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 Activate Clayton Kershaw, Option Mitch White

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The Dodgers on Sunday activated left-handed starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw from the injured list. To create space on the active roster, the team optioned right-handed pitcher Mitch White back to camp.

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The Current State of the Starting Rotation

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(Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

Although the performance of the bullpen is certainly fresh in the minds of fans after Friday evening’s disappointing loss, the consistency of the Dodgers‘ starting rotation will still be one of the determining factors of how far the team goes this year.

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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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MLB Issues Suspensions for Bench-Clearing Incident in Houston

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(Photo: Karen Warren, Houston Chronicle/Staff photographer)

After Tuesday evening’s bench-clearing incident in Houston, Major League Baseball has issued several suspensions which will affect the Dodgers as early as Wednesday’s finale.

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Dodgers Roster: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not Through First 5 Games

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(Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports)

While the first series of the shortened 2020 season against the Giants ended with a feeling of disappointment for the Dodgers, the beginning of the two-game set against the Astros in Houston ignited a bit of excitement.

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Dodgers Need to Find Ways to Spark Offense, If Season Continues

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In a normal season, if the Dodgers had gotten off to a 2-2 start, fans would grumble and make excuses while probably being a little concerned—overall it wouldn’t be that big a deal. After all, even though the Dodgers were playing the San Francisco Giants, who are most definitely in a rebuilding year, it’s still the Giants, and crazy things happen in games against them.

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Exploring the Big League Starting Rotation Depth

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(Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

Had most other squads been forced to replace their Opening Day starter moments before the actual game, there probably would have been a bit of panic followed by concern of the team’s ability to rebound from the adjustment.

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Why Mookie Betts Is the Best Daily Leadoff Option

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(Harry How/Getty Images)

Just three games into the shortened 2020 season, some fans of the Dodgers have already been voicing their displeasure over the daily lineup cards written by skipper Dave Roberts.

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Dodgers Place Clayton Kershaw on Injured List, Recall Dustin May

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In an unfortunate turn of events just hours before Thursday’s season opener, the Dodgers have placed left-handed pitcher Clayton Kershaw on the injured list with back stiffness and have recalled right-handed pitcher Dustin May.

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