Bud Norris (5-7, 4.17 ERA) will make his fourth start for the Dodgers; he’s given up seven runs in 16 innings in the first three. He’ll face Gio Gonzalez (5-8, 4.70 ERA), whose July has been an improvement over his June; in his last start he went 5 2/3 innings against the Mets and gave up two runs, the fewest he’d allowed in any start since May.
Rumors have it the Dodgers are hunting a front-line pitcher like the Rays’ Chris Archer, now that Kershaw’s return is delayed, Ryu is back on the DL and Alex Wood’s elbow needed surgery which puts him out for eight weeks.
The team is obviously very highly-strung as we head down the stretch of the season:
The Dodgers ask Kenta Maeda (8-6, 2.95 ERA) to win the rubber match of the series. The last time he faced the D-Backs in Chase Field he was hit on the leg by a line drive off Paul Goldschmidt’s bat and had to leave the game. He’ll face Robbie Ray (4-8, 4.81 ERA). Ray is on a downslope; he’s lost three of his last four starts and hasn’t won since June 17. He has pitched reasonably well against the Dodgers in his career, putting up a 2.40 ERA in five career starts against them.
Not that we need to be reminded, but
Goldschmidt’s homer on Friday night was his 24th against the Dodgers since he debuted on Aug. 1, 2011. That’s 11 more than any other player against L.A. in that span. His 71 RBIs against the Dodgers are also the most in that stretch.
Today's Dodger lineup: Kendrick LF Seager SS Turner 3B Van Slyke 1B Puig CF Taylor 2B Ellis C Walters RF Maeda P
This will be Puig’s first start in center field since the last game of the 2014 season. In possibly related news, Joc Pederson is expected to make his final rehab start with OKC today and be reactivated for Tuesday’s game in DC.
Brandon McCarthy (2-0, 2.70 ERA) makes his third start of the season. He’s gone five innings in each of his first two since recovering and rehabilitating from Tommy John surgery. His opponent is Archie Bradley (3-5, 4.64 ERA), who lost to the Dodgers in his only start against them this season on June 14 in Phoenix, pitching four scoreless innings then giving up five runs in the next 1 2/3 innings.
Fun fact: Since the start of 2013, the Dodgers own the best record in baseball after the All-Star break at 126-79 entering Friday. Next was Kansas City at 127-87.
Trayce Thompson goes to the 15-day DL with lower back irritation, Zach Walters comes up. Ethier’s leg isn’t healed, but he’s going to up his workout level anyway. From Dave Roberts, this statement sounds ominous:
“Because it’s not healed completely, we really don’t have a timetable. It’ll be healed at some point, but this season to hope and expect it to be pain-free is something that’s maybe too optimistic. Andre wants to be back and he’ll do whatever he can to be back.”
Tonight’s Dodger lineup: Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B González 1B Grandal C Kendrick LF Puig RF Toles CF McCarthy P
Bud Norris (4-7, 3.98 ERA) makes his third start for the Dodgers. Since he’s 0-7 with a 13.92 ERA in his career against Arizona and is 0-4 at Chase Field he seems an odd choice for Manager Dave Roberts, but maybe he’s got a hunch. Norris will face Patrick Corbin (4-7, 4.94 ERA), who hasn’t made it past the sixth inning in any of his last three starts and has a 6.91 ERA in those games to boot. He’s a little better career-wise against the Dodgers, posting a 3.83 ERA in 11 games.
This is the first of thirteen games these two teams play against one another in the remainder of the season.
Julio Urias (0-0, 10.13 ERA) gets the start which would normally be Kenta Maeda’s, but Maeda’s hand is still a little sore from getting hit with a line drive his last time on the mound. He’s expected to start Friday against the Braves in Los Angeles. Urias’s opponent today will be right-hander Kyle Hendricks (3-4, 2.93 ERA), who got a complete game win over the Phillies on May 28. Urias lasted only 2 2/3 innings in his major league debut against the Mets May 27.
