Dodgers Lineup:M.Ellis 4 Puig 9 Gonzalez 3 Ramirez 6 Ethier 7 Kemp 8 A.J. Ellis 2 Uribe 5 Kershaw 1
The Dodgers embark on an important road trip starting in Colorado on Tuesday. After they tackle Coors Field for a three-game series, the Boys in Blue will return to California for a three-game set with the reeling Giants and a final three-game series in Arizona. This will be a key road trip against their division rivals, and the Dodgers could potentially gain a lot of ground before they return home for the final series against the Rockies before the All-Star break. After the Giants lost to the Reds and the D-backs lost to the Mets on Monday night, the Dodgers find themselves nipping at the heels of San Francisco and are just 3 1/2 games back of first. With another Dodgers win and a Giants loss, the Dodgers could finally dig themselves out of last place. With Clayton Kershaw on the mound, their chances increase exponentially.
Kershaw finally picked up his first win during his last outing against the Giants which was his first victory in over a month prior. It’s not that Kershaw wasn’t getting the job done, but it was of course the lack of run support per usual. The Dodgers ace allowed 2 runs on 4 hits with 7 strikeouts and a walk over 8 innings of work. Kershaw pitched at Coors Field earlier in the season on May 31st where he allowed 3 runs on 8 hits with 5 strikeouts and 2 walks over 7 innings in the no decision. The dominating southpaw is 7-4 with a 3.82 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 113 career innings against Colorado. He is 3-3 with a 5.68 ERA in 11 starts at Coors Field. In fact, Kersh has allowed 11 homeruns to the Rockies at Coors Field in the past. He’ll have to worry about the usual culprits like Carlos Gonzalez and Todd Helton who have hit homeruns against Kershaw. The newest annoyance is Michael Cuddyer who has a 27-game hitting streak going. Kershaw is third in the league in ERA (2.08), tied for third in WAR (4.4), and third in strikeouts (118).
The Rockies will be countering with none other than Roy Oswalt. The right-hander will be making his first start at Coors Field as a Rockie. Oswalt lost both his previous two starts to Boston and Washington on the road. Last time out he pitched 6 innings while allowing 5 runs on 9 hits while striking out 5 Red Sox batters and walking one. Oswalt has had some success against the Dodgers in the past, and he is 8-4 with a 3.08 ERA against L.A. Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, and even Juan Uribe have all hit Oswalt well, and they each have gone deep against the righty. The veteran has always pitched well at Coors Field, and he has a 4-0 record with a 2.25 ERA in 5 starts there.
The Dodgers are finally healthy, making moves to oust the dead weight, and they are reaping the benefits. The
National League West is there’s for the taking, and with the phenomenon that is Yasiel Puig and a hot hitting Hanley Ramirez, they have been able to gain ground on their enemies. The rest of the pack is struggling, and the Dodgers will need to take advantage while they can. If Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Adrian Gonzalez can begin to join Yasiel and Hanley with the offensive onslaught, the Dodgers lineup could be very dangerous indeed.
Yasiel Puig has had the best Dodger rookie start that I have ever personally witnessed. He went 4-for-4 on Sunday which broke a L.A. Dodgers record for most hits (44) during his first month in the Majors. He was shy of the cycle by a homerun. Puig has been the spark plug for the team. He’s been truly a joy to watch.
KCAL will broadcast the game at 5:40 p.m., and be sure to check back for our recap where we go over all the Puiglights™.