The Dodgers open up a five game all turf road trip which kicks off tonight in Tampa Bay. That’s right the Dodgers will be coming back to Andrew Friedman’s old stomping grounds. This means he’ll be able to go back to his old office say hello to his old boss Stuart Sternberg and dust off his old computer to come up with some new algorithms.
Alright enough of that nonsense. Since this is an interleague game at an American League ballpark, the Dodgers will be using a DH. They’ll also shuffle the rotation a bit with two off-days on this road trip. That means Kenta Maeda gets pushed back until Friday evening in Toronto. The Dodgers feel he could benefit from some extra rest. The Dodgers are coming into the road trip winners of one in a row, and coming off of Clayton Kershaw‘s masterpiece on Sunday afternoon that snapped their nasty little six game losing streak. Will the offense hit now that they are away from Dodger Stadium? I can’t remember the last time the Dodgers played at Trop, but the last time the Dodgers faced the Rays was in 2013 I think. That was that epic comeback game during their 42-8 run at the end of summer.
The Dodgers are 13-13 and enter the series in second place now, a half game behind the Giants in the NL West. The Rays are doing just as crappy as the Dodgers are, actually more. Tampa Bay is 11-13 and in third place, 3.5 games behind the Red Sox in the AL east.
Several Dodgers players are also returning to their old stomping grounds, this includes Carl Crawford, J.P. Howell, and Tuesday’s starting pitcher Scott Kazmir. The veteran left hander had a much better outing last start against the Marlins at Dodger Stadium. In that outing he held the Fish to just two earned runs over seven hits across six frames. He lost because the Dodgers can’t score, but it gave us all some hope that Kazmir can turn things around.
Dodgers Lineup @ Tampa Bay
Hernandez DH Forsythe 2B
Puig RF Guyer DH
Gonzalez 1B Longoria 3B
Turner 3B Pearce 1B
Kendrick 2B Souza Jr. RF
Thompson LF Jennings LF
Ellis C Beckham SS
Pederson CF Kiermaier CF
Culberson SS Casali C
Scott Kazmir-1-2 vs. Matt Moore-1-2
Game time – 4:10 PM TV- SNLA
Kazmir pitched with the Rays from 2004-2009, so he is very familiar with Tropicana Field. Checking the numbers we see that he is 27-18 with a 3.64 ERA in 73 starts at Tropicana Field. He’s made five starts against his old club and is 1-4 with a 5.13 ERA. Overall he is 1-2 with a 5.76 ERA and 21 whiffs in 25 innings pitched. He’s allowed 10.1 hits per nine innings. That has to get better. Kazmir is allowing way too many base runners.
Against the current Rays, he’s allowed a .267 (16 for 60) average against with a .788 OPS. Evan Longoria is hitting .308 (4 for 15) against Kazmir with a home run and four runs driven in.
Kazmir vs. Rays
Tampa Bay will counter with left hander Matt Moore. The Dodgers are set to face a few tough lefties on this all turf trip, and Moore is the first. Moore is 26-years old and drafted by the Rays in the eighth round of the 2007 amateur draft.
This season Moore has had a return to form. He’s 1-2 with a 3.66 ERA in five starts. He’s struck out 35 and walked 7 in 32 innings pitched. His numbers have all been stellar, as he’s posted a 9.8 strikeout per nine rate, 2.0 walks per nine rate and a 3.35 FIP. His career has been derailed by injuries ever since he had a 17-4 season in 2013.
He allowed three earned runs on three hits across seven innings while whiffing nine against Baltimore, but took the loss because like the Dodgers, the Rays didn’t score him any runs. He’s pitched well at the Trop as well. At Tropicana he is 17-12 with a 3.80 ERA over 40 starts. Moore has a 9.0 whiff per nine rate at home. Moore has never faced the Dodgers and only three current Dodgers have ever had any plate appearances against him. Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Howie Kendrick have all had brief looks versus Moore. He has five pitches which include a four-seamer, Changeup, curveball, and cutter. He also throws an occasional sinker.
Moore vs. Dodgers
The Dodgers better be careful here, because the turf can be dangerous. There are only two ballparks remaining in MLB that use artificial turf, those are Tropicana Field, and Roger’s Center in Toronto. The Dodgers will be visiting both of those parks on this road trip. Somebody better keep Carl Crawford wrapped in bubble tape. One look at that turf and he’ll end up back on the disabled list.
