Everything is bigger in Texas, and the Dodgers are looking for a big win against the Rangers in the Interleague series opener on Monday evening. It was a rare missed game for me on Sunday while I was enjoying my youngest daughter’s first dance recital, but I was able to re-watch Joc Pederson‘s amazing center field game saving catch at home about fifty times. Joc won’t be able to make those incredible catches every game (or will he?), so a little thing called offense is going to be needed.
After all, these next two series against the American League Rangers and the World Champion Giants is just a bit more challenging than the D-backs or Padres. It’s hard to complain when the Dodgers are 3 1/2 games up and in first place, but for some reason I want more. I want more offense. I want more stolen bases and a better running game. I want complete dominance from the rotation and bullpen. I want wins. Lots of them. I’m quite demanding, aren’t I?
Carlos Frias will be tested in his ninth start for the Dodgers this season. Frias has had his ups and downs, but for the most part he’s pitched admirably after slotting into the rotation early on after the injuries came down on the rotation. After the poor start against the Cardinals, Frias pitched well in the Dodgers win over Arizona in his last start. Frias allowed 1 run on 8 hits with 3 strikeouts and a walk in 6 2/3 innings against the Snakes.
This will be Frias’s first start against the Rangers, and he has only pitched 2 innings against an American League team in his career (the Angels). Interestingly, Frias has pitched well on the road this season and is 2-1 with a 1.89 ERA in 4 games (3 starts) on the road.
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The Rangers will be countering with right-hander Yovani Gallardo. The Rangers acquired Gallardo from the Milwaukee Brewers in the offseason with cash in exchange for Marcos Diplan, Corey Knebel and Luis Sardinas. Yovani allowed 2 runs on 5 hits with 10 strikeouts and 1 walk on 110 pitches through 7 solid innings against the Oakland A’s in his last start. The Rangers still lost the game to Oakland 5-4, but Gallardo wasn’t involved in the decision.
In his career, Gallardo is 2-4 with a 5.23 ERA against the Dodgers in 8 starts. He’ll have to be wary of Andre Ethier who is hitting .381 against the righty with a homerun, 2 doubles, a triple and 3 RBI against Yovani Gallardo in 21 at bats. Andre Ethier hit another homerun, his ninth, in Sunday’s 4- 2 win over the Padres. The solo homerun was also off James Shields. Not too shabby. A Decade of Dre will continue to be chronicled throughout the season (or for however long Ethier remains a Dodger).
The Dodgers were delayed in their travels to Texas, and they had to switch planes at LAX after a mechanical issue surfaced with their plane. Thankfully everyone is okay, but I continue to be increasingly scared of flying.
Most likely Alex Guerrero will be the designated hitter in one of the games at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Guerrero seems to have lost opportunities at third base with Alberto Callaspo starting over him. With Justin Turner now the starting third baseman and Yasiel Puig back in the outfield, Don Mattingly will have to figure ways to get Guerrero some at bats. After all, the “rookie” is hitting .333/.368/.889 with 3 homeruns and 8 RBI in 18 pinch-hit at bats.
Edited to Add: Guerrero is not in the starting lineup Monday with Adrian Gonzalez DHing and Alberto Callaspo starting at third base.
The Dodgers haven’t played the Rangers since 2009 in Texas. They are 11-8 during the regular season against the Rangers, and they have a good record of 7-4 at Globe Life Park overall as a franchise.