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 Roadtrip Review: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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The Dodgers have completed their first road trip of the season, returning home with just a 2-6 record against the Colorado Rockies and Chicago Cubs. As my friend Chuck says, just get in and out of those locales without any injuries, and we can call it a success. Mission almost accomplished. During the road trip the Dodgers lost Franklin Gutierrez to a left hamstring strain, placed him on the 10-day DL and recalled Trayce Thompson from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

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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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5 Things Dodgers Fans Learned During Opening Series vs. Padres

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(Sports Illustrated Photo)

Outside of a dreary evening against Padres’ starter Clayton Richard on Tuesday, the Dodgers‘ opening series of the 2017 campaign turned out to be quite productive. Three wins in four games is a solid outcome for Los Angeles, as the crew now prepares to carry its momentum to the mountains of Denver for a three-game set against the Rockies.

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Dodgers Thump Padres in Grand Fashion

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The Dodgers 2017 season started with a strikeout of Manuel Margot by Clayton Kershaw, courtesy of Public Enemy No. 1, Kershaw’s curve ball.

The rest of the inning did not go quite as smoothly. Wil Myers hit to Corey Seager at short, and Corey committed his first error of the year on the throw to Adrian Gonzalez, advancing Myers to second. He then headed to third on a passed ball by Yasmani Grandal, and scored on a hit by Yangervis Solarte. Kershaw got out of the inning, and things got much better from there.

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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 25-Man Roster: More Thoughts About the Starting Rotation Competition

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(Mandatory Credit: Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Heading into the weekend, skipper Dave Roberts insisted that the battle for the final two spots in the Dodgers‘ starting rotation remained open to four pitchers — Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Alex Wood and Scott Kazmir. However, after Kazmir’s attempt to gain leverage in the race by facing the Rangers on Sunday, it’s probably safe to assume the competition has been narrowed to three.

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Dodgers Spring Training Notes: Kershaw, Roster Battles, Injuries & More

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The Dodgers looked nice and ready for Opening Day yesterday in their game against the Texas Rangers. Clayton Kershaw went for his longest outing yet, and was dominant — he struck out 11 of the 21 batters he faced in 92 pitches, allowing two hits and one walk. The prime time slot for the game last night showed MLB that its best pitcher he’s ready to go.

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All of a Sudden, the Dodgers Starting Rotation Doesn’t Seem So Deep

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For many fans of the Dodgers, it’s beginning to become an annual occurrence — overwhelming optimism about a stacked rotation in the winter, eventually turning into genuine concern about the prospective starting pitching crew as Opening Day draws near. What was once a highly talented staff extending to the rafters at Triple-A Oklahoma City now has a few gray areas even at the big league level.

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Dodgers Cactus League Notes: Kershaw, Ethier, Seager, Urías, Buehler & More

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The countdown is on — just two weeks until the Dodgers open up the season against the San Diego Padres. Clayton Kershaw will be the starter that day, but on his last start he looked less than Kershaw-like. Kersh allowed three home runs, four runs total on six hits in five innings. He also had eight strikeouts and two walks.

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