71 thoughts on “Dodgers Return To Andrew Friedman’s Old Stomping Grounds, Open All Turf Trip”
Interesting betting line this morning. The Rays are favored. I wonder when the last time that was the case?
Over/under for a Dodger to tweak someting on this turf road trip – I’ll open the line at 1.
How much are they favored, ?
From -117 to -138. 7.5 O/U. With Kazmir on the mound I wouldn’t touch this game. Actually, I only bet with push-ups so maybe I would. Betting on the Dodgers keeps me in shape.
Badger did you hear that Guerrero is starting his spring training, this week? If Turner keeps on having trouble hitting, maybe they should give Guerrero a chance. I don’t know how long it is going to take for Guerrero, but I hope he gets plenty of at bats, in AAA, before he comes back.
That is what Howie should have done, it looks like. But Crawford has just came back, and he is having better at bats, then Howie is. And Crawford already has a couple hits, so it might be more then just a slow start, for Howie. I don’t know what is going on with Turner, but I don’t think it is physical.
Because Turner was driving the ball, in spring training, and had a couple of HRs, in the last week of spring training. And Roberts said, that he didn’t think it was a physical issue with Turner either. He said that he thought Turner was just not seeing the ball really well, right now.
If Turner doesn’t start hitting like he has, something will need to be done, because Turner is just not hitting like a number three hitter. And if no one is hitting in front or behind Agon, he will not get, any decent pitches, to hit. And that may be the problem with Agon right now. I just hope that they start hitting, as fast as they stopped hitting. Badger why do you think Turner is not hitting?
I would agree he is not seeing the ball well. I don’t worry about him hitting, I worry about him staying healthy. Frankly I feel the same about Howie. These guys have done it before, they will do it again – if they can stay healthy. I see neither as an every day player. But that’s ok because it would appear we are a platoon of platoons. If it works, terrific. That will help keep all 40 guys fresh for the late season push.
Not sure I get some of the logic….’These guys have done it before, they will do it again’, for starters, Turner has never been an everyday player so there is no history as to how he would perform or hold up as an everyday player.
Secondly, no one (as in no other team/GM) made Kendrick an offer so his value when he was a FA was nada. Flies in the face of those that say he has value……unless you think acquiring a class A prospect for him is value.
Thirdly, if what players did while in their late 20’s was an indication of what they will do the rest of their careers than Pujols would still be a career .330 hitter and Mantle would have finished his career well above .300. The point is that as players age the chances of their performance holding to their career average is very slim.
And now Gonzalez is trending downwards. This team needs an influx of young hitters, hence why they should be giving ALL of their top prospects opportunities to show their skills. At the very least a true evaluation can be made and decisions made accordingly but another year will pass and the same questions will remain at most every position.
I was talking strictly about hitting for an average. Like I said, I see both Turner and Howie as part time players, with Howie a lesser part time of the two. Signing him made NO sense to me.
Who on Earth determined that Tampa was a Major League baseball town? Now I’ve never been there so maybe it is.
It isn’t. If not for revenue sharing there would be no MLB in Florida. And I hate these inter-league series.
The best thing about inter-league play is you can play an offense only player like Crawford without hurting the team. Not today, of course, Tampa is starting a lefty. I’ll give you odds Kendrick is the DH.
I’ve determined that if Kendrick goes 6 for 6 today, and loses 2 pounds in the process, he will be hitting his weight.
That’s what SABER math, properly applied, can do for you.
This FAZomatics sh*t is easy.
Here’s another one, if Chris Hatcher throws 10 straight clean innings…..
Badger if Hatcher throws 10 straight clean innings, then it would be when the Dodgers are not leading the game, and he would be pitching earlier in the game, not the eighth inning.
It won’t be from the heat that he loses any weight today so hopefully his 6 for 6 is about 4 triples and 2 Texas Leaguer doubles.
Wondering is is a good thing that that last game, wasn’t an inter league game, because the Dodgers wouldn’t have scored.
The only left had hitter, on the Dodgers, that has shown they can hit against lefty pitchers, is Agon. And Puig has a reverse split, because he hits much better against Righties, then lefties. And Turner is actually hitting righties, and lefties, evenly this year.
