Dodgers Angels Game 2 Preview


Tonight, the Dodgers look for their eighth straight win against the Angels and have Clayton Kershaw on the mound. Not bad, Tuesday.

Last night, the Angels got to Cy Young favorite Zack Greinke. He still had a quality start, but he gave up more than two runs for only the sixth time in 28 starts. His ERA skyrocketed to 1.68, so maybe we should put a pin in the “re-sign him by any means necessary” talks (but seriously please re-sign him by any means necessary).

I would be so annoyed to have to face Greinke and Kershaw in back-to-back games. They’re such amazingly different pitchers, one of which relies on nearly perfect control and the other relies on probably the nastiest three-pitch combo in baseball. So good luck, Angels.

Kershaw has gone eight or more innings in eight of his last 10 outings and has struck out at least 10 batters in six of his last 10. He’s coming off a 132-pitch complete game against the Giants and is pitching on an extra day’s rest. He faced the Angels on August 1st and held them to two hits and no runs in eight innings.

Sep 2, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney (28) pitches the ball against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Not many hitters have long term success against Kershaw, but Albert Pujols has 11 hits in 25 at bats against Kershaw, along with seven walks and four extra base hits (all doubles). Pujols’ average is down this year and he’s currently battling a foot injury, but yesterday he showed that he can still hit, singling twice and lacing a ground-rule double in five at bats. In 168 total plate appearances, current Angels have only taken Kershaw deep three times. Two of those came off the bat of Shane Victorino, who I think we can all agree is the most annoying player in baseball history. The other was by Chris Iannetta.

The Dodgers get another look at what could have been, as Andrew Heaney gets the start for the Dodgers. No one can convince me the Dee Gordon trade wasn’t a great move for the Dodgers, but the Heaney/Howie Kendrick swap was questionable at the time and with the growingly likely departure of Kendrick in the future, it’s looking worse and worse every day.

In 13 starts with the Angels, Heaney is 6-2 with a 3.18 ERA (3.60 FIP) and has struck out four times as many batters as he’s walked. He faced off against Kershaw back in August, and his numbers didn’t really tell the story about how well he pitched. I was quite impressed with him, even though he only went five 1/3 innings and gave up a couple runs. He just looked extremely composed the whole time, even when he got in trouble a couple times. He just turned 24 in June and he already looks like the top pitching prospect that he has been in the past.

If you had “Justin Ruggiano, leadoff hitter for the Dodgers” in your office pool, congrats on your fortune and what were you smoking? With a lefty on the hill, the Dodgers roll out their all-righty outfield. It looks a lot worse without Enrique Hernandez and Yasiel Puig, but Ruggiano mashes lefties and Chris Heisey… can play defense.

Despite the lefty on the hill, the Dodgers still have a mostly left-handed infield with Adrian Gonzalez, Chase Utley and Corey Seager. Seager has been impressive in his short time with the Dodgers. I can’t think of a wasted at-bat and he’s hit the ball hard. It’s a very good thing that he’s not a Philly or Blue Jay right now.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PST and will be shown on Sportsnet LA and Fox Sports West (Angels telecast).