LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers have their work cut out for them in Game 2, facing Robbie Ray of the Diamondbacks. The usual lineup against left-handed pitchers is in place on Saturday for the Dodgers, with Austin Barnes behind the plate, Logan Forsythe at second base, and Kiké Hernandez in left field.
“I know that [hitting coach] Turner Ward and the hitting guys are going to have a great game plan against him,” manager Dave Roberts said. “So we're going to go out there and compete and hopefully put some hits together.”
Game 2 lineups
|P||Ray (L)||P||Hill (L)|
That means coming through with runners in scoring position, something the Dodgers struggled against Ray all year. They were just 3-for-18 (.167) with a double and three walks with RISP against Ray in 2017. But as is often the case with struggling with runners in scoring position, it is far more concerning when the opportunities just aren’t there.
Ray started against the Dodgers five times this year, and the Dodgers managed just 23 plate appearances with runners in scoring position against him in his 31⅔ innings. That’s an average of roughly 6.5 PA per nine innings.
“He's pitched really well against us. We have the experience. We know what it's like. We know what it looks like,” Corey Seager said. “Now it's about executing, staying in the zone is probably going to be the biggest thing for us tonight. See if we can get the pitch count up, get him out early and get them into the bullpen.”
On the season the Dodgers averaged aged 9.93 plate appearances with runners in scoring position per game, ranking fourth in the National League. They hit .247/.359/.430 with RISP, fourth in the NL in OPS (.789), second in wRC+ (106), but 13th in batting average.
In September, when the Dodgers were just 13-17, they hit .189/.280/.365 with RISP, and not so coincidentally scored just 3.8 runs per game.
In Game 1 on Friday night, the Dodgers were 5-for-15 with runners in scoring position, with a home run, a triple, and two walks.