Dodgers @ Rockies May 11, 2017: Ryu vs. Hoffman; Cody vs. Coors

Photo: Daniel Brim

The Dodgers open a four-game series at Coors Field on Thursday, the first leg of a seven-game road trip. Having won five straight, the Dodgers aim to keep their win streak rolling into Colorado and possibly take over the first-place spot in the NL West from the Rockies. It will also be Cody Bellinger‘s first game at Coors (fun!).

Dodgers
Rockies
5:40 p.m.
Colorado
CF
 Pederson
CF
Blackmon
SS
Seager
2B
LeMahieu
3B
Turner
3B
Arenado
LF
Bellinger
1B
Reynolds
2B
Taylor
LF
Desmond
1B
Utley
RF
Gonzalez
RF
Puig SS Valaika
C
Barnes
C
Hanigan
P
Ryu (L)
P
Hoffman (R)

Hyun-Jin Ryu (1-4, 4.05 ERA, 4.90 FIP) returns from the 10-day disabled list (left hip contusion) to make his first start this month and his sixth start of the season. In his last start, against the Phillies, Ryu notched his first win since 2014. He struck out nine in 5 1/3 innings and looked dialed in with an effective curveball after a somewhat shaky first inning. Ryu’s been susceptible to the home run this year and has allowed six in 26 2/3 innings, but he hasn’t served up a long ball in his last two starts. As we all know, pitching at Coors notoriously makes it even more difficult to keep the ball in the park, so Ryu will need to have his best stuff.

Ryu is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA in two career starts at Coors Field, and has allowed two home runs in 10 2/3 innings in the stadium of high elevation and doom. He’s already faced the Rockies twice this season, losing both starts and allowing four home runs to the Rox (Dustin Garneau, Nolan Arenado (2) and Trevor Story).

Tyler Anderson, a lefty the Dodgers had already bested twice this season, was scratched from his start by the Rockies and pushed to Saturday in order to give him extra rest after he suffered a minor knee injury Sunday. Instead, right-hander Jeff Hoffman (0-0, 6.75 ERA, 9.78 FIP), acquired in the Troy Tulowitzki trade, was called up from Triple-A to make his first MLB start of the year for the Rockies. The top Colorado pitching prospect has made six starts for the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes, going 2-2 with a 3.71 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 34 innings this season. Hoffman has made one Major-League relief appearance this year, allowing a home run while striking out two. The Dodgers faced Hoffman twice last season (one start in the second game of the doubleheader at Coors last August).

#NeverForget

Austin Barnes starts at catcher, batting eighth for the Dodgers in Dave Roberts‘ lineup. The back-up backstop is hitting .265/.359/.529 with four doubles, a triple and a home run. Barnesy’s RBI double in the bottom of the ninth inning on Tuesday night allowed Ross Stripling to infamously sprint home for the walk-off win.

The 10-day DL is the real M.V.P. this season. 18 Dodgers have now landed on the DL so far this season. This is Kenta Maeda’s first Major-League DL stint.

The Dodgers have a mostly rested up bullpen going into the dreaded series at Coors thanks to Kenta Maeda’s 8 1/3 inning gem on Wednesday night in LA. That’s going to be important considering Ryu is coming off the DL and Coors games are always like agonizing four-hour pinball machine tournaments.

The Dodgers’ pitching staff actually have allowed the fewest home runs in the NL (33), and the relief squad has only served up six home runs (two each from Pedro Baez and Chris Hatcher). As long as the Dodgers come out of this series with all their limbs intact, it’ll be a victory. Once they get these four games out of the way, the only remaining series at Coors Field will be the finale of the 2017 season.

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.