(Ed.'s note: Zavada's Moustache is still being held for ransom by pirates or something like that, so jinnah guest wrote the preview this week.)
I know what you’re all thinking - a series preview for the Dodgers? Didn’t we just play them? Yep, we did, a mere two weeks ago at home, where we took two of the three games from them. So I propose we do to them what we unfortunately couldn’t do against the Padres, and go for the sweep. You never know, the Dodgers front office might actually like a bunch of Diamondback fans walking around the stadium with their brooms, considering they can hardly afford to pay their players, much less their custodians.
What the Stats Say (according to Fangraphs):
As previously stated, the last time we met the Dodgers, we took the last two games of the series from them. Since then the Dbacks have gone 6-4 and our offense has been smokin’, outscoring their opponents 48-36. The Dodgers also have a winning record but have only outscored their opponents by 1, which must just be torture for them.
… Oh wait, this isn’t the Giants we’re talking about. I digress.
The interesting back story, naturally, is the "everything must go including the concession stands" sale that the Dodgers are supposedly having. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be interested in Jamey Carroll, who has not had an RBI since June 12th and is .205/.295/.256 in that time. Well, why not, except in the same amount of time (with each starting in 20 games), Willie Bloomquist has hit .326/.376/.407 with 5 RBI. If we’re getting a rental for 2 months, I don’t very much see the point.
Of course, who cares about such petty things when we have The Justin Upton to talk about? He’s gone yard five times since the last Dodger series, each one travelling an average of approximately seven miles. Or 425 feet. Take your pick, really. We’ve also seen the major league debut of Collin Cowgill ("hitless" in eight at bats with a fielder’s choice and a steal) and Micah Owings’ first start since May 26th, where he threw five shutout innings against the Rockies.
Ryan Roberts, 3B
Kelly Johnson, 2B
Justin Upton, RF
Willie Bloomquist, SS
Chris Young, CF
Miguel Montero, C
Brandon Allen, 1B
Gerardo Parra, LF
Los Angeles Dodgers
Tony Gwynn Jr., LF
Rafael Furcal, SS
Andre Either, RF
Matt Kemp, CF
James Loney, 1B
Juan Uribe, 3B
Dioner Navarro, C
Jamey Carroll, 2B
I could pretty much copy and paste Zavada’s Moustache’s ten fun facts about the Dodgers here, because it’s all still relevant. He said it best when he said there was no reason to throw Kemp or Ethier anything near the strike zone - they remain the only two batters on the team who have over 2 fWAR.
Some random trivia about the Dodgers:
- Kenley Jansen was hospitalized with an irregular heartbeat after getting the save on Tuesday night against the Rockies, but is expected to rejoin the team tomorrow.
- Josh Lindblom, a RH reliever on the Chattanooga Lookouts (AA) was spotted saying goodbye to his teammates during the game. It could be he’s getting traded, but there’s also a chance we could be seeing him in the Dodgers’ bullpen this weekend.
- Apparently, Clayton Kershaw’s like a boss when it comes to the strike zone. Good thing we’re not facing him this time around.
- Juan Uribe has been out for a few days due to an abdominal strain. That must be a real blow to the Dodgers line up, what with his lofty 0.6 fWAR and all.
- Did you know that Andre Ethier went to ASU?
Friday: Josh Collmenter (6-5, 2.74) vs. Ted Lilly (6-10, 5.08)
(Not so) Insightful Commentary: Collmenter had a bit of a slump going on in his first few starts, but the kid from Homer, Michigan has picked himself up by his bootstraps. He’s 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in his last three starts, with a FIP this year of 3.32. Meanwhile, Ted Lilly, shockingly, has continued to struggle in his outings, giving up six runs in five innings in his last start against the Nationals.
Saturday: Micah Owings (4-0, 2.36) vs. Chad Billingsley (9-8, 3.92)
(Not so) Insightful Commentary: Boy, Micah Owings sure wants that #5 spot. I’m inclined to hand it to him, considering his last start had him giving up no runs through five … and because I don’t think he can do much worse than Armando Galarraga, who we kept around for far too long. Chad Billingsley also had a stellar last start; after allowing the first four batters he faced to reach base, he retired 21 of the next 22. Let’s hope he used up all his good fortune last Sunday.
Sunday: Joe Saunders (7-8, 3.63) vs. Rubby de la Rosa (4-4, 3.49)
(Not so) Insightful Commentary: Well, Joe Saunders. What can we say? I’ll let soco’s article, and the subsequent comments, do most of the talking, but I would like to point out the complete game that Saunders threw on Tuesday against the Padres. Rubby de la Rosa, on the other hand, has only allowed seven runs in his last six starts. This is his first time pitching against the Diamondbacks, so let’s hope that’s a point in our favor.
Final Verdict: I’m basing this, of course, on gut feeling, but facing a rookie we haven’t seen before makes me nervous. So while I certainly hope we get the sweep, I’m going to call this series as two games to one.