Los Angeles Dodgers Game Previews: Anderson Vs. Butler in Series Opener, Mother Nature Pending
By Scott Andes
The Dodgers fly into Denver to start the first of a three game series this weekend with the Rockies. This is the first trip to Denver this season. There will be a threat of inclement weather throughout the weekend, and we are unsure if any of the three games will be played.
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Speaking of raining, the only thing raining in Thursday’s 14-4 rout over the Brewers were baseballs off the Dodger bats. I think some of the balls hit still haven’t landed yet. The Dodgers slugged nine home runs in the Milwaukee series, and were able to earn a series split. Red hot Switch-hitting catcher Yasmani Grandal had the game of his life, with 4 hits, two home runs, and eight runs batted in. The eight RBI are the most in a game from a Dodger since that James Loney game at….you guessed it, Coors Field back in 2006. Grandal is now 12 for his last 17 and is on fire. As Adrian pointed out, it is very nice to be finally getting some offensive production from the catcher position.
Dodgers Lineup @ Colorado
Brett Anderson-1-1 vs. Eddie Butler-2-2
Game Time – 5:40 PM
This is the second time since April 26 that Turner has started at second base. Turner started in 14 games at the keystone for the Dodgers last season.
The Dodger road record is now 5-8, and they won six of ten last season at Denver. The Dodgers swept the Rockies back in April during a three game series at Dodger Stadium.
Tonight’s match-up will feature former Rockie Brett Anderson returning to his old stomping grounds to counter rookie right hander Eddie Butler.
Anderson is coming off his best start of the season. On May 3 against Arizona he threw six shutout innings, allowing just five hits, whiffing four and not walking anyone. That was the game the Dodgers won 1-0 in 13 innings thanks to Grandal’s walk-off home run.
Anderson pitched in Colorado last season, but battled various injuries all year. Overall this season Anderson is 1-1 with a 4.21 ERA in five starts. He’s whiffed 15 and walked four, but given up 31 hits in 25.2 innings pitched. Anderson has never faced the Rockies, but is 1-2 with a 3.54 ERA at Coors Field. The only Rockie to have faced Anderson at all is Justin Morneau. The Colorado first baseman is hitting .333 (4 for 12) with one home run.
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Colorado will counter with rookie right hander Eddie Butler. The 24-year old Radford University graduate faced the Dodgers back on April 19 at Dodger Stadium. In that game he gave up two earned runs on six hits across five innings of work. He took the loss though as the Dodgers won that game 7-0.
Butler has pitched fairly well. He is 2-2 with a 3.81 ERA in five starts. However he has had control problems. He’s whiffed just 16 in 26 innings, so he’s a pitch to contact type of hurler. The walks have hurt him. He’s walked 15 and allowed 28 hits in his 26 innings pitched. That gives him a 5.5 walk per nine rate so far this year.
The Dodgers have hit him well in the past. He is 0-2 with a 7.80 ERA in three starts against the Dodgers. In those starts, he has served up 24 hits in 15 innings. At Coors Field he is 2-1 with a 5.71 ERA in three starts.
The Dodgers are hitting .389 (14 for 36) with one home run off of Butler. Justin Turner is hitting .750 (6 for 8) against Butler, with two doubles. Adrian Gonzalez has hit the only home run.
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Today is Gonzalez’s birthday. He turns 33 years old. Since it’s his birthday, better to have the stat of the day be about him.
State of the day – Adrian Gonzalez is batting .301/.373/.541 (84 for 279) with 17 home runs at Coors Field.
We’ll see if Mother Nature will allow for some Dodger Baseball this evening. Everyone knows that Mother Nature is a Dodgers fan, so I think we will get the game in tonight. The sky is blue for a reason. We will see everybody after the game. Unless it does get rained out, then we will see you on Saturday, or in a few days.