Dodgers Braves Game Two Preview
By Alex Campos
The Dodgers look to rebound after their worst game of the season.
We’re just going to pretend last night’s Dodger game never happened, mmkay?
It may sound like an excuse, but the team played about as poorly as they could have last night. It happens, even to the best teams, as no team in baseball has ever been on their A-game for 162 games. To call yesterday an F-game for the Dodgers would be rounding up, but at the end of the day it’s only one loss (and no one got injured so I call it a wash)
The Dodgers look to get back in the win column today with surprise number five starter Ross Stripling on the hill. Nobody could have expected the success Stripling has had so far this season, as he flirted with a no-hitter in his first start and held the Diamondbacks to two runs in six innings in his encore. He’s had a very fortunate and unsustainable .147 BABIP, but has done an excellent job keeping hitters off balance and staying away from allowing extra base hits.
People are quick to complain about Alex Wood and Scott Kazmir, and they have good reason to. They’ve each started three games so far this season, and each have turned in one great start and two clunkers. While it’s easy (and still too early) to call them failures, their struggles are countered by the early season success Stripling and Kenta Maeda have had. The Dodgers’ rotation might be out of order in terms of success, but Stripling and Maeda have pitched like top-tier pitchers while Wood and Kazmir have looked like spot starters on the verge of losing their jobs. Expect all four of them to fall back to earth, while Clayton Kershaw just keeps floating above every single pitcher that’s ever touched a baseball.
Julio Teheran is scheduled to throw for the Braves. He was supposed to start last night, but was scratched with a fever. Teheran is the Braves’ ace, but has lost his last two starts by allowing ten earned runs in 11 combined innings. He pitched well in the Braves’ home opener, but struggled two starts ago against the Cardinals and in his last start against the Nationals.
Teheran got beat up by the Dodgers in his first start against them last year, as he allowed 10 hits and eight runs in four 1/3 innings at Dodger Stadium last May. He rebounded nicely at Turner Field against them, as he allowed three runs in seven innings and struck out 11, but took the loss thanks to a one-run outing by Mike Bolsinger.
With the exception of the pitchers’ spot, this is the same lineup that got shut down by Williams Perez last night. To add insult to insult, Perez was sent to AAA today.
First off, I love having an announcer that tweets this sort of stuff. Obviously not knocking Vin, but I’ve seen Davis tweet FanGraph posts and talk about advanced stats on broadcasts. He’s definitely a keeper.
Who knows how Teheran is feeling, but if he’s still under the weather the Dodgers need to tee off on him tonight. The Braves currently have the longest winning streak in baseball, but the Dodgers really shouldn’t lose a series to a team of this caliber. They’re in a deep rebuild and seemed to have a smaller crowd at yesterday’s game than any of the Spring Training games I attended in March. The Dodgers are coming off a big series win against the Giants and head to Satan’s deathtrap (Coors Field), so winning these sorts of games are vital.
First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 PST and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.