Dodgers @ Rockies August 29, 2016: Rain precedes final series at Coors

That was a successful 4-2 homestand for the Dodgers. After consecutive series wins against the Giants and Cubs, the Blue Crew jettisoned off to Colorado for one last series in the danger zone they call Coors Field. Big performances from rookie pitchers Julio Urias, Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart helped the first-place Dodgers edge out the top team in baseball, and the Corey Seager factor once again came into play in the 1-0 victory on Sunday.

The third-place Rockies won’t be rolling over easily. They are 6 1/2 games out of the Wild Card standings, but they are coming off of a series win against the Nationals over the weekend.

5:40 p.m. PT
 Pederson  C  Hundley
Maeda (R)
Gray (R)

Kenta Maeda (13-7, 3.37 ERA, 3.68 FIP) has pitched well at Coors Field this year. He is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA and 13 strikeouts over 12 innings in Denver. Maeda’s typically excellent command has worked well in the mile-high air, and he has not let the reputation — or curse — of Coors affect him.

The rookies, loosely referring to Maeda as such, have impressed and stepped up while Clayton Kershaw, Brandon McCarthy, Alex Wood, Brett Anderson, Scott Kazmir and Bud Norris have all landed on the disabled list this year. Maeda was optioned to Rookie-level Arizona League in a sneaky roster manipulation last week, and was subsequently recalled prior to Monday’s series opener. Brock Stewart was optioned to Double-A Tulsa in the corresponding roster move, enabling the Dodgers to call him back after next Monday when the Drillers’ season ends.

Colorado will send their rookie starter Jon Gray (8-6, 4.61 ERA, 3.72 FIP) to the mound for the series opener. The big right-hander struck out 10 in his last start. Despite only allowing two runs on four hits over six innings, the Rockies fell to the Brewers 6-4 in Milwaukee.

The Dodgers have already faced Gray three times this year, and they have collected eight runs on 15 hits including three home runs and seven walks against him. On the other hand, Gray has struck out 20 Dodgers in those 16 innings. Despite a high 5.11 ERA at Coors this season, Gray has kept his team in the game in those 11 starts (the Rockies are 7-4 in his home starts). He has also struck out 67 and walked 14 in 61 2/3 innings at home and has allowed only one more home run at Coors (8) than on the road (7) this year.

The lineup looks a bit different for the Dodgers tonight with the absence of Justin Turner, who gets the night off. Corey Seager, the premiere rookie, will bat third with Adrian Gonzalez following. Rob Segedin is starting at third base, batting eighth.

Clayton Kershaw gets closer. There is a possibility that he will be activated after his simulated game.

I just saw this. Don’t tease us.

Ross Stripling will pitch Wednesday while both Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson pitch simulated games in L.A. Tuesday. Bud Norris is available out of the bullpen for the Colorado series.

The Dodgers can pick up a half game on the idle Giants with a win tonight.

You never know what will happen at Coors Field, but you’re always thankful to still be alive — and in first place — in the end.

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About Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler
Stacie Wheeler, born and raised in So Cal, has been writing about the Dodgers since 2010. She wrote daily as the co-editor of Lasorda's Lair for five long years, and she has also written for Dodgers Nation, Dodger Blue 1958 and The Hardball Times. She currently contributes to True Blue LA. Stacie graduated from the University Of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in Cinema-Television. You can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel, DishingUpTheDodgers.