D’backs @ Dodgers July 4, 2017: Happy Independence Day

(Via)

The Dodgers (55-29) enter today with a 2.5-game lead over the second-place Diamondbacks (52-31). Needless to say, this three-game series is important — perhaps one of the most important Dodgers/D’backs series in several years.

D’Backs
Dodgers
6:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
CF
Pollock
2B
Forsythe
RF
Peralta
SS
Seager
1B
Goldschmidt
3B
Turner
SS
Owings
1B
Bellinger
2B
Drury
LF
Taylor
C
Iannetta
CF
Hernández
LF
Descalso C Grandal
3B
Marte
RF
Puig
P
Corbin (L)
P
Kershaw (L)

This is the third time Los Angeles and Arizona have faced off this year. They split a four-game series in L.A. in early April, and the D’backs took two of three when the Dodgers visited Phoenix later that month.

Today, Clayton Kershaw (2.32 ERA, 3.24 FIP, 2.66 DRA) gets the ball for the Dodgers. It will be his second time facing the Diamondbacks this year, the first time being when he outdueled Zack Greinke at Chavez Ravine. Kershaw has had what would be considered a good season by just about any standards so far, but his previous two starts had him looking much more like his old, dominant self.

It’s worth noting that, throughout his career, Kershaw has been better in the second half than he has in the first half. It’s also worth noting that July has, historically, been Kershaw’s best month. Batters are hitting just .197/.250/.262 against him in July, and his ERA for the month is 1.78 (well below his already low career ERA of 2.36).

Patrick Corbin (4.76 ERA, 4.47 FIP, 5.87 DRA) is on the hill for the D’backs. It’s his second start against the Dodgers in 2017. On April 15, Corbin allowed five runs (three earned) in six innings in a game the Dodgers eventually won. Overall, Corbin’s struggled this year, and he hasn’t really looked like himself since he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2014.

A.J. Pollock was reinstated from the disabled list today after going down in mid-May with a right groin strain. Prior to his injury, Pollock was batting .299/.337/.455. He’s hitting leadoff tonight.

——

Hyun-Jin Ryu has been placed on the 10-day disabled list, and Ross Stripling is back:

This will lead to some rotation shuffling. Kenta Maeda will start Friday, and Brandon McCarthy will be activated to start Saturday:

Finally, if you feel so inclined, you still have time to vote for Justin Turner in the All-Star Game final vote:

Look, the team even got #VoteJT t-shirts made:

If you don’t care (or if Kenley Jansen‘s comments put you off), that’s cool. Just a reminder for anyone who does.

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.