LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers get another crack at a left-handed pitcher on Saturday night with Patrick Corbin starting for the Diamondbacks on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium. It is one of a series of southpaws set to face the Dodgers on the remainder of the homestand, with a chance to change the narrative.
Last year, the Dodgers were terrible against left-handed pitching, last in the major leagues across the board, hitting .214/.291/.333. Just with the personnel already on the team, the club figured to improve in 2017, and that was before adding Franklin Gutierrez and Logan Forsythe.
Gutierrez is on the 10-day disabled list, but Scott Van Slyke, Kike Hernandez and Trayce Thompson all have solid track records against left-handers and are healthy. But to date the Dodgers haven’t hit lefties this season.
The club is hitting just .209/.291/.318 against southpaws this season. Though we are just talking about 11 games, five of those have featured opposing lefty starters, against whom the Dodgers are hitting just .202/.291/.298.
Opposing left-handed starters have a 2.10 ERA against the Dodgers this season, with 23 strikeouts and 13 walks in 30 innings, and the Dodgers have lost four of the five games.
Against lefty relievers they have been a little better, hitting .227/.292/.364, but still not very good.
But for the remainder of the homestand the Dodgers will face four more southpaws in five games, giving them a chance to reverse the trend rather quickly.
That will make nine left-handed pitchers in the first 16 games of the season, an amazing early pace after facing 46 left-handed starters all of 2016. Last year, the Dodgers faced their ninth left-handed starter on May 4, in their 28th game of the season.
The Dodgers beat Corbin three times in four starts last season, and hit .277/.348/.416 against him. He faced them five times in 2016 — adding a three-inning save in September — and posted a 4.74 ERA with an 0-3 record.
In fact, Corbin hasn’t beaten the Dodgers since Sept. 11, 2013. In seven starts against them since, Corbin is 0-6 with a 6.62 ERA.
Yasiel Puig hit .261/.313/.471 against lefties last season, but so far this season is just 0-for-15 with two walks against southpaws. He is 5-for-16 (.313) with two doubles and a home run against Corbin.
The Dodgers have the personnel to hit lefties. They just have to start doing it. And for the rest of the home stand, they’ll get that chance.
Time: 6:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA, MLB Network