Puig is the only right hand hitter, after one month, on the Dodgers, that is not hitting very well against lefties. So I don’t think the leftie line up, is the answer. And Roberts said that Joc will get to play in one of these two games, against leftie pitchers.
MJ, the lefty platoon is doing better than the righty platoon, that’s all I have been saying. Kike’ needs to hit against lefties and so does Thompson due to their splits. But, I will take Kendrick against a righty even with his slump over Kike’.
Against lefties, I would give the majority of play to an outfield of Thompson, Pederson, and Puig with Kike’ at third and Kendrick at second. That gives Turner and Utley more rest. I would put SVS when he gets back at first against lefties to give Agon a rest.
The Dodgers can’t keep doing the same thing against lefties and expect to do as well as they do against righties.
Dodgers have scored 78 runs against righties and only 28 against lefties.
Games started by Righties and Lefties? Does that include when a lefty comes in late and the Dodgers score? How many games has Righties started in comparison to Lefties?
We don’t hit either. 19th against RHP, 23rd against LHP. In ability to score against them we are a little better, 14th against both. That will likely change, but we are not a great hitting team. Not a great pitching team either.
Those would be runs charged to lefties and to righties regardless of starter or reliever.
Badger, I don’t follow.
The stat is team against RH and LH pitching.
Wins, average, ? My stat was team runs.Team OPS was about the same. Seems like the team hits better wrisp against righties.
Chili that is a good point. There will always be more rightie pitchers starting then lefties, once the sample gets bigger, And because of that, lefties in platoons will get more at bats, then rightie hitters. And when a hitter is getting more at bats, they should be hitting better, then someone that isn’t getting as many at bats. I know it depends on the different amount of at bats, lefties and righties are getting.
I thought you wanted all of the lefties, to hit against lefties. And I looked, and only Agone has a decent average, and Joc has had only four at bats against lefties. But what I was saying, that Kike isn’t getting consistent at bats, and we won’t know why kind of hitter, he really is, until he gets more consistent at bats.
And look at Puig and Howie’s splits with lefty and Righty.
Everyone is talking about platoons and splits (a reverse split….yikes!). No one has mentioned Kazmir is pitching. Is he goin to start pitching like a #2 starter. That would be a mighty step in the right direction for this team. Is it possible/probable?
If the rotation winds up L, R, L, R, L Maeda will be #2 and Kazmir #3. I wonder if Wood or Kazmir will get their game cleaned up first.
Some good stuff on MLB NOW today. With the subject of base stealing up and the pros and cons, it was stated “and the pitcher doesn’t know where his 2nd baseman and his shortstop is” and Brian Kenny said “we’re not going into that now” and sadly they didn’t go into that now. That is THE issue when Kershaw is on the bump and I’d like it addressed by the geeks. Perhaps saber ain’t saber enough or………
As most of you are aware, AJ Ellis is an LA 8 with me.
It’s a shame Joc can’t hit left-handed pitchers…
Good start – 2 HR in one innings
Not many in the House…
Do you hear Trayce’s HR, off his bat? Joc hit a it solid to center too.
They said that Roberts thought that Joc would have good at bats, against this leftie pitcher, especially.
Wide strike zone tonight. Kazmir taking advantage.
Good start. Maybe schneid ends?
Jose De Leon is on MiLB pitching HIS season opener for OKC, He has 5 K’s through 2 innings!
I thought Kendrick was supposed to be toast. Badger was about the only one who knew better!
The boys are hitting….
Howie bat comes alive. I bet he feels good.
Even Ray Charles can see he can hit. I don’t know where people get the idea he is shot or no one wanted him. Teams are now loathe to give up draft picks (learned from FAZ) and it cost Howie a lot of money. It wasn’t that no one wanted him – it’s just that GM’s are starting to see that giving up draft picks ain’t good.
By the end of the season, Howie will be in the .280 – .290 range… as usual!
Fans? They are much slower to understand that giving up draft picks is frequently a dope-fiend move!
He’s never had a season under .287 and never had one over .295. He’s always had value.
Really? Off the top of my head he hit .279 in 2010 and I believe a couple of seasons at .285.
I’ll check. I was quoting what was said on MLBN. I’m pretty certain I heard right.
Change that to .279 and ,322 While still amazingly consistent I was more amazed by the wrong info I got from viewing MLBN. I stand corrected. Really.
His value didn’t apply to draft picks (I know you know, Mark) as it was just bad luck in timing for a 2B free agent.
