Los Angeles Dodgers Game Preview: Dodgers Look To Even Series in the Desert Behind Clayton Kershaw

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Last night’s game surely was quite irritating. It was a massively annoying game all around. Mediocre play on both sides of the ball haunted the Dodgers. This was a club that beat Arizona 15 out of 19 times last year. So why are the Dodgers losing to the crappy Dbacks? It doesn’t compute.

The Anderson duel between Brett versus Chase produced a 3-3 tie, which eventually went into the Dodger’s first extra inning game of the season. There were some close calls and tough breaks though. The ball Joc Pederson smashed in the ninth inning was about three feet from going out of the park. There was the pinch-hit grounder from Ethier that ended the ninth inning, in which the Dodgers had runners at first and third, and couldn’t score.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Then the double play grounder from Gonzo in the tenth frame. Even Gonzalez is going to make outs every once in a while. J.P. Howell was horrendous again, and a walk, wild pitch, stolen base, and one-out single from Ender Inciarte through the drawn-in infield gave the Dodgers a 4-3 loss to Arizona.

Dodgers Lineup @ Arizona

Rollins SS

Crawford LF

Gonzalez 1B

Kendrick 2B

Ethier RF

Turner 3B

Pederson CF

Ellis C

Kershaw P

Clayton Kershaw-0-0 vs. Archie Bradley-0-0

Game Time-5:10 PM

There were a couple of good things to take away from Friday evening’s pathetic loss. Yasmani Grandal collected his first hit, and home run of his Dodger career. It was a fifth inning solo blast that put the Dodgers on the board. He’s going to hit some balls out of the park this year. Rookie reliever Yimi Garcia pitched two scoreless innings and looked fantastic. Apparently I was wrong, and Ryan Webb is not going to join the club in Arizona this weekend. At the moment his roster status remains a mystery.

So what’s the best way to snap the Dodgers out of their mediocre play? Give the ball to Clayton Kershaw of course, of course. The NL MVP will take the mound for his second start of the 2015 season. Kershaw and the Dodgers will be taking on a young man making his MLB debut.

On Monday Kershaw had a no-decision against the Padres on opening day. In that outing he went six innings, allowing three runs on six hits, with two walks and nine strikeouts. The Dodgers won the game 6-3, but Kershaw was not involved in that decision.

In 2014 Kershaw was 3-1 with a 3.47 ERA in four starts against Arizona. That included a 1-1 record at Chase Field. Overall Kershaw is 10-7 with a 2.45 ERA in 21 starts against the Snakes. He’s whiffed 143 in 128.2 frames. However Kershaw has a losing record at Chase Field. He is 4-6 with a 3.56 ERA in ten starts at Chase Field.

Kershaw has held the Dback’s hitters to a .194 average against (28 for 144) in 155 plate appearances. Only Paul Goldschmidt has hit a home run off of Kershaw. Goldschmidt is hitting .207 (6 for 29) against Kershaw.

NamePAABH2B3BHRRBIBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSSHSFIBBHBPGDP
Paul Goldschmidt312962013211.207.258.379.63700001
Aaron Hill24205100244.250.375.300.67500100
Jordan Pacheco20203100103.150.150.200.35000000
A.J. Pollock19194110103.211.211.368.57900000
Cliff Pennington14121010223.083.214.250.46400000
Mark Trumbo14141000105.071.071.071.14300000
Chris Owings992110104.222.222.556.77800000
Tuffy Gosewisch773000101.429.429.429.85700000
Ender Inciarte432010011.667.7501.3332.08300000
Chase Anderson320000001.000.000.000.00010000
Gerald Laird331000000.333.333.333.66700000
David Peralta320000011.000.333.000.33300000
Josh Collmenter110000000.000.000.000.00000000
Randall Delgado110000001.000.000.000.00000000
Jeremy Hellickson110000001.000.000.000.00000000
Daniel Hudson110000001.000.000.000.00000000
Total15514428641121040.194.247.313.55910101

Which reminds me to remind Don Mattingly to stop pitching to Goldschmidt for god’s sake! I don’t understand it. The Dbacks have one guy in their lineup that can beat you, and Mattingly pitches right at him. The meatball served up to him last night looked like it was served right out of Tommy Lasorda’s Restaurant.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona will counter with rookie right hander and top prospect Archie Bradley. He’ll be making his debut MLB start. The 22-year old was drafted by the Snakes in the first round (seventh overall pick) of the 2011 amateur draft. Bradley is widely considered one of the top prospects in the game. Baseball prospectus ranked him as the number 11 prospect before the season started.

Bradley was great at double-A in 2013, but struggled last year splitting time between the Dback’s double-A affiliate Mobile BayBears, and their triple-A PCL affiliate Reno. In 2013 Bradley had a 12-5 record, and a 1.97 ERA in 21 starts. Last year however he posted an ERA of 4.12 at Mobile, and a 5.18 ERA at Reno. Bradley is basically a fastball curveball guy.

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  • The guys over at Venom strikes asked us some questions about the series. Stacie was happy to answer their questions. You can check those out here and here.

    I think another important part of the equation for the Dodgers to figure out is how to get the starters to go longer into games. None of the starters have gone past the sixth inning, not even Kershaw. You can’t win by using seven pitchers every night. Mattingly is using way too many pitchers. You’re going to burn out the bullpen by the end of April doing this sort of thing. The Dodgers need Kershaw to go seven or eight innings tonight. Can the Dodgers improve to a rousing 3-2 record?

    I don’t want to see any bullpen meltdowns or bumbling errors tonight. No more screwing around here boys. Come on now. You can return here after the game to check out our nightly recap of Dodger adventures.

    Go Blue!

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