Dodgers @ D-backs August 8, 2017: NL West duel in the desert

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

The Dodgers go for their 80th win of the season Tuesday night when they open a three-game series against the D-backs at Chase Field. Arizona (63-48) may be a distant 16 games behind L.A. in the NL West standings, but they remain one of the best teams in baseball this year. The Snakes won four of seven games between the Dodgers and D-backs in April, but the Dodgers swept Arizona July 4-6 at Dodger Stadium the last time the two teams faced each other. The Dodgers, well, they’re playing out of their minds and may end up eclipsing the 2001 Seattle Mariners and 1906 Chicago Cubs who finished their season with 116 wins each.

Dodgers
D-backs
6:40 PM PT
Arizona
LF
Taylor
LF
Peralta
SS
 Seager
CF
 Pollock
3B
Turner
3B
 Lamb
1B
Bellinger
1B
 Goldschmidt
C
Grandal
RF
Martinez
2B
Forsythe
2B
Descalso
CF
Pederson C Iannetta
RF
Puig
SS
Marte
P
Maeda (R)
P
Godley (R)

There’s been a lot of excitement about Yu Darvish and laments surrounding the temporarily disabled Clayton Kershaw. Less talked about is the contributions from the entirety of the Dodgers’ pitching staff this season, including Kenta Maeda, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Brandon McCarthy, Rich Hill and Alex Wood. They basically have seven strong starting pitchers, an amazing menu of pitching to choose from down the stretch and into the postseason.

Maeda (10-4, 3.79 ERA, 3.81 FIP) pitched seven shutout innings against the Braves while allowing only two hits and a walk while striking out six in one of his best starts of his MLB career thus far on August 1. It was an impressive and gutsy start for Maeda who started off the season extremely shaky, even being demoted to the bullpen for a bit. The right-hander will look to continue his hot streak against the D-backs, a much better team than the Braves.

Maeda has only allowed three earned runs over his last four starts (22 innings), collecting four straight wins during his hot streak. When Maeda faced the D-backs last in April, he was struggling at that time and allowed 10 runs on 13 hits in nine innings in two consecutive starts against them. Overall, he is 3-2 with a 4.46 ERA in eight career starts against Arizona and 2-2 with a 6.41 ERA in four starts at Chase Field. He’ll have to be wary of Jake Lamb who is hitting .450 with two home runs against him, but he has managed to tame perennial Dodger killer Paul Goldschmidt. Goldy is only hitting .190 with four hits in 21 at-bats vs. Kenta.

Zack Godley (5-4, 2.86 ERA, 2.98) has pitched 13 consecutive scoreless innings coming into Tuesday’s matchup, even shutting down the Cubs over six innings in his last start. The right-hander lost to the Dodgers on July 5 in L.A., but he only allowed one run on three hits with a walk and six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings in the 1-0 Dodger victory. In six career games (four relief appearances), Godley’s 0-2 with a 2.16 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings against the Dodgers.

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Congrats to Luis Avilan on the birth of his son.

There’s good Kershaw news:

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It would be undeniably incredible for the Dodgers to tie or break the all-time season win record (116 games) this season, and their domination across all aspects of baseball is an indication that they have the ability to do so. Yesterday, Mike (who?) wrote about the Dodgers’ historic season and their dominance in so many statistical categories. It puts into context just how good this team is, yet the unpredictability of the postseason remains. The important thing is for the Dodgers to stay healthy these last eight weeks, record broken or not.

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.