Rockies @ Dodgers April 18, 2017: Ryu vs. Freeland, Round 2

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

The Dodgers open a brief two-game series against the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night, wrapping up their homestand. They’ll get another shot at Kyle Freeland, the left-hander who bested them at Coors Field on April 7.

Rockies
Dodgers
7:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
CF
Blackmon
2B
Forsythe
2B
LeMahieu
SS
Seager
3B
Arenado
3B
Turner
RF
Gonzalez
RF
Puig
1B
Reynolds
LF
Hernández
SS
Story
1B
Gonzalez
LF
Cardullo C Barnes
C
Garneau
CF
Pederson
P
Freeland (L)
P
Ryu (L)

With Hyun-Jin Ryu on the mound, set for his third start of the season, the Dodgers’ utilization of the pitching staff will be important. Ryu hasn’t made it out of the fifth inning in either of his previous two starts. After some questionable bullpen usage in Monday’s loss to the D-backs, the Dodgers don’t want to get into the same predicament where they are pitching Chris Hatcher multiple innings.

A roster move was indeed made to add a fresh bullpen arm, and Josh Fields was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Unfortunately, the move came at the expense of Grant Dayton, who was placed on the 10-day DL with a left intercostal strain. Dayton had yet to allow a run in 6 1/3 innings of work out of the Dodgers’ bullpen this season.

The show must go on, and the Dodgers look to Ryu (0-2, 5.79 ERA, 6.23 FIP) to give them some innings. Ryu was tagged with losses in his first two decisions, but he’s pitched admirably since returning to the mound after a significant shoulder injury and lengthy absence from the majors. The southpaw faced the Rockies at Coors Field back on April 7, allowing two runs on six hits with five strikeouts and a walk in 4 2/3 innings and 77 pitches. Overall, Ryu is 3-3 with a 3.98 ERA in six career starts against the Rockies.

In the original matchup between the two left-handers, Freeland (1-1, 5.91 ERA, 4.03 FIP) stymied the Dodgers in his MLB debut at Coors. They managed just one run over six innings against Freeland, the sort of southpaw whom the Dodgers should be able to get to in order to flip the script on the tired ‘they can’t hit lefties‘ narrative. The problem is that their issues against left-handers continues, as was evident from their loss Monday night against Arizona’s Robbie Ray. These frustrating offensive showings against lefties are fuel for the fire and reasonably concerning. After all, five of their seven losses have been against the left-handed variety of pitcher.

Dave Roberts has put together a different lineup against the lefty in response. As promised, Pederson has his face mask ready and is in center field, batting eighth. Gonzalez is moved down to sixth. Austin Barnes is seventh, behind the plate. Enrique Hernandez, who is usually penciled in vs. LHP, bats fifth and in left field.

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If you haven’t read Yasiel Puig‘s article on MLB.com, it’s a must. Puig writes about the changes he’s made to be a better person on and off the field, his goals, his charity work and why he bat flips. He also refers to himself as The Wild Horse in third person.

“The great Vin Scully used to call me the Wild Horse because of the way I played. It’s time for me to be that caballo again — that horse again.”

So far I’d say the Wild Horse is back, and I’m along for the ride.

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 and Dodger Blue 1958. She currently contributes to The Hardball Times. 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.