Dodgers Go For Grand Finale in Colorado
Alex Guerrero, baby! I’m still reeling over the ninth inning dramatics when Alex Guerrero’s two-out, two-strike grand slam gave the Dodgers the win over Colorado and another game over the Giants in the standings. As you know, I’ve been mildly obsessed with Alex Guerrero since I first started filming him in 2013 during Spring Training. Quieter than the hyped up Yasiel Puig, Guerrero seemed to have acquired an unfair assumption about him that he is not defensively able to play at the major league level. While I maintained that Guerrero was at least capable in the infield, I don’t think there is any doubt now that the Cuban “rookie” should be starting for the Dodgers more often.
Mike Bolsinger (3-1, 1.15) vs. Chad Bettis (2-0, 2.96)
It boggles my mind that Alberto Callaspo is getting more starting time than our dearly missed Juan Uribe while Alex Guerrero is riding the pine. Although Guerrero has been extremely valuable off the bench (and he has three pinch-hit homeruns this season), Don Mattingly should find a way to start Guerrero in left field or at third base instead of Chris Heisey or Callapso. Not to be forgotten, Chris Heisey did manage a key base hit during that epic ninth-inning rally.
Alex Guerrero intrigues me, and I look forward to watching him finally get all the recognition he deserves. Even though a lot of the accolades are on Joc Pederson, deservedly, the other rookie deserves some praise as well. The GuerreroSlam will live on in infamy as one of the most clutch and exciting homeruns of the season (and it is surely to make my Top Ten Dodger Homeruns of 2015 to be penned at the conclusion of the season).
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The stage is set for a grand finale against the Rockies on Wednesday evening. Technically the Dodgers already have won both series in Colorado. The first series was back in May when they won two of three with one game rained out (and made up for during the doubleheader yesterday).
Zack Greinke was interestingly mediocre on Tuesday, but then again he’s been so fantastic this season he was bound to have a less than stellar start sooner or later. The Dodgers will have Mike Bolsinger on the mound for the series finale. Bolsinger has been a lovely addition to the mended starting rotation for the Dodgers this season. The 27-year old right-hander was a great acquisition for the Dodgers, and I still have no idea why the Diamondbacks sold him. Bolsinger has only allowed 4 earned runs in 31 1/3 innings so far this season.
Bolsinger picked up a win against Colorado at Dodger Stadium on May 17th when he pitched 6 innings of shutout ball and only allowed 3 hits. In his last start in St. Louis, Bolsinger unfortunately lost for the first time this season, but he pitched decently going 6 innings and allowing 2 runs on 7 hits. In his career, Bolsinger is 1-0 with a 3.27 ERA in 2 starts against Colorado. This will be his first start at Coors Field. Troy Tulowitzki has hit a homerun against Bolsinger, but he has struck out Charlie Blackmon four times in 6 at bats.
Jun 2, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Alex Guerrero (7) hits a grand slam in the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. The Dodgers defeated the Rockies 9-8. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
The Rockies will be countering with right-hander Chad Bettis who is undefeated this season through 4 starts. Bettis, who pitched out of the bullpen last year for the Rox, has performed very well in his last two starts. He has pitched deep into his last two games, going 8 1/3 and 8 innings respectively against the Giants and Phillies. Last outing against Philadelphia, he pitched 8 shutout innings and only allowed 2 hits with 7 strikeouts and no walks.
Bettis has no record against the Dodgers in 5 career games (2 starts) with a 5.93 ERA. The Dodgers faced Bettis back on May 14th at Dodger Stadium in the Dodgers loss. He pitched 5 innings and allowed 4 runs on 7 hits with 3 strikeouts and 4 walks in the no-decision. Andre Ethier has collected 2 doubles, 2 walks and a RBI against Bettis in 7 plate appearances.
Going, Going, Gone!
The Dodgers lead the majors with 73 homeruns on the season through their first 52 games. Joc Pederson leads all rookies in MLB with 16 homeruns. Alex Guerrero is tied with Steven Souza, Jr. of the Tampa Bay Rays in second with 10 homeruns.
The Dodgers have shown that they are not down and out even when they are within one strike from losing. Alex Guerrero’s dazzling grand slam on Tuesday night reflected the deep bench and depth of this 2015 Dodger team. While the Dodgers will still need to find more success on the road, other than in Denver, their bounty of homerun blasts, rookie rush and pitching prowess definitely puts them in contention amongst the best teams in the league.