Can you say, “collusion?” Hard to believe Zobrist, who is four years older got a big four-year contract but no one wanted Kendrick. Similar situation with Dexter Fowler. Howie should have gotten more ABs in his rehab assignment, preferably at a higher level, before coming back as MJ noted. But yeah, he can still hit.
Snider and Daniel Murphy.
I like Thompson. He beat the shift. Good hitting. If rookies can do it why can’t the veterans?
De Leon – 3 IP/1 Hit/1 BB/ 6 K’s/ 55 Pitches … so far. That may be all for him but he looked good!
Badger I thought of you when Howie got that third hit!
Man, when FAZ signed Blanton many fans were really up in arms?
Ditto on Kendrick.
Man, they wailed when they signed Kazmir!
Today, they have a lot less to bitch about.
I write this because of what you said to me long ago. I can see the fear in your eyes. You are starting to understand that the Dodgers could very well win 95 and where will you hide then?
Mark don’t push it with Kazmir.
Kazmir will be solid for us. I still believe that. Something like 14-11 with a 3.88 ERA.
I am mostly guilty of wanting Kendrick to kit 8th or 9th until he proved he was ready to hit higher and I am guilty of wanting to trade him because I hated him taking time away from Thompson in LF and Kike’ at second base.
I am to Bum.
Come on man.
They pound the lowest scoring offensive team in baseball to crawl over .500, Kazmir gives up 4 earned in 6.2 (5.4 ERA) and that’s grounds for predicting 95 wins? I don’t think so.
In case you don’t know, the offense does not pitch. Tampa Bay is 9th in MLB in ERA. The Dodgers were hitting off the TB pitchers, not the offense. TB has score one more run than the Royals to keep them out of the basement.
In case I don’t know?
I’m not as easily impressed as you are. We beat a team that will be under .500 all year. These are the teams we are supposed to beat. It’s a good win for us, no doubt, but beating a very weak Rays team is no indicator we will win 95 games. That is nonsense. When we start beating the better teams I’ll be more impressed.
86 – 89 wins.
They just gave up 5 runs to one of the worst offenses in the AL. Kazmir gave up 4 runs in less than 7 ip – that won’t get it done most of the time. (5.40 ERA) Howell so bad that they had to bring in Jansen for a save in a game that they were up 10 – 3.
I’m glad that they won but let’s not go overboard.
Almost everybody has a hit now. That was smart for Roberts to get Cory into this game.
I’m I the only guy left who believes in Hernandez?
Then Mark may I humbly suggest you make that trade with the high value Kendrick so Hernandez can get more at bats. This kid can hack. Put him in coach.
I think he will need to show he can hit right-handed pitching before he can be an everyday player.
Badger your prophetic! Howie has four hits!
Beats being pathetic like Kendrick was in April.
I did not like the signing of Blanton. However, I did say he has looked good. He just may be our 8th inning guy. Would that be something.
This really happened…… Jerry Hairston self appointed himself as the runner of a mini poker tourney in Vegas. Kind of like a sng. Early, immediately after I KOed the 1st out Jerry got a phone call of good news somehow related to a nephew of his so it was called that the game would end. I claimed “that’s fine, but I’m to be paid double my entry as I knocked out a player”. That was agreed to but Jerry had my $ and attended to the good news he received instead of settling with me 1st. So here I go chasing him around this hotel and I catch up to him, grab him by his tie and tell him what time it is with him having my money, And then I woke up and the game was 3-3 for a very short period. Must be these meds – they are rough I tell you.
If I was on meds like that my dreams would involve Salma Hayek, not Jerry Hairston. I suggest you focus Quas!
Somehow I’d turn Salma into a nightmare, or rather these meds would do that. I’m glad I’m 2/3rds through this treatment. It is not enjoyable…….yet!
De Leon finished with 5ip, 2hits, 1bb, 9k. He’s a stud.
Kazmir did have 9k today; hopefully his wrist/thumb/whatever injury is ok.
The reason that Howie got four hits was because he shaved off, that blond streak he had!
We are playing Tampa.
This is nothing to get excited about and I still think Kazmir sucks.
We need to move or trade a few of our veteran relievers and move up some of the kids.
A lights out 8th inning guy would inject new life into this team.
Right now, the carryovers from last year aren’t cutting it.