Mets @ Dodgers September 4, 2018: Vargas vs Hill

(Via)

The Dodgers are struggling offensively again, but took three of four over the weekend from Arizona thanks to some excellent pitching. When the offense goes 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, the starter and bullpen have to be close to perfect. Last night, Kenta Maeda was far from perfect and allowed a game-losing three-run home run to Brandon Nimmo. It snapped a three-game winning streak for the Dodgers, who have won eight of their last 10 games and currently sit a half game behind the first-place Rockies. Last night’s offensive struggles were understandable as Jacob deGrom was on the hill. Dodgers don’t get that excuse today.

Mets
Dodgers
7:10 PM
Los Angeles
SS
Rosario
2B
Dozier
CF
Jackson
3B
Turner
2B
Flores
SS
Machado
LF
Conforto
RF
Kemp
3B
Frazier
1B
Freese
1B
Bruce
CF
Hernández
C
Plawecki SS Taylor
RF
Nimmo
C
Barnes
P
Vargas (L)
P
Hill (L)

Rich Hill makes the start for the Dodgers tonight. In his last outing against Arizona, he cruised through four innings before running into issues in the fifth. After allowing back-to-back singles to start the inning (the first of which was hit by the opposing pitcher), Hill got a pair of outs. However, David Peralta crushed a three-run dong to open the scoring, and the Dodger offense couldn’t do much against Robbie Ray and the rest of the Diamondback bullpen. Prior to that start, Hill had allowed three or more earned runs in only three of his previous 13 starts dating back to his return from the DL on June 19. One of those three starts came in New York against these Mets. On June 24, Hill was gifted an early lead as the first two Dodger hitters homered off Jerry Blevens for some reason. Hill allowed a run in the second and third inning, and gave up a two-run shot to Asdrubal Cabrera in the fifth. He left the game losing after the fifth, but the Dodgers came back for an 8-4 victory.

Jason Vargas makes his 17th start of the season for the Mets tonight. The former Long Beach State Dirtbag has been bad this season, with a 6.56 ERA and 5.25 FIP in 70 innings. This isn’t a case of a couple sub-par starts for Vargas, as he’s allowed three or more runs in nine of his 16 starts and has pitched past the fifth inning only four times this year, completing six innings twice. Vargas is on a bit of a hot streak, as those four starts of greater than five innings were his last four outings. During that time, he’s thrown 22 2/3 innings and allowed only five runs while striking out 18 and walking only five. In his previous 47 1/3 innings, Vargas allowed 46 runs and struck out 43 while walking 20.

With a lefty on the hill, all the lefty bats sit for the Dodgers. Brian Dozier leads off and David Freese starts at first. Chris Taylor starts in left and Austin Barnes gets the start behind the plate.

——

Today was a good day for Justin Turner.

Earlier in the day, Turner was named the Dodgers’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente award. The award recognizes the player on every team that “best represents the game through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions”. Turner was also the Dodger nominee last season, but Anthony Rizzo took home the award.

A few hours later, it was announced that Turner was also named the NL Player of the Month for August. Turner posted a .402/.491/.772 triple slash line and hit six homers in 114 at-bats. It’s only been three games, but Turner has a higher OPS so far in September (1.278 vs 1.213). He is good at baseball. Turner is the first Dodger to be named Player of the Month in three years.

——

Today was less good for Yasiel Puig.

Puig’s suspension has been upheld and he will miss the next two games. This all stems from an August 14th brouhaha involving Puig and Nick Hundley. While it’s slightly ridiculous that it took like 20 days for the suspension to kick in, it’s convenient that it happened while rosters were expanded and in between two series against Arizona and Colorado.

——

The Dodgers may or may not have their closer in Colorado.

Kenley Jansen‘s heart issues might keep him from being with the team during their vital weekend in Colorado. No decision has been made and Jansen wants to be available, but his health should absolutely be the priority here. With expanded rosters and the rest of the bullpen not quite being a tire fire, the Dodgers should be able to manage three games without him. I’m very excited to watch Dodger Twitter when Pedro Baez comes in for a save (he’s allowed two hits and two walks in his last nine appearances #Baez2Closer).

——

Tonight’s game will be streamed on Twitter for those out of market viewers and is also on KTLA for in-market viewers.

About Alex Campos

Alex Campos
I'm a writer that has blogged at a whole bunch of places about a whole bunch of sports. I was most recently writing for Chavez Ravine Fiends, but was also the former editor at Dodgers Way. I graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Marketing. At Long Beach, I covered the Dirtbags in the 2014 season as an assistant sports editor at the Daily 49er.