D’Backs @ Dodgers July 6, 2017: Hill for the sweep; JT to the All Star Game

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

So far, this series has gone about as well as the Dodgers (57-29) could have hoped for. They’ve taken the first two games from the Diamondbacks (52-33), extending their divisional lead to 4.5 games and guaranteeing they’ll enter the All-Star break in first place. It’s been a tense series, though, with both games being decided by just one run.

D’backs
Dodgers
7:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
CF
Pollock
2B
Forsythe
RF
Peralta
SS
Seager
1B
Goldschmidt
3B
Turner
SS
Owings
LF
Taylor
C
Iannetta
C
Barnes
2B
Drury
1B
Hernández
3B
Lamb RF Puig
LF
Fuentes
CF
Thompson
P
Ray (L)
P
Hill (L)

Rich Hill (4.00 ERA, 4.23 FIP, 5.53 DRA) will look to continue his recent run of excellence. Over his last three starts, Hill has allowed just four runs in 19 IP, and he’s struck out 26 batters while walking six. After not having an outing of longer than five innings this year, he got through seven innings in both of his previous two starts.

This will be Hill’s second start of the year versus Arizona. His previous outing against the Snakes was his shortest of the year, as he lasted just three innings before exiting due to blister trouble. The Hill the D’backs saw that day is likely not the one they’ll see tonight. Jeff Sullivan had a piece at FanGraphs today that provides a helpful look at what Hill’s been doing differently of late.

Robbie Ray (3.06 ERA, 3.82 FIP, 3.27 DRA) is having a very good season — good enough to merit his first-ever All-Star Game selection. He’s faced the Dodgers twice this year, and the D’backs won both of those games, although he did allow five earned runs in 5.1 IP in his previous Dodger Stadium appearance.

Ray’s 31% K rate is second-best in the National League, behind just Max Scherzer (and barely ahead of Clayton Kershaw, who’s at 30.9%). However, Ray’s struggled a bit with walks, as he’s third in BB% among qualified NL starters.

Cody Bellinger, four for his last 28, gets the day off, while Enrique Hernández starts at first base (likely in his yoga pants). Joc Pederson once again sits versus a lefty, while Trayce Thompson gets the start in center.

——

For the first time in his career, Justin Turner is an All Star, winning the final vote slot with an unprecedented total:

At 32 years old, Justin Turner — once a utility infielder who hovered around replacement level, who was non-tendered by the Mets in 2014 — is a much-deserved All Star.

That’s pretty cool.

Is Kenley Jansen satisfied with Dodger fans now?

I guess he is.

In other news, Grant Dayton is headed to the 10-day DL with a stiff neck.

So Scott Van Slyke is the natural choice to take his roster spot.

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.