Reds and Puig Return To Los Angeles for High Drama Series With Dodgers

In 2018, the Cincinnati Reds gave the Los Angeles Dodgers fits. Without question, the Reds just seemed to have the Dodgers number. First, they swept a four-game series at Chavez Ravine in May. I wrote this post and wondered if the season was about ready to roll the credits before it had a chance to get started. Then, the Reds took two of three in Cincinnati with the Dodgers in the heat of a pennant race.

However, this time around has different storylines and implications. Monday will be Kershaw Day in Los Angeles once more – and the former favorite son of the City of Angels makes his return to Dodger Stadium in Yasiel Puig.

The Dodgers’ schedule has featured some great teams already, and this three-game set might be the most interesting yet.

Pitching Matchups

Monday – Luis Castillo vs. Clayton Kershaw

Tuesday – Tyler Mahle vs. Kenta Maeda

Wednesday –  Sonny Gray vs. Walker Buehler

For the first time all season, the Dodgers gain the opportunity to run Kershaw and Walker Buehler out within the same series. At one point, this pair was thought to be 1a and 1b to open the season with.

While the Dodgers get the preferable luxury of facing three right-handed starters, they open with a tough customer. Luis Castillo has a 0.92 ERA in three starts for the Reds, and he opposes Kershaw on Monday evening. Of course, this is the first glimpse we get of Kershaw with the big league club. The Dodgers starting rotation needs stabilized at the current time. There’s no better candidate to restore the homeostasis.

Meanwhile, Buehler’s next start is important. Through his first three starts of 2019, he has an 8.25 ERA and has allowed 13 hits in 12 innings pitched.

Viva La Puig

Yasiel Puig’s return to Dodger Stadium is the big storyline to begin the week.

So much has been made of Yasiel Puig’s return to Los Angeles, and it’s easy to understand why. Puig arrived in Cincinnati with some controversial comments about his past home. Now, just because he’s wearing red; it’s not necessarily all roses. Thus far, Puig is hitting .163 with one home run, and six RBI in the young season.

Dodgers fans might feel bittersweet about Puig’s homecoming, but they certainly don’t want to see him heat up at the Dodgers’ expense. Indeed, the Dodgers should have the playbook on how to get this middle of the order hitter out.

Staying Above .500

The Dodgers fired out of the starting gates with an 8-2 start. Then, they lost the next six. On Sunday, Ross Stripling gave Los Angeles an incredible start to salvage the series against the Milwaukee Brewers. While the season record sits at 9-8 and has taken some hits – the Dodgers should be looking to take another series and remain above .500 while getting their rotation healthy.

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  1. How about the 2019 debut of Kershaw on Jackie Robinson Day? I know the ESPN-people will comment on the velocity of Kershaw’s fastball, the break of his curveball and slider. My concern is how many homeruns will he give-up, he gave-up two at AA and two at AAA? If the homeruns are off the bats of right or left-handed hitters. Also opposing Kershaw will be the Reds Luis Castillo, who is starting off 2019 in good fashion.

    • PaulDodgerFan1965, I read an article from Orange County Register saying the previous two seasons after 16-games, the Dodgers were 7-9 and 8-8 or vice-versa. The article also stated how some of the players’ sentiment is that “we have been here before”(the mediocre start), I just hope the Dodgers(in the locker-room) don’t become numb,blase, comfortable to this slow-start relying on the other teams in the NL-West not taking advantage of the Dodgers “lolligagging their way.” Personally, I think the Padres will be a better team than what the experts say. The Padres, Giants, D-backs or Rockies might wake-up and runaway with the division and bury the Dodgers!!

  2. All hail Joc Pederson! If not for Joc, this would have been a revenge game victory and all the talk would have been about Kemp, Puig and the demise of Kershaw. Even though Kershaw pitched a good game, the media would have been telling us all about Kershaw giving up two runs in another Dodger loss and making it sound as if we needed to be worried about Clayton’s velocity again.