Los Angeles Dodgers Game Previews: Dodgers Return Home To Begin First Interleague Series


The Dodgers return home from their three game series in Arizona, a bit beaten up, but otherwise intact. The club is 3-3 and was able to barely save face by hanging on to win the third game and avoid an embarrassing sweep at the hands of the hapless Dbacks.

The Dodgers were the ones hapless in the series though. Terrible relief pitching, sloppy base running and mediocre defense helped the Dbacks take the first two games of the series. Finally it took a strong seven scoreless frames from Zack Greinke to stop the bleeding for the Dodgers.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Of course unsurprisingly horrendous middle reliever Chris Hatcher nearly blew a seven run lead within the blink of an eye. He allowed four earned runs in less than 60 seconds, and was only able to retire one batter. Veteran Joel Peralta had to be called in to get the last out, which he did without issue. It is becoming painfully clear that Hatcher can never be used to close out games again. Although it is still early, so let’s give him a break.

Dodgers Lineup vs. Seattle

Barney SS

Puig RF

Gonzalez 1B

Kendrick 2B

Van Slyke LF

Guerrero 3B

Pederson CF

Ellis C

McCarthy P

James Paxton-0-1 vs. Brandon McCarthy-1-0

Game Time- 7:10 PM

Speaking of bleeding, the Dodgers return home nursing a couple of new injuries suffered at the hot corner in Saturday night’s 6-0 loss. Justin Turner had his finger spiked by a slide into third base. He had to leave the game with his finger wrapped, but should be ok. Juan Uribe was called in to action on what was supposed to be his day off after Turner had to leave with the finger injury. On the very next play Uribe suffered a tight hamstring and had to be removed as well.

Fortunately the Dodgers have another Cuban kid named Alex Guerrero who was able to take over and play on Sunday as well. Guerrero had three hits in Sunday’s 7-4 win, and he also slugged his first Major League home run. Turner and Uribe are both listed as day-to-day, but the Dodgers are saying both of them are available to play. Their injuries are not serious. If neither can go, I would expect Guerrero to get another start at third base.

The Dodgers will open a six game home stand tonight with a three game series against the Seattle Mariners. Tonight the fans will receive the first pin in the Cy Young collectors pin series, presented by 76. The first pin is the legendary Don Newcombe.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t know much about the Mariners, what with them playing in the other league and all, but I do know they have other things on their minds besides the Dodgers today. Apparently their ace Felix Hernandez left his start on Sunday early because of a tight quad. I am sure the Mariners are keeping a close watch on his condition.

The pitching match-up tonight will feature left hander James Paxton going up against Brandon McCarthy. In case you were wondering, the Dodgers have still not announced a starter for Tuesday night’s game, but everyone is expecting it to be Scott Baker.

As for Paxton, he is 26-years old and the Mariners drafted him in the fourth round of the 2010 amateur draft. He is from British Colombia, Canada, and made his MLB debut in 2013. In that year he posted a 3-0 record with a 1.50 ERA in four starts. Apparently Paxton is a Fastball, sinker, curveball guy. According to the reports Paxton had one of the best curveballs in the Mariners’ system. Entering last year, he was still working on developing his change up.

Last year he pitched in 13 games, posting a 6-4 record, 3.04 ERA/3.28 FIP, and a 7.2 strikeout per nine rate in 74 innings pitched. In his first start this season, he allowed two earned runs on four hits through six innings in a loss to the Angels. He has never faced the Dodgers before, but has a 1-1 record with a 0.90 ERA in interleague play. The only Dodger to have ever faced him is Howie Kendrick, who is 3 for 11 with a double in 11 plate appearances. 

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  • The Dodgers will counter with Brandon McCarthy. The tall right hander showed a lot of promise in his first start of the season against San Diego. He won, but did not make it past the sixth innings. He allowed four earned runs on nine hits over 5 innings plus. He did strike out nine and walked just one. He has potential, he just needs to go deeper into games.

    McCarthy has seen Seattle from his days in the American League. McCarthy is 2-6 with a 3.88 ERA in 13 games against the Mariners. Seattle is hitting .244 (20 for 82) with three home runs against McCarthy. He has whiffed 14 and walked just one, limiting Seattle to a .655 OPS against. However Nelson Cruz, Dustin Ackley, and Robinson Cano have all hit a home run off of him.

    Nelson Cruz25255101303.200.200.360.56000000
    Dustin Ackley17175001103.294.294.471.76500000
    Robinson Cano12113001311.273.333.545.87900100
    Seth Smith993300001.333.333.6671.00000000
    Austin Jackson771000004.
    Kyle Seager662000200.333.333.333.66700000
    Justin Ruggiano441000000.
    Willie Bloomquist330000002.

    Jason makes some great observations about the Dodger’s through their first week after their series at Arizona. I agree about the bullpen looking good most of the time. However Howell, and Hatcher have both been horrendous. So for me, with the two games that Hatcher has blown, it has been more of a mixed bag in my opinion.

    I’ve also touched base quickly on the Dodger’s constant shifting this season. Obviously that is an Andrew Friedman/Farhan Zaidi thing. Don Mattingly never used the shift last year, or very rarely. As I have said before, I don’t like it. Maybe the numbers will balance out after more games. It is a small sample size to judge, but I still don’t think it is a good idea. As I have mentioned before, the shifts are supposed to be used sparingly in games against Pull heavy monsters. They are not supposed to be used on every batter. This is why we are seeing so many ground ball singles get through the infield.

    For some reason Darwin Barney is playing shortstop and batting lead-off. Rollins is getting a day off, which is fine. I don’t have a problem with Barney playing. He’s a good glove, and a nice guy. However the guy couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat. If he has to play fine, just don’t bat him lead-off. I don’t understand Mattingly’s decisions sometimes.

    Guerrero will play at third again while Uribe and Turner rest. Van Slyke gets the nod in left field, giving Carl Crawford a night off as well. A.J. Ellis catches over Yasmani Grandal.

    The first interleague tilt of the season begins tonight at 7:10 PM. Check back in over here for our nightly recap to see all of the Dodger highlights.

    Go Blue!