Dodgers @ Rockies September 9, 2018: Save us, D. Mountain

(Via)

The Dodgers (77-65) couldn’t muster much off lefty Kyle Freeland on Saturday night at Coors Field, and the Rockies (78-63) tied up the series and prevented LA from taking over first place in the NL West. Now it’s up to D. Mountain to salvage the series in the rubber game match on Sunday. The good news is that it marks the final game at Coors Field, at least in the regular season, for the Dodgers. The bad news is that the Dodgers are now 1 1/2 games back of the Rockies in the standings. Should they drop the series finale, they’ll  find themselves in an even deeper hole with just three weeks remaining in the season.

Dodgers
Rockies
12:10 PM
Colorado
2B
Dozier
CF
Blackmon
3B
Turner
2B
LeMahieu
SS Machado
3B
Arenado
RF
Kemp
SS
Story
1B
Freese
LF
Holliday
LF
 Taylor
1B
Desmond
CF
Hernandez RF Parra
C
Barnes
C
Iannetta
P
Hill (L)
P
Anderson (L)

Rich Hill (7-5, 3.73 ERA, 4.20 FIP) was moved ahead of Alex Wood because of matchups, although Hill hasn’t historically pitched well at Coors in his career with a 0-4 record and 5.45 ERA in six starts. Dave Roberts must be playing the percentages again since both Chris Iannetta and Charlie Blackmon have both struggled against Hill in the past each with a .167 batting average against him and only four base hits against the hopping veteran in 24 combined at-bats.

The Dodgers lost last time Hill started in Coors Field on August 12, his only start in the rarified air this season. He allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits in six innings. Even though Blackmon has only one hit against Hill in six career at-bats, he did hit one out against him in that game. The Rockies are batting .272/.334/.465/.800 against left-handed pitching this year, best in the NL. The Dodgers continue to struggle against LHP, and are 13th in the league with a .231 average and OPS nearly 100 point lower than the Rox (.707).

Tyler Anderson (6-7, 4.80 ERA, 4.66 FIP) is 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA in three starts against the Dodgers this season.  The Dodgers won both games at Coors Field vs. Anderson, but interestingly enough dropped the contest against the southpaw at Dodger Stadium on June 29. On June 1 at Coors Field, the Dodgers roughed up Anderson for five runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and three walks on 100 pitches in five innings. Last time LA faced Anderson on August 9 in Colorado, he allowed one run on four hits with six strikeouts in six innings in the 8-5 Dodgers win. Overall, Anderson is 3-3 with a 3.81 ERA in 10 career starts against the Dodgers.

Justin Turner has absolutely owned Anderson and is 12-for-24 (.500) with three doubles, a triple and a home run against the southpaw. Turner is 1-for-8  with three strikeouts so far in the series. Speaking of strikeouts, the Dodgers’ offense has a lot of them. They’ve struck out 23 times this series and 1,251 times altogether this year. They’re only 129 strikeouts away from reaching last year’s total with 20 games remaining. Chris Taylor leads the NL with 160 strikeouts, although he did go 2-for-2 with a solo home run on Saturday.

If you were complaining about Roberts’ lineup in the second game, you won’t be happy with the lineup for the finale which is essentially the same. Yasiel Puig, who hit a ball nearly 500 ft. in the series opener and is OPSing .933 at Coors in his career, sits. Yasmani Grandal and Max Muncy are also on the bench. Then again, Puig and Grandal have struggled over the last month with a .521 OPS. They’ll be available off the bench, but let’s hope Roberts doesn’t use all his left-handed pinch-hitters before the eighth or ninth inning this time.

Nolan Arenado, who’s been dealing with a shoulder issue, is back in the lineup for the Rockies.

——

Obviously should they lose and fall to 2 1/2 back with 19 games remaining, it wouldn’t be ideal. It would be bad, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world. The Dodgers are still slated to host the Rockies for three games at Dodger Stadium later in the month. The more worrisome aspect is their lack of offense at this point in the season, and that’s been a  concern regardless of who they have to play. In fact, Kenley Jansen‘s absence in the series hasn’t really been an issue thus far. They’ve gone 3-for-20 with RISP in the series. That’s not going to cut it at Coors … or anywhere else.

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.