One day after coming up short against the cellar-dwelling Padres, the Dodgers have decided to employ yet another lineup variation to face 22-year-old righty Jacob Nix in the second game of the series on Saturday night.
The biggest change for Los Angeles is Manny Machado moving to the cleanup spot. Max Muncy, who normally plays first base against southpaws and hits fourth or fifth, assumes Machado’s spot in the three-hole.
Two other new looks for the Dodgers occur as right fielder Yasiel Puig hits out of the sixth hole, while Chris Taylor garners a start at second base and hits eighth.
In the series opener, the Dodgers outhit the Padres 9-8 with primarily their right-handed lineup, but were ultimately defeated, 5-3. Young lefty Eric Lauer went five strong innings for San Diego, giving up just one earned run on four hits and two walks.
With the defeat, the Dodgers saw their division lead shorten to 1-1/2 games as the Rockies secured a 6-2 victory against the Diamondbacks.
Rich Hill, who has given up four earned runs in each of his last three starts, will take the mound for the Dodgers. The good news is that the Los Angeles offense has been producing behind Hill, scoring an impressive 49 runs in the last five games he has started.
First pitch is set for 6:10 p.m. Los Angeles time.
The last time the Dodgers faced the San Diego Padres, things were a little different. Sure, they had a combined no hitter against them. But overall, they lost the series to the last place team and were in the midst of a dismal stretch of play.
Last weekend was fun for the Dodgers. They faced a yearly competitor in the Washington Nationals and won two out of three games. Now, they’re finishing up a series against the Miami Marlins, another NL East club that’s on a very different path.
The Dodgers may have recently started to turn a corner, at least in the offense department. Time will tell if they can actually keep it up. The last two pitching performances by Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu have been pretty darn good, too. If Kenta Maeda and Alex Wood can both have good starts after their previous outings which were atrocious, we might be able to see that the Dodgers are indeed finally on an upswing.
While the offense of the Dodgers continues to be highly scrutinized in the early portion of the year, it could be up to the club’s starting rotation to keep the team on the winning track when travelling to San Diego for a three-game set during the early part of the week.
While it remains to be seen exactly how much animosity carries over into the middle game of the weekend series, all eyes will be on Dave Roberts of the Dodgers and Andy Green of the Padres after a bench-clearing skirmish saw both skippers ejected early in Friday night’s opener.
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.