After a frustrating night against former teammate Zack Greinke, the Dodgers’ offense continues its search for life and an end to one-run losses.
One of these nights, the Dodger offense will snap out of it and hit with runners in scoring position, right? An 0 for 11 RISP performance last night against the Diamondbacks led to the team’s fourth one-run loss in its last six games (three of them in a row). It seemed like almost every inning against Grienke they put runners on base with some hard hit balls; however, with the exception of a first-inning RBI double by Justin Turner to plate Corey Seager from first base and a solo home run (also by Seager in the 5th inning), the offense stumbled yet again, especially whenever there was a party on the bases.
Tonight should be easier than facing Greinke, as the D-backs will send out 23-year-old prospect, righty Archie Bradley. But before you get too excited, you should probably know that in 2011, Arizona made Bradley the #7 pick in the draft, and according to MLB Pipeline, he is the organization’s second highest-ranking prospect. While he struggled with his control in a losing effort to Tampa Bay last time out, (he threw just 48 of his 87 pitches for strikes and gave up four runs in 5 2/3 innings of work), Bradley whiffed 10 Cubs in his previous start and only gave up one run in six innings in a hard-luck loss (sound familiar?). Which Bradley will show up tonight? The Dodgers are praying that it is the former and not the latter, so that they can tie up the series.
As he does most every time out, Kenta Maeda will try to keep the Dodgers in the game. He is making his 13th start of the season and is looking for his sixth win as a Dodger. Not surprisingly, last time he climbed the hill, Maeda found himself on the losing end of a beautifully pitched 1-0 game against the Colorado Rockies. In that loss, Maeda went 6.1 innings and struck out nine, including Rockies slugger Carlos Gonzalez three times. Of course, he had nothing to show for his effort at the end of the night since the Dodger offense couldn’t get on the board.
The lineup is the standard one Roberts writes out on a right-handed opposing pitcher night with Howie Kendrick getting the start in left field. Scott Van Slyke‘s swing still hasn’t appeared, so I guess Kendrick makes more sense at this point. If these guys don’t figure it out, maybe newly signed outfielder Will Venable will get a shot; Austin Barnes‘ chance to make a difference came to end for now when they optioned him to make room for Venable. The 33-year-old Venable at least bats lefty, so that could be of some help off the bench.
The Dodger pitching staff, including the bullpen, is really getting the job done in June. Hopefully, the offense will take advantage of the batter-friendly Chase Field and a young, uneven opposing pitcher to make everything finally come together at the same time. Maybe they can conjure up a little baseball magic; it seems like the Dodgers haven’t run into any all season long, and now that they have fallen six big games behind the division-leading Giants, they are even more desperate to find some.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 PST and will air on SNLA.