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Game Preview: Dodgers Look to Split Series in Finale in Colorado



Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies

Time: 12:10 PM PT

Venue: Coors Field

Colorado Record: 62-55

Los Angeles Record: 64-54

How are the Dodgers Doing?

Saturday night in Coors Field was a pitchers duel between former first round picks Kyle Freeland and Walker Buehler. Both pitchers went seven innings. Freeland allowed two runs and struck out 10 batters, while Buehler did not allow a run and struck out six.

Walker Buehler won the battle, but the Dodgers lost the war. The bullpen blew a 2-0 lead with two outs in the ninth inning. Colorado’s Ryan McMahon hit a game winning home run in the seventh inning on Friday night and hit a walkoff home run on Saturday night.

Had the Dodgers pulled out the shutout, this would have been just the third time all year that Rockies have been shutout at home.

On the offensive end, Yasiel Puig hit his 100th career home run with his blast in the second inning.

Why is this Game Important?

As long as Kenley Jansen stays on the DL, the bullpen dilemma will continue to be an area of concern. Dave Roberts has yet to find the right combination of relievers to fill into the ninth inning role.

With both the Dodgers and Diamondbacks losing on Saturday, the two teams remain tied for first place. The Rockies are not far behind, trailing by just 1.5 games in the NL West standings.

Pitching Matchup

Rich Hill (5-4, 3.62 ERA) vs Chad Bettis (5-2, 5.67 ERA)

Just over a month ago, Rich Hill had just two wins all year and an ERA of 4.64. Since July 14, Hill is 3-0 with a 1.42 ERA. The Dodgers have won each of his four starts since the All-Star break.

Hill will have a heavy task on his hand on Sunday though. He depends heavily on his curveball, a pitch that typically does not break well in Colorado. Hill is 0-2 with an 8.80 ERA at Coors Field in his career. These numbers can be misleading, given that he has not made a start in Colorado since April 23, 2008.

Chad Bettis will make his second start since coming back from a blister injury. He allowed nine runs in 4.2 innings in his return on August 7. Struggles for Bettis this season have come when he pitches at Coors Field. His home ERA is 9.74 this year, compared to 2.88 on the road. Bettis has faced the Dodgers 13 times before, going 2-2 with a 5.14 ERA against Los Angeles in his career.

Matchup of the Day

Max Muncy vs Chad Bettis

Despite going 0-4 on Saturday night, Max Muncy is still experiencing an uptick in his performance. Prior to this set in Colorado, he was batting .183 with two home runs in 18 games in the second half. He is raking at a .444 clip with two home runs in three games in this series.

Muncy hit two home runs against Bettis back on June 3.

Game Predictions

FiveThirtyEight

Dodgers: 59% chance of winning

Rockies: 41% chance of winning

Fun Fact

In Chad Bettis’ last start, he matched up against Pirates’ pitcher Jameson Taillon. Both pitchers have overcome testicular cancer during their Major League careers.

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Written by Arthur Cribbs

Arthur Cribbs is a journalism student at Howard University in Washington, D.C. He is a lifelong Dodgers fan and when he is not at school, he resides in Los Angeles.

Comments

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  1. Why can’t LAD get better relievers, or the pitching coach not doing his job right. And in hitting, also the batting coach is not doing his job either. These hitters can hit, but they swing at the wrong balls.the coach should teach them when and where to swing

  2. Why can’t LAD get better relievers, or the pitching coach not doing his job right. And in hitting, also the batting coach is not doing his job either. These hitters can hit, but they swing at the wrong balls.the coach should teach them when and where to swing, if you “think” I said that before, let them hear it AGAIN

  3. “Why can’t LAD get better relievers.”

    I have written this all year. Blame the front office which keeps getting losers and Roberts who keeps trying them out even after they fail and who will not let a starter go past 7 innings.

    Management (and key injuries) have cost us the chance to get to the postseason, despite the valiant effort of most of our team to keep us close.

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