The Dodgers look to keep their spot atop the NL West with a win in game two against the Phillies.
Yesterday’s games was one of the more delightful games of the season. It looked early on like one of those games where the Dodgers forgot that you have to play offense, but they woke up and put up 15 on the Phils. Chase Utley led the way in a highly successful return to the stadium he spent 13 years at. As if things couldn’t get better, the Pirates took a late lead on the Giants, who stranded two in scoring position in the ninth to lose 4-3 and fall a half game behind the Dodgers in the West.
It would be super anti-climactic for the Dodgers to battle all this way back to sit in first for the first time since May 10th just to lose the lead the next day, so don’t do that dummies. This game should be unpredictable, as Scott Kazmir gets the ball for LA. Kazmir has been very Jekyll/Hyde this season, showing spouts of brilliance and dominance, only to follow that up with an atrocious outing. Kazmir has given the Dodgers shades of going deep in games lately, as he’s gone at least five in five straight outings. Five innings isn’t phenomenal, but given the state of the Dodger rotation, five innings is a Godsend at this point.
Kazmir’s last outing came against the Phils and he allowed two runs in six innings. Both of those runs scored after Kazmir was pulled, as he put two on to start the seventh and was taken out for Grant Dayton. Dayton gave up a three-run homer in his only bad outing as a Dodger so far, and Kenley Jansen put the game out of reach by allowing three runs in the ninth.
Jake Thompson gets the ball for the Phillies in his third career start. Thompson is their fifth-best prospect on MLB Pipeline and was a key piece in the trade that sent Cole Hamels to Texas. This will be Thompson’s third start, all of which have come against NL West opponents. His debut came in San Diego, and Thompson gave up six runs in 4.1 innings. His home debut against the Rockies was much better, as he allowed three runs in five innings for his first career win.
In limited sample size, Brooks Baseball tracked Thompson’s repertoire. He’s mainly thrown a four-seam, sinker or slider this season, but has mixed in a curveball and changeup. His velo won’t blow anyone away, but all his pitches have movement.
This looks to be the lineup moving forward. It’ll be interesting to keep track of the lineup changes against lefties or if Yasmani Grandal needs a day off, but this lineup against righties is deep. If Josh Reddick can start having his batted balls not land in gloves, there is a lot to love about this lineup.
Adam Liberatore hasn’t pitched since July 29th due to elbow inflammation, but getting him back on this roadtrip would be a huge win for an overworked bullpen. Liberatore was dominant before getting hurt and would be a much better seventh or eighth inning option than Pedro Baez or Grant Dayton. A Liberatore/Joe Blanton/Kenley Jansen back of the bullpen is tough.
First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 PM PST and will be shown on Sportsnet LA