Dodgers Look to Stay Hot Heading into San Diego

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.

 

Dodgers Bullpen Shines in Houston, Plus Arizona Series Preview

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“My head was, we need to get off this two game snide (sic) and win a game against a good ball club at their place. My heart was saying ‘I wanna beat the crap out of this team and win two games.’”

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4 Things to Watch During Cactus League Opening Weekend

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(Matt Kartozian/USA TODAY Sports)

On Thursday, the Dodgers announced the starting pitchers for the first two games of Cactus League play this weekend, as Tony Gonsolin is scheduled to take the mound against the Giants on Saturday and Alex Wood against the Cubs on Sunday.

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Preview: Dodgers, Nationals Meet in Decisive Game 5

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(Tony Avelar/Washington Post)

From a Dodgers perspective, not many people envisioned the 2019 NLDS lasting the full five games. Fans were certainly hoping Los Angeles would wrap up the series in Washington with a bit of leeway, rather than force a Game 5 where absolutely anything can happen.

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Preview: Rich Hill, Max Scherzer Square Off in NLDS Game 4

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(USA TODAY Sports Photo)

One day after the Dodgers used a late-inning, nine-run explosion to defeat the Nationals in Game 3, they find themselves in a position to clinch the series in Game 4 on Monday.

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Preview: Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dodgers Face Anibal Sanchez in NLDS Game 3

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As the 2019 NLDS shifted gears to the nation’s capital, the biggest question mark was which pitcher the Nationals would start against the Dodgers in Game 3.

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Dodgers Give Ball to Clayton Kershaw in NLDS Game 2

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One day after defeating the Nationals in the 2019 NLDS opener, the Dodgers will send veteran Clayton Kershaw to the hill with hopes of arriving in Washington this weekend with a 2-0 series lead.

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Series Preview: Dodgers Set to Begin 2019 NLDS Against Nationals

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The Los Angeles Dodgers‘ hopeful 2019 World Championship run begins tonight.

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Walker Buehler Gets Starting Nod vs. Nationals in NLDS Game 1

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(Sports Illustrated photo)

While manager Dave Roberts did not reveal the Dodgers‘ complete plan of attack against the Nationals in the upcoming NLDS, he did state that the team will be handing the ball to 25-year-old Walker Buehler in the opener on Thursday.

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Dodgers Playing for Spot in Regular-Season History Books

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(Photo: Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)

While Sunday’s regular-season finale in San Francisco certainly doesn’t have any bearing on what happens in the upcoming NLDS, a victory could cement the 2019 Dodgers in the franchise history books as the squad with the most regular-season wins ever.

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