The Dodgers look to keep the pressure on the Giants with a three-game series against the last place team in the West.
It’s funny how “offseason champions” work. We saw it last year with the Padres, as their new GM acquired new shiny toys that ended up being sorta polished toys bought at Goodwill. That team was flawed from the get-go, and since then A.J. Preller has worked some magic, including today’s trade that sent two meh pitchers to Miami for a great reliever and their third-best prospect (and Jarred Cosart, who you could argue is as good as Andrew Cashner or Colin Rea).
This year, the Diamondbacks made all the splashes in the offseason. They stole Zack Greinke from the Dodgers and traded for Shelby Miller. Turns out, Greinke struggled out of the gate, Miller has been more valuable to them on the DL than on the hill, one of their three great offensive players got hurt the day before the season started and the Diamondbacks currently own the fifth-worst record in baseball. The Diamondbacks entered the season with two of the best offensive players in the division (A.J. Pollock and Paul Goldschmidt) and a true ace in Greinke, but their lack of depth has them at 42-60, 17 games back in the West.
They have to be annoying somehow, so they’ve won four of nine games against the Dodgers and only five of 14 games against the Giants. The Dodgers opened the second half of the season in Arizona, and the Diamondbacks took two of three.
Kenta Maeda gets the start in the opener of this three-game set at Dodger Stadium and hopefully will fare better this time around. In his start in Arizona a couple weeks ago, Maeda allowed five runs in 4.1 innings. Overall, Maeda has been a nice find this season and has shown the ability to be that number two starter the Dodgers so desperately need. This is the fourth time he’s faced the Diamondbacks this season. He faced them at home in his first major league start and allowed five hits and no runs in six innings, but the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead. His two starts in Arizona went much worse. There was the one I mentioned earlier, and another one in June where he pitched well, but left the game in the sixth after taking a comebacker off the shin.
The DBacks will counter with Zack Godley, who’s making his fifth start of the season after a stint in the bullpen. Godley is 3-1 as a starter, but has a 5.82 ERA and hitters are hitting .315/.384/.449 against him as a starter. He had a successful first start of the season, as he allowed two runs in six innings against the Marlins. In his last three, Godley has failed to get out of the sixth all three times and has allowed 12 runs in 15.2 innings. His best start of the three came against the Blue Jays (three runs in five innings), but he allowed four and five runs to the Padres and Reds, respectively. Godley had a relief appearance in June against the Dodgers and retired the two batters he faced.
This has been the normal lineup with Yasiel Puig sidelined. He hasn’t played since July 22nd, so the Dodgers probably would have been better off placing him on the DL and taking an extra bench player.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PST and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.