angeles currently is in third place in the division, behind both the Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies. With a sweep of Arizona, the Dodgers would move ahead of them, and possibly be back on top of the NL West.

Injuries continue to plague the Dodgers. Newly acquired second baseman Logan Forsythe is the most recent Dodger to hit the DL. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list, but is expected to be out at least two weeks. Forsythe fractured his big right toe when he was hit by a pitch in Tuesday’s game. Manager Dave Roberts called the fracture “a little hairline thing,” and is hopeful that it will not take as long as four weeks, which is about the average recovery time for a broken toe. When he returns will have a lot to do with his pain tolerance, and he will wear cushioning in his shoe for protection when he comes back to the squad. Also joining Forsythe on the DL with an injured toe is newly recalled utility man Rob Segedin. He strained a tendon in his big right toe on a check swing Monday, his first game after being called up. He will be reevaluated every day to check on the sprain’s progression.

Chris Taylor is making the most of his time back in the big leagues. He was called up Wednesday to replace Forsythe on the roster, and all he did was go 2-for-3 at the plate with two doubles against a left-handed pitcher.

“It’s nice to get off on a good foot, and play well in that first game, and take some of the pressure off,” Taylor said after the game. “Now I can just go out there and play.”

Many fans thought that Taylor should have been with the team earlier, after having a torrid spring trading where he hit .357/.483/.500. Asked about when he thought he’d be back with the big team Taylor said, “You know, I knew in the past this team has made a lot of moves, I knew there was a chance, but I just tried not to think about it. I just focused on what I could control, went down there and just try to continue to play well.”

Enrique Hernandez, who made the Opening Day roster over Taylor, also hit well against Colorado’s left-handed offerings on Wednesday. He went 2-for-4 with an RBI double and a triple in his first start at third base this season. Even the struggling Scott Van Slyke got in on the action, hitting his first home run of the year. The Dodgers need all these players to produce against lefties, plus more, if they’re going to break the narrative that they cannot hit opposing southpaws.

One player in particular has a theory about how to improve against said left-handed pitching. Catcher Yasmani Grandal believes that in the long run, other teams lining up all these lefties in their respective rotations will only benefit the Dodgers.

“It’s early in the season. You get us going, it’s going to come back to bite them,” Grandal told reporters. “I think it’s great. I really do. I’m glad that they’re doing it. I take it as a challenge. Keep on doing it. It’s only going to make us better.”

Three of the seven starting pitchers the Dodgers will see on the upcoming road trip are left-handed, starting with Diamondbacks pitcher Robbie Ray on Saturday.

Clayton Kershaw, who doesn’t usually take much of a stance on things, had some harsh words for Rockies’ pitcher Tyler Anderson after the game on Wednesday. Anderson walked from his bullpen session to his dugout when Kershaw was already on the mound, prepared to pitch to Charlie Blackmon.

“That was one of the more disrespectful things I’ve been a part of in a game,” Kershaw said after the game. “I really didn’t appreciate that. The game starts at 7:10, it started at 7:10 here for a really long time. Just go around, or finish earlier. That wasn’t appreciated.”

It did appear to rattle Kershaw a little bit as, as he allowed the first three hitters to reach base. Only one scored, and Kershaw settled down, eventually proceeding to strike out 10 and notch the win.

Some awesome Clayton Kershaw stats: He has the best ERA at Dodger Stadium since 1913 — 1.98. He is 87-0 when receiving four or more runs of support. His jersey is the No. 3 selling jersey in baseball, the only one in the top five who does not play for the Chicago Cubs.

The Dodgers are headed out on a seven-game road trip, starting with a three-game series in Arizona on Friday night. After that, the squad heads off to San Francisco for the first meeting with the Giants this year.

