After a raucous win on the Fourth of July, the Dodgers will look to make Saturday their third consecutive win and series win in Colorado. Clayton Kershaw continues his reign of dominance with another spectacular start in Game 2, and the southpaw is well on his way to capturing his second Cy Young Award while in the midst of a 36 consecutive scoreless inning streak. The Dodgers have increased their lead in the West to 1 1/2 games over the Giants who are in shambles right now. They have lost three games in a row and are being routed by the Padres who are seeking revenge after being no-hit by Tim Lincecum. In fact the Padres have now won five straight, and they are in third place. Baseball is great, isn’t it?
The Rockies have terrible pitching. The Dodgers have excellent pitching. Nothing new here. The Dodgers are just finally getting their other working parts in order, and now that things are starting to click, this team will be a force to reckon with. Yasiel Puig bat flips and chants of “Beam me up Scotty!” as Scott Van Slyke rounds the bases are now becoming more and more frequent. With the All-Star Break around the corner, the Dodgers find themselves at a great place at the halfway mark to the season.
Dan Haren pitched his best game of the season last start against Cleveland. He pitched 7 shutout innings, and he only allowed one hit- an infield single. Haren induced a lot more groundballs which helped him from serving up any homeruns. Haren has allowed 16 long balls this season, so it may not surprise you that I am terrified to watch Dan Haren pitch at Coors Field. The stats don’t comfort me either. Haren is 5-3 with a 4.53 ERA at Coors Field in 9 starts, and he has allowed 16 homeruns there! Yikes. Luckily for Haren, Troy Tulowitzki has a groin strain and probably will not be in the lineup on Saturday. Tulo is hitting .297 against Haren with 3 homeruns. This will be Haren’s first time starting against Colorado this season.
Jorge De La Rosa will be going to the mound for the Rockies. The Dodgers have already faced De La Rosa three times this season. The Dodgers won two
of the three games against the lefty. In his last start against Milwaukee, De La Rosa allowed 4 runs on 4 hits over 6 innings for the win. De La Rosa hasn’t had much success against the Dodgers in the past, and he is 3-10 with a 6.26 ERA against Los Angeles over 19 games (15 starts). Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, and Hanley Ramirez have all hit De La Rosa well in the past. The three sluggers have combined for 8 homeruns against Jorge.
The Dodgers won their 50th game in style on the Fourth. It would be a great strategy to rack up as many wins now before the All-Star Break, and then come back after the break with all cylinders firing in order to defend their NL West crown.
Dan Haren is no Kershaw, but he has pitched admirably out of the fifth rotation spot. I admit I can get tiresome of the backend rotation guys, but Haren is a lot better than a Joe Blanton. While a David Price would give the Dodgers a dream rotation, I’m still not sure he’d be worth the prospects he’d cost. Anyhow, Dan Haren is the number 5 guy, and I’m okay with that for now.
Prediction: Juan Uribe hits a jazzy homer.
All-Stars will also be announced on Saturday. With Clayton Kershaw’s supreme pitching, I feel like he should be starting the All-Star game with Yasiel Puig starting in right field behind him.