D-backs @ Dodgers September 6, 2017: Maeda looks to stop Snakes; Buehler promoted

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

After another frustrating loss Tuesday night against the D-backs (81-58), the Dodgers (92-46) will have to stave off the Snakes to avoid a three-game sweep, the second sweep by the D-backs in as many weeks. The D-backs are blazing hot and riding a franchise-record 12-game winning streak. The Dodgers are on the verge of losing their sixth straight game, and they have dropped 10 of their last 11. The Dodgers’ magic number remains 13, and that hasn’t budged. Wednesday’s matchup will be the final regular season game between the division rivals, but the Dodgers may have to find a way to knock out the D-backs in the postseason should Arizona clinch a Wild Card spot and move on to the NLDS.

D-backs
Dodgers
7:10 PM PT
Los Angeles
LF
Peralta
SS
Taylor
C
Iannetta
LF
Granderson
3B
Lamb
3B
Turner
RF
Martinez
1B
Bellinger
1B
Descalso
C
Grandal
CF
Pollock
RF
Puig
2B
Drury 2B Utley
SS
Marte
CF
Pederson
P
Walker (R)
P
Maeda (R)

Kenta Maeda (12-6, 4.19 ERA, 4.00 FIP) makes his second straight start against the D-backs, and hopes to bounce back after the they roughed him up for seven runs on eight hits in three innings last Thursday in Arizona. Maeda has faced the D-backs four times already this season, and his numbers against them this year aren’t pretty.

On the positive side, Maeda has pitched much better at home this year (8-1, 3.02 ERA) than on the road (4-5, 5.46 ERA). He’s also fared a bit better against Arizona overall in his career (3-3, 5.19 ERA in 10 starts).

Brim pointed out that some of those home runs allowed were served up at the beginning of the year before Maeda started effectively using his cutter.

The Dodgers’ offense will need to wake up against Taijuan Walker (8-7, 3.42 ERA, 4.02 FIP), making his third start against the Dodgers this season. The right-hander is 1-0 with a 4.22 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings against L.A. this year. Overall, Walker is 1-1 with a 6.14 ERA in three career games against the Dodgers.

Yasmani Grandal hit a homer for the only Dodger run Tuesday night, and he’s 3-for-5 against Walker (.600) with a double and three walks. Grandal is back behind the plate for the series finale Tuesday, batting fifth.

Joc Pederson is back in center field, batting eighth. It’s his first start for the Dodgers since August 18. He hit .169/.225/.323/.548 with three home runs in 17 games with the Oklahoma City Dodgers before being recalled.

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Is something else going on today?

The Dodgers have their own Walker — Walker Buehler — who joins the Dodgers’ bullpen on Tuesday. Fabio Castillo was designated for assignment to make room on the roster for Buehler. The top Dodgers prospect will pitch in relief the final few weeks of the season. Pedro Baez and Brandon Morrow are both unavailable tonight, coincidentally.

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Pro tip: everything isn’t terrible. Should the Dodgers fail to ever win again this season, you can still relive the good times by reading about the eight grand slams they’ve hit. It’s almost as if the Dodgers are still a really good team. That being said, not getting swept would be ideal.

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.