(FOLLOW ANDY ON TWITTER: @DODGERGIRLINPA)

 

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Dodgers vs. Cubs Series Preview: More Lefty Pitching on Tap for Chicago 

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(Mandatory Credit: Ralph Freso/Associated Press)

It’s the series I’ve had my eye on since the schedule was announced last fall — the Dodgers facing the Cubs for Chicago’s home opener. Would the Dodgers be the World Series Champs, and the Cubs be dealing with the what-ifs, or would the Dodgers be faced with watching the Cubs raise the World Series banner?

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Dodgers vs. Rockies Series Preview: Colorado Throwing Two Southpaws

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They’re the team that many baseball experts have picked to be a possible breakout team in 2017 — the Colorado Rockies. The Dodgers begin a three-game set with the could-be NL West spoilers on Friday, which is also Colorado’s home opener. The Rockies are sporting the same record as the Dodgers at 3-1. They are in their first year being managed by Bud Black, who most recently was with the San Diego Padres. It’s the Dodgers’ first game at Coors Field since the infamous Andrew Toles grand slam comeback game in August of last year.

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Hill, Dodgers Hope to Rebound Against Padres

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(Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports)

In the overwhelming number of game previews leading up to the Dodgers‘ season opener against the Padres on Monday afternoon, there were actually a few writers who referred to the San Diego squad as having the traits of a “glorified Triple-A club.” While the description certainly seemed to hold true in the first game of the series, the Padres almost appeared like a division contender in Tuesday’s affair, riding the back of southpaw Clayton Richard to a 4-0 shutout of Los Angeles.

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Padres vs. Dodgers: 2017 Opening Series Preview

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The Los Angeles Dodgers begin their quest to win the 2017 World Series on Monday, opening up a four-game set against the San Diego Padres. The Dodgers open the season at home, sending their ace Clayton Kershaw to the mound for a record tying seventh time, and their first without legendary announcer Vin Scully behind the microphone.

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Dodgers Turn to Kenta Maeda in Critical Game 5

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(Photo Credit: Kyodo/The Japan Times)

While the Dodgers hope to move forward and put the bad dream of Game 4 behind them, the players will need to harness every ounce of offensive energy they can at the dish and on the bases, as southpaw Jon Lester takes the bump for the Cubs in hopes of putting his club back in control when the NLCS moves back to Chicago.

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Urías, Dodgers Aiming to Gain Huge NLCS Advantage

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(Photo Credit: Jae C. Hong/AP)

Although it appears as if the Cubs are amid an unwelcomed offensive cold spell at the worst possible time, the Dodgers put together perhaps their best overall performance of the postseason in Game 3 on Tuesday, defeating Chicago 6-0 and taking a bit of control of the NLCS with two games still to be played in Los Angeles.

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Dodgers Feature Rich Hill at Home in Pivotal Game 3

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(Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports)

In what is shaping up to be a critical Game 3 for both clubs in the NLCS on Tuesday in Los Angeles, the Dodgers will send veteran southpaw Rich Hill to the bump, while the Cubs will counter with the 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner, Jake Arrieta.

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Kershaw, Dodgers Hope to Secure Victory in Game 2 at Wrigley

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(Photo Credit: Rich Kane/UPI)

For some strange reason, many fans of the Dodgers weren’t overly optimistic about a positive outcome at the beginning of Game 1 on Saturday night at Wrigley Field in Chicago. After all, the Boys in Blue must have been close to exhaustion after laying everything on the line in Game 5 of the NLDS just two days prior, without an opportunity for even a short layover at home. Plus, southpaw Jon Lester had been sensational as of late while the Dodgers’ opening offering, Japanese rookie Kenta Maeda, had recently been showing signs of a somewhat tired and weary right arm.

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Dodgers’ Postseason Fate Lies on Shoulders of Offense

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(Photo Credit: Ross D. Franklin/AP)

It wasn’t long ago that much of the overall success of the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ organization was primarily credited to extremely strong roots in the club’s pitching program. While the main philosophy really hasn’t changed moving forward, the 2016 season deviated a bit from the norm, mainly because of the high number of injuries and the fact that upper management has been entrusting the future of the pitching staff to the youngsters, who may be only a season or two away from stardom.

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