Dodgers @ Brewers July 20, 2018: Machado debuts for LA to start 2nd half

(Via)

Nothing much happened over the break, did it? It’s not like the Dodgers (53-43) made a blockbuster trade to land one of the most talented players in the game, right? Oh wait, they did. Now that the Dodgers are all in, the next 11 days before the actual trade deadline should be interesting. Pitching reinforcements are the next trade target with the goal of bolstering the bullpen. In the meantime, the second half commences in Milwaukee when the Dodgers take on the Brewers (55-43) for the first time this season. It’s game 1 of 17 straight games for LA to start the 66-game sprint to the finish.

Dodgers
Brewers
5:10 PM
Milwaukee
LF
Taylor
CF
Cain
SS
Machado
LF
Yelich
3B
Muncy
1B
Aguilar
RF
Kemp
3B
Shaw
CF
Hernandez
SS
Saladino
1B
Bellinger
2B
Perez
2B
Forsythe C Pina
C
Barnes
RF
Broxton
P
Hill (L)
P
Miley (L)

Matt Kemp and Manny Machado got to play together on the same field at Nationals Park on Tuesday in the All-Star Game, posing for selfies and creating the perfect shot for everyone’s trade articles. This time the two friends will play on the same field for the same team. Machado will wear No. 8 and start at shortstop, batting second in his Dodgers debut.

Manny explained his inspiration for choosing no. 8 to Alanna Rizzo. Bench coach Bob Geren will now wear Andre Ethier‘s old number, 16.

The timing of the Machado trade might be the most key part of the deal.  The Dodgers, who pulled themselves out from 10 games below .500, start the second half of the season 10 games over .500 and in first place in the NL West. They enter a tough section of their remaining regular season schedule to begin the second half, taking on three teams who currently hold better records than them: the Brewers, Phillies and Braves. Dodger fans will still need to wait a while to see Machado make his Dodgers debut at Dodger Stadium, but his addition to the team well before the official trade deadline will certainly give the lineup a boost on this extended road trip.

In order to add Machado to the active roster, someone had to go. Unfortunately it was Andrew Toles who was sent back down to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Tolesy never did get to go back to LA and wash his car that was covered in spider webs and dust in the Dodger Stadium parking lot.

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The Dodgers go with a six-man rotation to start the second half. Rich Hill (2-4, 4.55 ERA, 4.92 FIP) hasn’t found consistency this season, and he may be on the bubble to be shifted to the bullpen. Hill pitched one inning of relief in Sunday’s game against the Angels, and it’s been 10 days since his last start when he allowed four runs on eight hits to the Padres in seven innings.

Overall against the Brewers, Hill is 2-1 with a 3.92 ERA in seven career games (six starts). He’s 1-0 with a 1.76 ERA in three career games (two starts) at Miller Park. The Brewers have several dangerous bats in their lineup including Jesus Aguilar, who has hit a home run against Hill in the past.

Wade Miley (1-1, 2.38 ERA) toes the rubber for the Brew Crew in the series opener. Miley has also has dealt with injury this season. He returned from the 60-day disabled list (right oblique) before the break and pitched five innings against the Pirates in his first start since May 8. He’s 3-5 with a 4.16 ERA in his career against the Dodgers in 13 career games (12 starts).

The Dodgers start the second half with 129 home runs, the most in the NL. Kemp is 8-for-27 (.296) with a double and two home runs against Miley. Several other Dodgers including Machado, Yasmani Grandal, Yasiel Puig and Logan Forsythe have all hit home runs vs. Miley.

Scott Van Slyke went 8-for-18 (.444) with three doubles and five home runs in his career against Miley. Van Smash signed a contract to play in Korea last month.

The Dodgers will also likely face Josh Hader at some point during the series. The All-Star reliever’s blatant racist, homophobic and misogynistic Tweets surfaced during the All-Star Game. MLB released a statement, as did the Brewers. Hader apologized for the tweets, and the commissioner’s office will require Hader to participate in diversity and inclusion initiatives and sensitivity training. Despite the brutal relief appearance in the All-Star game – both on and off the field – Hader has a 1.50 ERA in 31 regular-season appearances and 89 strikeouts in 48 innings.

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The last time the Dodgers added a Manny at the trade deadline, magic happened. Here we go with Mannywood 2.0.

There’s even a new shirt to go with it, and you should buy it.

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, Dodger Blue 1958 and The Hardball Times. She currently contributes to True Blue LA. 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.