Alex Wood has a posterior impingement of his elbow and will need four weeks of rest. After that he’ll start a throwing program and then pitch in a rehab assignment. Hyun-Jin Ryu threw a 90-mph fastball in Fresno last Wednesday and woke up with shoulder soreness, so the team has slowed his rehab down. Brandon McCarthy threw 45 pitches in two innings of bullpen work and hit 89 mph. Scott Van Slyke is expected to come off the 15-day DL this weekend in LA.
Lineup when available.
Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Gonzalez 1B Pederson CF Thompson RF Crawford LF Ellis C Urias P
The last time the Dodgers saw Jake Arrieta it was a Sunday Night Baseball game on ESPN in which Jessica Mendoza made her second ESPN appearance and he threw a no-hitter against them. That was last August 30. Since then he’s thrown another no-hitter, hasn’t lost a game yet this season, and is currently 9-0 with a 1.72 ERA. Scott Kazmir (4-3, 4.84 ERA) has been improving (he’s 3-1 in May with a 4.13 ERA) since a poor start, but he’s got his work cut out for him. He’ll need to hold the Cubbies at bay and hope the Dodgers can get a couple of runs off Arrieta.
Oh, the Cubs have won all of the last 23 starts Arrieta has made. That ties a Major League record.
Lineup when available.
New Dodger lineup: Utley 2B Seager SS Gonzalez 1B Pederson CF Thompson RF Kendrick 3B Grandal C Crawford LF Kazmir P
Personnel news: Julio Urias will be brought back up to replace Alex Wood, who’s been placed on the 15-day DL with elbow soreness. Yasiel Puig has been scratched from today’s game with a sore left hamstring and Alex Guerrero has been designated for assignment.
Andre Ethier broke his lower leg (the tibia, for the purists) when he fouled a ball off it last Friday. He’ll be out 10-14 weeks. This means in all likelihood that Carl Crawford will be the Dodgers’ starting left-fielder for the first three months of the season.
So do all these injuries:
pitcher Frankie Montas had a rib removed and was placed on the 60-day disabled list. Brett Anderson suffered a bulging disk and had surgery. Hyun-Jin Ryu’s recovery from shoulder surgery has been slow and he won’t pitch in a spring game. Pitcher Josh Ravin broke his non-throwing left arm in an auto accident. Brandon McCarthy is still recovering from Tommy John surgery. Brandon Beachy (elbow) and Mike Bolsinger (oblique) have had their fifth-starter candidacies derailed by injuries.
Seager sprained his knee almost two weeks ago, but is expected back by Opening Day. Starter Alex Wood missed a start with forearm soreness. Julio Urias was slowed with slight groin tightness. Caleb Dirks never pitched because of a back injury.
Yasmani Grandal missed several games with strained forearms and came out of Monday’s game after aggravating the right one. Alex Guerrero missed a week with a twisted knee. Adrian Gonzalez missed a couple games with a bulging disk in his neck. Howie Kendrick missed a handful of games with a tight groin muscle. Justin Turner has been eased back slowly after offseason microfracture knee surgery. Crawford missed a game last week because of a sore back.
Other than that, Dodgers’ fans, it’s been a great spring training.
Lefty Brett Anderson (3-4, 3.29) goes for the Dodgers and lefty Justin Nicolino (1-0, 0.00) goes for the Fish. This will be Nicolino’s second big league start. In his first one he went seven innings, gave up only four hits and no runs while striking out two, and got the win against the Reds. Anderson’s last outing was a good one against the Giants: he gave up only one run in six innings and got ten runs of support.
Other news: The Dodgers have reinstated Pedro Baez from the 15-day DL and optioned Ian Thomas to Oklahoma City.
Tonight's #Dodgers lineup vs. Marlins:
Van Slyke RF
It’s a battle of lefties. Clayton Kershaw (5-3, 3.21 ERA) starts against the Rangers, the team he grew up following. The team from Texas counters with Wandy Rodriguez (3-2, 3.03 ERA). This will be Kershaw’s first time pitching against the Rangers, while Rodriguez has a 5-5 record with a 2.64 ERA in 12 career starts against the Dodgers as an Astro and a Pirate.
The Dodgers activated Scott Van Slyke from the DL and placed Chris Hatcher on it with a shoulder strain.
Tonight's #Dodgers lineup vs. Rangers:
Van Slyke LF