Roberts keeps switching batting orders around for reasons I don’t understand. Bellinger’s leading off? Toles was leading off and now he’s hitting eighth? Utley’s hitting 0-for April and yet he’s at second base?
Kenta Maeda (1-1, 7.07 ERA) goes for the Dodgers, YALHP Robbie Ray (1-0, 1.96 ERA) for the D-Backs. If you’re counting, Ray is the 10th lefty to start against the Dodgers in 18 games.
Maeda pitched against the Diamondbacks Saturday night, giving up four runs on four hits in four innings. He has yet to settle in this season; the Dodgers are hoping extra bullpen and two extrad days of rest will get him on the right track. Ray faced the Dodgers Monday night, went six innings, gave up two runs, walked four, struck out ten and got no decision for his trouble.
So apparently Joc’s deemed not likely to succeed as well against the lefty Ray as he did leading off against the righty Walker last night. No Toles, no Utley, no Seager: I don’t quite understand Dave Roberts’ reasoning here.
And it starts with the announcement that nine Dodgers are officially free agents. Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen top the list, followed by by starting pitchers Rich Hill and Brett Anderson, relievers Joe Blanton, J.P. Howell and Jesse Chavez, outfielder Josh Reddick and second baseman Chase Utley. Scott Kazmir and Carlos Ruiz could join the list depending on their respective opt-outs.
My personal opinion? Keeping Turner and Jansen should be management’s first priority. After that it’s mixed. I doubt they’ll keep Utley. I think I’d keep Blanton and Howell, I’d try to keep Hill, and I’d watch Reddick and Chavez go.
Lefty Rich Hill (11-3, 1.94 ERA) makes his third start for the Dodgers. In his first two he’s thrown 12 scoreless innings. He’ll face RHP Tom Koehler (9-10, 3.87 ERA), who hasn’t won since August 9 but whose last outing was six shutout innings against Cleveland on September 4.
Today, the #Dodgers reinstated Andre Ethier from the 60-day DL. To create room on the roster, Casey Fien has been designated for assignment.
Today marks the return of Clayton Kershaw after 75 days or so of inaction while he recovered from a herniated disk in his back. He was having a career year (11-2, 1.79 ERA) before the injury, which is saying something considering how good his first 8 years were. His opponent will be the Marlins’ own ace, Jose Fernandez (13-8, 3.03 ERA). Fernandez is even better at home: 10-2 with a 1.91 ERA at Marlins Park this year.
Chase Utley, who’s played 177 games against the Marlins in his career, has hit 30 HRs and gotten 125 RBIs against them.
Lineup when available.
Tonight's Dodger lineup: Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B González 1B Grandal C Reddick RF Pederson CF Toles LF Kershaw P
Today sees Zack Greinke’s (12-4, 4.17 ERA) return to Dodger Stadium to face Kenta Maeda (13-8, 3.38 ERA). Greinke beat the Dodgers in Phoenix on July 13 while Maeda has seen the D-Backs four times this year, going 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA with 20 strikeouts against just three walks. He’s been on a roll recently, going 5-1 in his last seven starts while posting a 3.71 ERA.
Scoreboard watch: the Giants play the Rockies in Denver at 1:10PM PT.
In case you missed it, here’s a great throw (Pederson) and tag (Utley) from yesterday’s game:
Brandon McCarthy (2-2, 3.00 ERA) goes for the Dodgers and Gerrit Cole (7-7, 2.94 ERA) goes for the Buccos. McCarthy hopes he’s solved the mysterious loss of control he’s exhibited over the last three games he’s started. Cole had a rough game his last time out against the Reds, but he’s 2-0 with a 4.05 ERA in his only two career starts at Dodger Stadium.
Chase Utley had made 409 plate appearances this season entering Friday’s game and had not hit into a double play in even one of them.
Today's Dodger lineup vs. Pirates: Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Reddick RF González 1B Pederson CF Kendrick LF Ellis C McCarthy P
The rubber match of the three-game series features Kenta Maeda (5-3, 2.84 ERA) for the Dodgers and Chris Rusin (1-4, 4.62 ERA) for the Rockies. Maeda has allowed but one run in his last 11 1/3 innings over two starts, and in Rusin’s last start he went seven innings and gave up three runs.
Remember the kerfuffle at the Mets’ stadium when the Dodgers wanted to mark the outfield in order to position their players out there, and the Mets said “Holy Tris Speaker, NO!” Here’s a discussion and an exhortation for MLB to recognize that this is the 21st century and technology is here to stay.
Lineup when available.
Hernández SS Turner 3B González 1B Thompson CF Van Slyke RF Kendrick LF Ellis C Barnes 2B Maeda P
Sunday Night Baseball in Queens features Clayton Kershaw (7-1, 1.48 ERA) starting for the Dodgers and Bartolo Colon (4-3, 3.44 ERA) starting for the Mets. Kershaw has already thrown three shutouts this month, so it’s not impossible he could get another.
Kershaw is 7-0 with a 1.17 ERA and has held Mets’ hitters to a .185 average over 10 career starts. Colon has had rather less success against the Dodgers: 2-6 with a 5.54 ERA. Of course, the rosters don’t remain static: if you were 3-0 against a team five years ago the odds are good that very few of the guys you beat then remain on the team this season. On the other hand, in Colon’s long career Utley (10 hits in 20 ABs, three for extra bases) and Gonzalez (12 for 27 with two home runs) have hurt him.
Lineup when available.
Corrected lineup: Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Gonzalez 1B Puig RF Pederson CF Kendrick LF Ellis C Kershaw P pic.twitter.com/Pd1CMjO7wv