The Dodgers reopen the 2016 season and resume play with a three game weekend series at Arizona against the Dbacks. The boys in blue have a 51-40 record and are in second place in the NL West, 6.5 games behind the Giants. The Dodgers also lead the NL Wild Card race by 2.5 games. The Dodgers will begin their quest to catch the Giants and win their fourth consecutive NL West division title. Otherwise they would have to earn one of the two wild card spots to reach the playoffs. The Dodgers have lined up their rotation and are ready to come out guns blazing to start the second half of the season.
They’ll begin that journey by giving the ball to Bud Norris in the opening game. Norris is making his third start with the Dodgers. In his last start he allowed three earned runs on three hits over five innings against Baltimore. Overall he’s 4-7 with a 3.98 ERA. He’s pitched well with the Dodgers, tossing 11 innings and allowing just three earned runs on eight hits with 13 strikeouts against 3 walks.
Norris has posted a 2.45 ERA in two starts with the Dodgers. Norris is 0-1 this year against Arizona and has never defeated the Dbacks. The veteran has always struggled against the Snakes and is winless in 8 career starts against the Dbacks. Norris has a 0-7 record with a 13.92 ERA. This includes 23 walks and 22 strikeouts in 21 innings pitched. Norris is 0-4 with a 15.07 ERA at Chase Field. Hopefully he leaves all that terrible pitching in the past.
Dodgers Lineup @ Arizona
Tonight’s Dodger lineup at D-backs:
Van Slyke CF
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 15, 2016
Bud Norris-4-7 vs. Patrick Corbin-4-7
Game Time – 6:40 PM – TV – SNLA
Norris vs. Dbacks
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The Snakes will counter with left hander Patrick Corbin. The ace has struggled this season. He’s made 18 starts and posted a 4-7 record with a 4.94 ERA. Corbin has struck out 75 and walked 41 over 105.2 innings pitched while registering a 1.4 WHIP. Corbin has faced the Dodgers twice this season. The first time was on April 12 when he defeated the Dodgers 4-2. The second start he lost on June 15. Overall Corbin is 3-5 with a 3.81 ERA in 10 career starts against the Dodgers.
Corbin vs. Dodgers
We should all be thankful right now for where the Dodgers are at. Because it could have been a hell of a lot worse. Yes being 6.5 games behind the Giants is annoying, but considering the alternative. Look at the Snakes. The DBacks are 38-52 and sit in last place in the NL West. They’ve had a truly miserable season. The Dodger’s miseries only lasted for two months.
The Dback’s miseries have lasted all season long. Zack Greinke got off to a slow start. The Dbacks recently announced the shocking news about the demotion of Shelby Miller to triple-A. The Dbacks gave up their top two prospects including the number one overall pick in the 2015 draft along with outfielder Ender Inciarte to acquire Miller and he’s been one of the worst pitchers in baseball. They lost center fielder A.J. Pollack for most of the season after he broke his elbow, and other hurlers like Rubby De La Rosa, and Patrick Corbin have struggled as well. Honestly, we can’t complain.
Then there is the news that Clayton Kershaw and Joc Pederson should be returning soon. Kershaw threw a 60-pitch bullpen session in Los Angeles on Wednesday and feels a lot better. The Dodgers are not going to force Kershaw to throw in a rehab game, he’s likely to rejoin the rotation next Thursday during the Washington series. Joc is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment and can return to the club on Tuesday in Washington as well.
Other Dodgers nearing returns include, Alex Wood, Brett Anderson, Yimi Garcia, and outfielder Andre Ethier. For Ethier, he’ll get another bone scan and if that comes back clean he’ll be ready to resume baseball activities. Rehab games loom in the future for pitchers Anderson, Wood, and Garcia. If the Dodgers get healthy and it looks like they are, then anything is possible. That includes a late season run at those jerk face Giants. Let’s continue to be positive as the Dodgers kick off the second half in style.