Saturday presents baseball fans with game two of a National League West matchup between the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers and the second-place Colorado Rockies. Los Angeles won the opener Friday night, 4-2.
The Dodgers (52-25) hold an 11-game lead over the Rockies (40-35), but this is a Colorado team that has outscored LA by 23 runs this season. The biggest difference has been how good the Dodgers pitching has been compared to the Rockies. LA pitchers have only surrendered 275 runs this season, while Rockies pitchers have given up 406.
The Rockies are riding a hot 7-4 record over their last 11 games. Colorado completed the three-game road sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 6-4 victory on Thursday. It took 10 innings to pull off the comeback victory until catcher Chris Ianetta drove in two in the 10th.
Charlie Blackmon continued his hot streak with another home run on Thursday, giving him 17 on the season with an incredible .336 batting average. The offense of Colorado will be tested after the club placed shortstop Trevor Story on the 10-day IL with a sprained right thumb.
For the Dodgers, they dropped the opener of a four-game series against the San Francisco Giants last Monday but came back and won the next three games. The offensive production was rolling over those three games as the Dodgers scored nine runs in each game. Thursday’s 9-8 victory was a close one after the Giants rallied for four runs in the ninth inning.
The Dodgers will have lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu on the mound to take on righty Peter Lambert.
Ryu is having a phenomenal season with a 9-1 record, 1.26 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, and 85 strikeouts. The 32-year-old is having the best season of his career, and it couldn’t be coming at a better time given that Clayton Kershaw is actually healthy for the team and the emergence of Walker Buehler.
Ryu earned the win in his last start against the Chicago Cubs. He lasted seven innings with eight strikeouts and giving up zero earned runs.
For Lambert, the first-year pitcher only has three games under his belt but has been solid out the gates. He picked up two wins against the Cubs before only lasting three innings in his last outing against the San Diego Padres. It didn’t matter who pitched in that game against the Padres considering a combined 27 runs came across to score.
Looking at Lambert’s small sample size, he has lasted five innings in two out of his three starts. He had a 1.50 ERA before it shot up to 6.00 following the Padres game. In his debut against the Cubs, he struck out nine batters, so the rookie has some firepower.
Nolan Arenado left Thursday’s game against the Diamondbacks in the ninth inning with a foot injury. He remains day-to-day as his situation is certainly something to monitor after he sat out Friday’s opener.
Max Muncy was recently added to the injury report after being diagnosed with a bruised ankle for the Dodgers. The X-rays came back negative Thursday, but Muncy remains day-to-day.
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