Dodgers Look to Get Back on Track Versus D-Backs
Starting off a homestand winning one out of four games is not ever good. Yet there is some good news to extract from the previous four games against the Cardinals. For one, the Dodgers do not have to play St. Louis again during the regular season. Secondly, the fourth-place D-backs slither into town for a three-game set. Thirdly, Yasiel Puig is back and producing. Hopefully this series with the Snakes will allow the Dodgers to protect their slim 1/2 game lead over the Giants in the N.L. West standings and perhaps even gain some ground.
Mike Bolsinger (3-1, 1.98) vs. Rubby De La Rosa (4-2, 5.09)
Up pop the bullpen problems. We all remember the Dodger bullpen troublems (troubles + problems) of 2014. The blown leads. The inability to hold ties. Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals made all those bad memories flood back into my mind. Kenley Jansen was ready for the ninth inning, but like Craig Kimbrel standing and looking on from the bullpen never able to get into the game, Jansen never did get the ball on Sunday evening.
You can definitely argue that Don Mattingly should have used Kenley in the eighth inning against the heart of the St. Louis lineup, but that’s not a strategy in which Don believes in. Kenley is usually reserved for the ninth inning if the Dodgers are leading by less than three runs no matter who is due up in the eighth or ninth. I’d like to see the Dodgers’ best reliever battle the best batters in late innings in order to counter those high leverage situations, but alas I don’t see that happening with Mattingly at the helm.
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Mike Bolsinger will be going to the mound for the series opener against Arizona, and the Dodgers would really like to have the right-hander pitch deep into the game in order to not have to cross that rickety bridge to Kenley which has been precariously hanging by a thread from the proverbial cliff recently. Bolsinger will be making his seventh start for the Dodgers this season, and he has been a pleasant surprise despite a shaky start his last time out at annoying Coors Field.
Bolsinger allowed 4 runs on 6 hits with 3 strikeouts and 3 walks through 5 innings in the 7-6 loss. This will be Mike’s first career start against Arizona. Wellington Castillo, who was just acquired by Arizona from Seattle this month, is the only current Arizona hitter to have had an at bat against Bolsinger. He has 1 hit and 1 strikeout in 3 at bats against the righty. Bolsinger has pitched well at Dodger Stadium and is 3-1 with a 2.66 ERA in 4 starts.
Old friend Rubby De La Rosa will be starting for the D-backs on Monday night. Rubby has allowed 12 homeruns in 11 starts so far this season. His last four consecutive starts have ended in a no-decision. Last time out against the Braves, Rubby was hit hard for 7 runs on 9 hits with 8 strikeouts and 2 walks in 5 innings, but the D-backs pulled off a 9-8 win over Atlanta. The Dodgers defeated the hard throwing right-hander back on May 1st when he allowed 5 runs on 3 hits including 2 homeruns with 6 strikeouts and 3 walks over 5 innings in the 8-0 shutout.
In his career, Rubby is 2-5 with a 5.19 ERA in 10 games (7) starts at Dodger Stadium. Howie Kendrick is hitting .417 with 5 hits including a homerun in 12 at bats against De La Rosa. Kendrick, who has been sidelined with a knee injury (but did play in Sunday’s game) is expected to be in the starting lineup on Monday.
The Dodgers have won six straight home games against the D-backs including a three-game sweep against the Snakes back in April.
Skinning Snakes always seems to be easier than playing Cards for the Dodgers.