D’backs @ Dodgers September 4, 2017: Labor Day baseball


The Dodgers (92-44) have not been playing well of late, dropping eight of their last nine games. The Diamondbacks (79-58) have been playing very well of late, having won 10 in a row and 12 of their last 13 games (including a sweep of the Dodgers in Arizona last week). It’ll be a challenge for L.A. to get right against the Snakes, but that’s what they’ll try to do in this three-game series at home.

5:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
Rosales 2B Forsythe
Ray (L)
Hill (L)

Rich Hill (3.71 ERA, 3.95 FIP, 4.95 DRA) will make his second consecutive start against the D’backs. Last Tuesday, he allowed six runs in 3.2 IP, giving up eight hits and a walk while striking out four. It was Hill’s third start of the season against Arizona. His first was very bad, and his second was very good, so hopefully his fourth will also be very good, because that’s definitely how baseball works.

Likewise, Robbie Ray (2.97 ERA, 3.86 FIP, 3.89 DRA) will make his second consecutive start against the Dodgers. Last Wednesday, he pitched 6.2 innings of one-run ball, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out 10. This will be Ray’s fifth start against Los Angeles this season. In 24 IP, he’s allowed just eight earned runs, and he’s struck out 39 batters (versus 12 walks).

Noted Dodger killer (and, really, everyone killer) Paul Goldschmidt is out of the lineup today after not playing yesterday. He’s gone back to Phoenix for an MRI on right right elbow. That certainly doesn’t sound good for the potential MVP candidate, although he’ll be back with the D’backs tomorrow and could play, depending on the results of his MRI.

Charlie Culberson (who was, of course, responsible for one of the most exciting moments of the 2016 season) is back, and he’s starting at shortstop and batting eighth. Culberson has been in Triple-A for the entire year, where he’s slashed .250/.299/.336 in 414 plate appearances.


Culberson is just the latest in a line of players to fill it at shortstop while Corey Seager recovers from that elbow issue. The good news is that we’ll likely be seeing Seager later this week:

Meanwhile, Culberson isn’t the only one joining the Dodgers today:

Josh Fields had been on the disabled list since August 27 (retroactive to August 25) with a lower back strain.

To make room on the roster for Culberson, Brandon McCarthy was moved to the 60-day disabled list, retroactive to July 21. Eric Stephen notes that we may still see McCarthy this year, though:

McCarthy has made a couple of rehab starts with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, with his most recent one being yesterday. He allowed five runs in 3.2 IP, giving up eight hits and a walk while striking out just one. He’ll make another rehab start for Rancho in the Cal League playoffs later this week.

Joc Pederson and Trayce Thompson will be back tomorrow, and Walker Buehler (!) will join the team Wednesday:

Buehler, the Dodgers’ first-round draft pick in 2015, began the year at Rancho Cucamonga, but quickly advanced to Double-A and then Triple-A. He has a 3.35 ERA in 88.2 IP across all minor league levels this season.

Additionally, we’ll be seeing Kyle Farmer again when his 10-day option is up (so probably this Friday).

Finally, it looks like the Brett Eibner era is officially over:


About Sarah Wexler

Sarah Wexler is a native Angeleno and longtime Dodger fan. She began blogging about baseball in 2012 on her Tumblr, New Grass On The Field, where she covered an array of topics but especially enjoyed exploring baseball history. She is now a reporter/producer for MLB.com. She earned her master's degree in Sports Management from Cal State Long Beach. She graduated from New York University in 2014 with a bachelor's in History and a minor in American Studies. She's an avid Springsteen fan, which is a big boost to her baseball writer cred.