Some of you oldtimers will remember this:
They don’t make ’em like that anymore, but I digress. The Dodgers are in Houston – hopefully for a sweep, but I’ll take 2 out of 3 and close it in LA. Really, this has the look of a seven game series. Tonight is a very critical game. The winning team will have momentum and that is important.
Tonight, Yu Darvish faces the Astros in Minute Maid Park. He is 4-1 with a 2.16 ERA in six starts at that ballpark. In five of those six outings, Darvish pitched at least seven innings, however he has “streamlined” his delivery and has somewhat of a different look. He is the perfect starter for the Dodgers in a series that is tied at 1-1.
Lance McCullers Jr. is the starting pitcher for the Astros and he has some incredible stuff… when he is on the field. He has a lot of injury issues but appears to be healthy for this one. His fastball tops out at 96 and he has a great curve and a hard changeup to go with it. He throws his curveball nearly 48% of the time. He will present a unique challenge to a team that loves low fastballs and don’t hit curveballs very well.
I am assuming that Joc Pederson will start in LF against the RHP and Utley will start at 2B, although I prefer Forsythe and either Grandal or Ethier will DH. I have no preference. If McCullers and Darvish are on, this could be a very, very low scoring game. Forsythe has more range at 2B and that could be important in a tight game. Joc is a very good LF’er so Andre Ethier may get the call as a DH. We shall see…
- Ned Colletti, former Dodger’s GM was quoted by MLB’s Ken Gurnick as saying:
“No, nothing bittersweet about it,” said the Dodgers’ former general manager. “I applaud [president of baseball operations] Andrew Friedman, [general manager] Farhan Zaidi and [CEO] Stan Kasten. They took this team where I couldn’t get it.”
- Ned is the Old Guard, this is the New Era of Baseball and it’s just done differently. I enjoy Ned’s comments and hopefully he will stay with team team for a time.
- So far, the Dodgers have lost Jeremy Zoll who is Minnesota’s Director of Minor League Operations and Matt Herges to the Giants as their bullpen coach. It’s too bad they lost Zoll because he could have slipped into that same position with the Dodgers if Gabe Kapler takes a manager job… and he is in on a couple.
- Yusniel Diaz continues to hit – .367 BA/.429 OB%/.9o29 OPS
- Will Smith is hitting .333/.378 OB%/.833 OPS
- DJ Peters is at .190
- Matt Beaty is floundering at .148
- Issac Anderson 0.00 ERA/ 2.00 WHIP – 3 IP
- Michael Boyle – 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA and 0.69 WHIP – 4.1 IP
- Andrew Sopko 3.48 ERA and 1.45 WHIP – 10.1 IP
- Shea Spitzbarth – 7.20 ERA – 5.0 IP
Takeaways: Diaz, Smith and Boyle are progressing well. Hopefully, the others are learning – the stats don’t always tell the tale. This is a league for continual learning and improvement.