The Dodgers return home after a .500 roadtrip to take on Milwaukee.
The Dodgers went 3-3 on their roadtrip. Five of the six games were decided by one run, with the Dodgers going 2-3 in those games. They were a few well-timed hits away from a 6-0 roadtrip, but one shorter wall or poorly placed hit from a 1-5 trip. The pitching, particularly the bullpen, was phenomenal. The offense, not so much. In all, it could have been better, but it could have been worth.
The Dodgers hit the road four games back and now sit six games back, which is the real issue at hand. Two of their losses on the trip came at the hands of the first-place Giants, who proceeded to sweep Milwaukee while the Dodgers took two of three in Arizona. Fortunately, now the Dodgers get their crack at the Brewers.
Scott Kazmir gets first crack at Milwaukee. Kazmir’s season numbers still aren’t great, but they’ve been getting better of late. Kazmir has seen his ERA drop from 5.23 on May 20 to 4.52 entering today’s contest. He’s gone five innings and given up three runs in each of his last two starts, which is fine for a number five starter, not so much for the number two he was signed to be this season.
Junior Guerra gets the ball for the Brewers and has surpassed everyone’s expectations so far this season. The 31-year-old got his first crack at the bigs last year with four innings out of the White Sox bullpen, but has posted a 3.31 ERA/3.83 FIP in eight starts for the Brewers this season. The Brewers are 6-2 in his eight starts, with Guerra posting a 3-1 record in his four decisions. He’s given up four or three runs in five of his eight outings, but has thrown two shutouts and allowed one run his last time out against the Mets.
With Kendrick at third, Will Venable makes his first start since being signed by the Dodgers on Tuesday. Venable replaced Austin Barnes on the roster. I’m a huge Barnes fan, but he’s not gaining a lot sitting on the bench, and is better served getting reps in the minors. Venable had a .256/.336/.374 line against right handed pitching last season and stole 14 bases, so the Dodgers are probably hoping he can provide a bit with his bat from the left side of the plate. Venable pinch hit and grounded out on Tuesday, his only plate appearance as a Dodger. He’ll probably be first on the chopping block when Yasiel Puig and/or Andre Ethier return.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PST and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.