Dodgers @ Diamondbacks July 30, 2020: Stripling opens the series in Arizona

The Dodgers are fresh off a completely standard, un-newsworthy two-game sweep in Houston, and are somehow 4-2 despite not really playing well offensively so far this season. They survived their first look at the new extra-inning rule and got out of Houston without another fracas.

Tonight they face a Diamondback squad currently sitting in last place in the NL West after dropping three of four games against San Diego to open the season, and splitting a two-game set in Texas.

Dodgers
Diamondbacks
6:40 p.m.
Phoenix
RF
Betts
2B
K. Marte
1B
Muncy
RF
Calhoun
3B
Turner
CF
S. Marte
CF
Bellinger
3B
Escobar
LF
Pollock
1B
Walker
SS
Taylor
LF
Peralta
DH
Seager
DH
Lamb
2B
Hernández C Kelly
C
Smith
SS
Ahmed
P
Stripling (R)
P
Ray (L)

Ross Stripling gets his second start of the season tonight. He put together the best start of the first week of the season for the Dodgers, as his season debut was a seven-inning, one run outing against the Giants. The lone blemish on his line was a leadoff home run by Jaylin Davis, and Stripling allowed only three other hits and no walks while striking out seven.

Stripling saw Arizona five times (four starts) in 2019 and allowed only five runs in 18 innings. He was even better in his three appearances in Arizona, allowing only a run in eight innings spread out over two short starts and a relief appearance.

The Dodgers face a familiar foe tonight in Robbie Ray. Ray looked to be a future ace back in 2017, as he was named an All-Star and finished seventh in Cy Young voting in only his third year as a full-time starter. He hasn’t seen nearly as much success since then and got knocked around in his first start of 2020. Ray failed to make it out of the fourth inning despite throwing 97 pitches. He started with three shutout innings, but fell apart in the fourth as the Padres had two walks, a single, a double and a three-run homer off him.

Ray made five starts against the Dodgers in 2019, and most of them fell in the “solid” range. He struck out nine batters in two of those outings and allowed three or more runs in four of the five starts. Arizona won three of the five games that Ray started against LA.

With a lefty on the hill, Mookie Betts leads off for the Dodgers tonight. Will Smith catches and Chris Taylor gets the start at short with Corey Seager getting the night off in the field, as he’ll DH tonight. Dodger-killer Kole Calhoun is apparently on Arizona now. Calhoun has a .746 career OPS, but his OPS in 107 career plate appearances against the Dodgers is 1.042. Carson Kelly catches tonight, but earlier today Arizona called up their No. 3 prospect Daulton Varsho (75-grade name).

——

Some news on the rotation.

Tony Gonsolin will be called up from USC and make his 2020 debut tomorrow in place of the injured Alex Wood. Clayton Kershaw will make his season debut in the coming days, either starting the finale in Arizona or the first game in San Diego on Monday.

Devastating news for the Terrance Gore hive, which I’m sure was me and like three other people. Victor Gonzalez has been called up for the first time in his baseball career, which is exciting. González was Dustin’s 39th-best Dodger prospect on his preseason prospect rankings list. González could appear tomorrow behind Gonsolin.

——

I’ve spent a good chunk of quarantine getting mad at my phone for missing out on SNKRS drops, but we can guarantee you won’t miss out on Dodgers Digest drops.

Orel Hershiser dunked all over the Astros last night in only five words, and that two-game series was a truly remarkable showing by both him and Joe Davis.

Speaking of the broadcasting duo, here’s a clip from their podcast where Andrew Friedman talks about Joe Kelly‘s wonderful command.

Eric Stephen also had a masterful showing, between this “Vaya Con Rios” tweet and a Javier Bardem tweet that made me throw my phone in disgust/respect.

Chad would fire me if I tweeted either of those, but the shirts give me a way to sneak them into the thread (also it helps the site).

——

This is not good. Another team has been shut down, and it’s been reported that the Phillies/Blue Jays games scheduled for this weekend have been postponed.

Also, another MLB rule change, which seems like a wild thing to post about a week into the season.

Double-headers this season will only be seven innings long. Baseball fans are famously accepting of all change, so I’m sure this will go over well.

——

First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 PM PST and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.

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.