D-backs @ Dodgers April 17, 2017: McCarthy vs. Ray

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

Tonight concludes the first Dodgers/Diamondbacks series of the year. The Dodgers took the first two of the four games, but the D-backs managed to take advantage of Rich Hill‘s blister situation yesterday, giving them the chance at a series split today.

D-backs
Dodgers
7:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
CF
 Pollock
2B
Forsythe
RF
 Peralta
SS
Seager
1B
 Goldschmidt
3B
Turner
3B
Lamb
RF
Puig
LF
Tomas
C
Grandal
2B
 Descalso
CF
Hernández
SS
Owings 1B Segedin
C
Mathis
LF
Van Slyke
P
Ray (L)
P
McCarthy (R)

Brandon McCarthy will take the mound against his former team, for whom he played in 2013 and part of 2014. McCarthy has gotten off to a very good start, allowing just two runs in 12 innings of work thus far. It’s early, of course, but McCarthy’s initial success is encouraging. His last time out, he faced the Cubs, and he held the reigning World Champions scoreless for six innings (thanks, in part, to some wind and a lot of double plays).

Left-hander Robbie Ray is also off to a solid start this year. In 12.1 IP, he’s allowed three runs and struck out 14 (although he’s walked eight). Most of his numbers from last season don’t look too great, with one key exception: his strikeouts. Ray’s 11.25 K/9 was second in baseball, and his K% of 28.1% was fourth among qualified National League starters. He faced the Dodgers four times last year, pitching into at least the sixth inning each time; the D-backs won two of those four games.

Ray will face yet another righty-heavy Dodgers lineup. Logan Forsythe, once again, is batting leadoff. The hamstring concern that kept him out of yesterday’s lineup is evidently not enough of an issue to keep him from what is quickly becoming established as his traditional role versus left-handed starters.

Enrique Hernández is back in center field, in place of Joc Pederson. This is the seventh time the Dodgers have faced a left-handed starter this season; Pederson has started two of those games. Scott Van Slyke makes his second start of the season. In 18 plate appearances, he has two hits (one of which was a double) and has walked three times.

Finally, Rob Segedin has been recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City, the corresponding move for Hill going back to the disabled list. He’ll get the start at first in place of Adrian González. Interestingly, in a limited sample size of 83 plate appearances last season, Segedin fared better against right-handed pitching than he did left-handed pitching (.707 OPS vs. .638 OPS). His minor league splits tell a different story, though — he OPS’d 1.052 against lefties at the Triple-A level last year.

—–

On the subject of Rich Hill, things … aren’t exactly encouraging there:

Alex Wood will once again step into the rotation in Hill’s place.

About Sarah Wexler

Sarah Wexler
Sarah Wexler is a native Angeleno and longtime Dodger fan. She began blogging about baseball in 2012 on her Tumblr, New Grass On The Field, where she covered an array of topics but especially enjoyed exploring baseball history. She now writes for The Hardball Times, FanGraphs and Sporting News, and co-hosts a podcast, The Hardball Times Audio. She recently earned her master's degree in Sports Management from Cal State Long Beach. She graduated from New York University in 2014 with a bachelor's in History and a minor in American Studies. She's an avid Springsteen fan, which is a big boost to her baseball writer cred.