Dodgers Rockies Game 2 Preview
By Alex Campos
Now that the Dodgers are past the Zack Greinke/Clayton Kershaw portion of the rotation, things get a little bit dicier. Their next most consistent starter this season gets the ball today as Brett Anderson takes on his former team.
First, about last night. Kershaw looked about as bad as I’ve seen him look this season. It took him 43 pitches to get through the first two innings. After an easy third, he threw another 23 in the fourth. He threw 105 pitches in seven innings, which is definitely not the same level of efficiency as we’re used to from him. Yet, in those seven innings he only allowed three hits and two walks with one run. His five strikeouts matched a season-low and probably derails his chances of reaching 300 strikeouts on the season. Even “struggling” Kershaw is incredible and we are all spoiled.
Sep 3, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Chris Rusin (52) stretches out on deck in the seventh inning against the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field. The Rockies defeated the Giants 11-3. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Anderson has a bit of a tough act to follow, but in his own right he has been great for the Dodgers this season. He’s 18 1/3 innings shy of matching his career high and has been nothing but solid for the Dodgers, posting a 3.36 ERA (3.94 FIP) in 27 starts for the Dodgers, which had to be more than they were expecting when they signing him for $10 million in the offseason. His 66.7 percent ground ball rate is the highest in baseball since former Dodger Derek Lowe had a 67 percent rate in 2006. When he does give up a fly ball, 16 percent of them leave the yard so the key against this powerful Rockies lineup will definitely be to keep the ball on the ground.
Anderson has started twice against Colorado this season, and gave up two runs and struck out nine Rockies in 10 1/3 innings. Wilin Rosario took him deep in their meeting at Dodger Stadium back in May.
On the other side, lefty Chris Rusin gets the ball for the Rockies. He’s been less-than-good this season, posting a 5.14 ERA (4.56 FIP) in 18 starts and two relief appearances. He threw a complete game at Coors against the Giants two starts ago, but allowed six runs at Petco his last time out. This is his first time pitching at Dodger Stadium, and he gave up four runs in five innings in his only career start against the Dodgers in 2013.
With a lefty on the hill, Justin Ruggiano and Chris Heisey are back in the lineup. Ruggiano and his 1.053 slugging percentage as a Dodger (in a totally not small sample size) gets his fourth leadoff start. He’s 5-13 in the leadoff spot with two home runs in the first three games, so don’t get to the game late or you’ll probably miss a leadoff homer.
It was likely to happen with a lefty in the lineup, but A.J. Ellis starting over Yasmani Grandal annoys me more than it should After an incredible 0-36 stretch by Grandal, he went 2-3 yesterday and hit the ball hard all four plate appearances. I’d like for him to get back in rhythm before the postseason.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PST and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.