Rockies @ Dodgers – August 12, 2023: Fernandomania Weekend continues with a bobblehead night

After last night’s jersey retirement ceremony, the Dodgers will continue to celebrate Fernando Valenzuela with tonight’s giveaway.


Just 26 games ago for the Dodgers, here’s what the National League West standings looked like:

Dodgers51-38, .573
Diamondbacks52-39, .571
Giants49-41, .544 (2.5 GB)
Padres43-47, .478 (8.5 GB)
Rockies34-57, .374 (18.0 GB)

With the Dodgers and Diamondbacks both comfortably in the playoffs at the All-Star Break, the Giants were the third Wild Card at the time while the Padres were five games back of a playoff spot.

And now entering tonight’s games, with just 47 games left in the regular season:

Dodgers69-46, .600
Giants62-54, .534 (7.5 GB)
Diamondbacks57-59, .491 (12.5 GB)
Padres56-60, .483 (13.5 GB)
Rockies45-71, .388 (24.5 GB)

The Giants (13-13) have seen a small dip in their win percentage since the All-Star Break, but it’s the Diamondbacks (5-20 second half) have fallen so badly they have almost backed up into the Padres. San Diego has played moderately better, with a 13-13 record since the break keeping it in the Wild Card race but is now closer to Colorado than Los Angeles in the division. Amazingly it is the Rockies, albeit with the easiest record to increase, who have raised their win percentage more than anyone other than the Dodgers in the second half with an 11-14 record.

During the stretch, the Dodgers have also increased their advantage on the No. 2 seed in the National League from 2 games over the Reds to 7 games over the Brewers while also cutting the Braves lead for the top spot from 9 games to 5 games entering today.

The point of all of that was to say the Dodgers are really starting to put some distance on the rest of the division with the Giants needing to finish their final 46 games at 30-16 if the Dodgers went 23-24 the rest of the way. While the teams still have seven meetings, all coming in the final 11 games of the regular season, the opportunity is there for the Giants. But the Dodgers already gained five games in the past 26, so the Giants can’t fall back 3.5 more games in the Dodgers’ next 36 so that final stretch can actually matter in any way.

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6:10 P.M. Los Angeles
SS Tovar LF Peralta (L)
3B McMahon (L) 1B Freeman (L)
2B Rodgers DH Smith
C Diaz 3B Muncy (L)
LF Jones (L) RF Heyward (L)
RF Toglia (S) 2B Hernandez
1B Montero CF Outman (L)
DH Castro (L) SS Rosario
CF Doyle C Barnes
P Lambert (R) P Gonsolin (R)

The Dodgers bench is now down to Miguel Rojas and Chris Taylor as J.D. Martinez remains unavailable but very much on the active roster and Mookie Betts was scratched as he is “feeling under the weather” according to the Dodgers.

That sends David Peralta to the top of the order for the fourth time this season while Amed Rosario .248/.289/.324/.614, 69 wRC+ in 2023 vs. RHP) and Kiké Hernández (.220/.274/.343/.617, 64 wRC+ in 2023 vs. RHP) start against a right-handed pitcher. If only there was someone in Oklahoma City that might be useful in a situation like this as Martinez misses his ninth game of the Dodgers past 12 since he left in the second inning against the Rangers on July 30.

Yes, both Rosario and Hernandez have hit better with the Dodgers than their season stats will say right now, but their career numbers, 82 wRC+ and 79 wRC+ respectively, still aren’t ideal. Then add in Austin Barnes and … well. Unrelated, Michael Busch‘s OPS in Triple-A was 1.511 in June, 1.130 in July and 1.224 in August with a season total of 1.141 against right-handed pitching.


Maybe the who is in the order will not matter much as the Rockies have Peter Lambert facing Tony Gonsolin. Sadly, it’s somewhat of an even match-up based on their 2023 stats.

IP93 2/353 1/3

But it’s not quite as equal based on Lambert’s career numbers against the Dodgers. Lambert has made 40 career appearances with 26 starts for the Rockies in 2019, 2021 and 2023, including just five starts in 2023.

Five of those appearances and four starts have come against the Dodgers. The four starts all came back in 2019 when Lambert allowed 19 runs on 30 hits and four walks to eight strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings. In those four games, the Dodgers scored 5, 12, 16 and 12 runs while going 4-0. While things might be different with some much time passing, Lambert also pitched an inning of relief against the Dodgers back on June 29 … and allowed five runs on five hits and a walk.

Lambert’s pitch usage isn’t too different from back in 2019, as he’s 44.2% fastballs, 21.9% change-ups, 18/0% sliders and 13.1% sweepers. The sweeper is new for 2023, but carries a .840 SLG and .473 wOBA in 26 PAs.

As for Gonsolin, it’ll be his eighth career appearance against the Rockies since 2019. A 2.67 ERA in 30 1/3 career innings, Gonsolin started against Colorado three times in 2022 but has yet to face them in 2023. While there’s been 5 innings with just one run allowed against the Mets and Athletics, Gonsolin’s 6.89 ERA in 47 innings total since June 18 has been a nightmare. The 5.48 FIP during the stretch is essentially equal to Noah Syndergaard‘s Dodgers career which lasted 55 1/3 innings with a 7.16 ERA and a 5.53 FIP.


Yency Almonte‘s departure from the game last night has landed him on the injured list.

Victor Gonzalez is back up in his place after going down for Clayton Kershaw just a few days ago.


First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. PT on SportsNet LA.

About Cody Bashore

Cody Bashore is a lifelong Dodger fan originally from Carpinteria, California (about 80 miles north of Dodger Stadium along the coast). He left California to attend Northern Arizona University in 2011, and has lived in Arizona full-time since he graduated in 2014 with a journalism degree.