D’backs @ Dodgers September 5, 2017: Greinke vs. Ryu

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

The Dodgers (92-45) weren’t able to slow down the Diamondbacks (80-58) last night. Maybe they’ll be able to tonight. I don’t know. Get it together, dudes.

D’backs
Dodgers
7:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
LF
Negrón
SS
Taylor
C
Iannetta
RF
Granderson
CF
Pollock
3B
Turner
RF
Martinez
CF
Bellinger
2B
Drury
C
Grandal
1B
Descalso
1B
González
3B
Rosales LF Ethier
SS
Marte
2B
Forsythe
P
Greinke (R)
P
Ryu (L)

Hyun-Jin Ryu (3.71 ERA, 4.63 FIP, 4.61 DRA) got roughed up when he faced the D’backs in Arizona last week, allowing six runs in four innings, with three of the eight hits he allowed being home runs. Still, before that, Ryu had been pitching very solidly. Prior to that game, Ryu had gone nine consecutive starts without allowing any more than three earned runs. The Dodgers obviously hope that’s the real Ryu now, and that the previous start was just a blip.

While Zack Greinke (3.08 ERA, 3.15 FIP, 2.93 DRA) delivered a quality outing last week against the Dodgers (two runs in six innings), his two starts at Dodger Stadium as a D’back have not gone very well. Last September, Greinke allowed eight runs in 4.2 IP. This April, he allowed five runs in five innings. A two-game sample size hardly guarantees anything, but it’s at least a little cause for optimism at a time when Dodger fan positivity is running low.

Paul Goldschmidt is not the D’backs lineup for the third day in a row as he deals with a right elbow issue (although he is at Dodger Stadium and available to play). However, J.D. Martinez, who took over the role of Dodger killer last night with his four-home run effort, is very much in the D’backs lineup, batting cleanup. Maybe don’t give him anything to hit tonight?

Looking at the Dodger lineup, Cody Bellinger is starting in center field. It’s his first time playing there at the MLB level, although he played a lot of innings there in the minors. Adrian González starts at first base, and Andre Ethier starts in left field.

——

As expected, Joc Pederson and Trayce Thompson are back with the team today:

Since being demoted, Pederson has slashed .143/.213/.214 in 61 plate appearances. However, according to Dave RobertsPederson’s swing has improved, despite what his numbers suggest.

Corey Seager continues to work towards his comeback, which could be this Friday:

Things may look bad for the Dodgers right now, but here’s a couple of pieces from today that provide some (baseball) perspective and perhaps even some hope:

  • Andy McCullough’s Dodgers mailbag offers historical context, looking at recent World Series winners, and how they’ve done in the final month of the season. (Spoiler: it’s possible to play sub-.500 ball in September and still go all the way.)
  • At FanGraphs, Dave Cameron explains that pretty much every contender has gone through a really bad stretch at some point this year, and how in the case of the Dodgers, it stands out more because it’s in contrast with how incredible they’d been prior.

Keep the faith, folks.

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 and FanGraphs. 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.