Dodgers @ Rockies July 29, 2019: Maeda opens up the Dodgers’ final trip to Satan Field

Yesterday’s game was bad, but it kept the Dodgers with 69 wins on the season. They’re still searching to be the first team in baseball with 70 wins in 2019, as the Astros have 68 and the Yankees have 67.

While they’ll have two more series’ with the Rockies after this series, this is the final time they’ll have to play in Colorado (barring an unlikely postseason run for the Rockies). The Rockies have arguably been one of the most disappointing teams this season, as they pushed the Dodgers to game 163 last season and are currently 49-57, in last place in the NL West and 19.5 games behind the Dodgers. The Dodgers are 8-2 this season against the Rockies, and the two teams split a four-game set at Coors to end June. This time, a three-game series at Coors will end July and take us up to Wednesday’s trade deadline.

Dodgers
Rockies
5:40 p.m.
Denver
1B
Pederson
CF
Dahl
2B
Muncy
SS
Story
3B
Turner
3B
Arenado
RF
Bellinger
1B
Murphy
SS
Seager
2B
McMahon
CF
Pollock
LF
Desmond
LF
Verdugo RF Tapia
C
Smith
C
Wolters
P
Maeda (R)
P
Gray (R)

Kenta Maeda starts today and is coming off an ugly start against the Angels. He was often in trouble, but managed to allow only three runs in 4 1/3 inefficient innings. He was pulled in the fifth after allowing a homer to Mike Trout and a double to Justin Upton, who came around to score on another double. While his 95 pitches was the fifth-most he’s thrown in a game this season, the 4 1/3 innings was tied for his second-shortest non-rain-delayed outing of the season.

Barring an extremely short outing, Maeda should check off an incentive today. He’s at 108 2/3 innings, only four outs away from 110 and a $250,000 bonus. His 3.81 ERA and 4.29 FIP are both the worst among Dodger starters, so that all makes it a tricky conversation to have if the Dodgers acquire another starter before Wednesday’s deadline. Today will be his team-leading 21st start of the season, but it seems logical that his October role is in the bullpen. Maeda has seen the Rockies three times this season, and he has a 2.71 ERA against them in 16 1/3 innings. Two of those starts came at Satan Field and he threw only a total of 9 1/3 innings there, but allowed seven hits and three runs.

Jon Gray makes his 22nd start of the season and 23rd overall appearance today. His last start was cut short due to a calf injury, but he held the Nationals to a run and two hits in four innings. A much more promising outing than his previous, when he allowed 11 hits and six runs in 5 1/3 innings to the Giants.

Gray started one of the two Rockie wins the last time the two teams faced off. He allowed seven hits in 6 2/3 innings, but held the Dodgers to three runs (two earned) and struck out eight. His other start against the Dodgers this season wasn’t as successful, as he allowed five runs and eight hits in six innings on April 6. Gray is one of the elite pitchers in terms of fastball velocity, as he averages 96.1 MPH on it. However, it also has one of the worst average spin rates and batters are hitting .341 against his fastball (with a .336 expected batting average, so it’s not like its simply bad luck). He throws that fastball 52 percent of the time.

Despite a rough day yesterday, the Joc Pederson at first base experiment continues today. He starts there with Cody Bellinger, A.J. Pollock and Alex Verdugo starting in the outfield. Will Smith catches for the third consecutive game.

——

The Dodgers have made a few roster moves since their last game. First, they traded Daniel Castro for Mariners’ shortstop Kristopher Negron. Negrón is a versatile 33-year-old, having played parts of six major league seasons for three teams. He owns a career triple slash line of .215/.290/.327, but he gives the Dodgers an emergency shortstop.

They finally placed Enrique Hernandez on the DL, so Negron is active and available to play. They also swapped out relievers, as Josh Sborz returns and Jaime Schultz has been sent down. Negron will reportedly start at second base tomorrow.

The Dodgers also lost a reliever.

Zac Rosscup is, again, no longer a Dodger. The Dodgers reacquired him mid-June and he appeared in seven games, but he’s been traded to the Cardinals for cash considerations.

The Dodgers also made a minor-league signing.

Tyler Thornburg is a Dodger, as he reportedly signed a minor league contract. His numbers with Boston were pretty atrocious, but he’s a high spin rate guy and definitely worth a flier.

——

The moves haven’t officially been announced and won’t be before todays game, but a pair of pitchers are with the Dodgers.

Tony Gonsolin will be activated tomorrow, but may not start. Reportedly, either he or Julio Urias could start in what could end up being a bullpen game. Dylan Floro was placed on the IL July 19 with neck inflammation, but figures to return in the near future.

About Alex Campos

Alex Campos
I've been writing about the Dodgers since I graduated from Long Beach State, where I covered the Dirtbags in my senior year. I'm either very good or very bad at puns.