After an interminable two full days without any kind of baseball, the Dodgers are back to open their post-break schedule, facing a different Marlins team than they saw two months ago in Los Angeles.
Brandon McCarthy gets the start for the Dodgers on Friday night at Marlins Park, facing Dan Straily for Miami.
The Marlins were reeling when they lost three of four games in Los Angeles in May, and left town just 15-28, losers of 20 of their last 25 games.
Since that series, Miami is 26-18 (.591), the third-best record in the National League during that span, behind only the Dodgers (35-10) and Diamondbacks (27-17). That includes 15-7 for the Marlins in their last 22 home games.
Old friend Dee Gordon bottomed out at a .604 OPS after the first game of that series in Los Angeles on May 18. But he ended that series with three straight multi-hit games, and in his 46 games is hitting .337/.376/.406 with 20 steals in 24 attempts and 34 runs scored.
The Marlins offense has been driven by All-Stars Marcell Ozuna (.940 OPS, 23 home runs) Giancarlo Stanton (.933 OPS, 28 HR), and first baseman Justin Bour (.923 OPS, 20 HR), but catcher JT Realmuto (.303/.357/.461) and Christian Yelich (.359 OBP) have been productive as well.
Miami is one of just three National League teams with five players posting a .350 OBP in at least 200 plate appearances this season, joining the Dodgers and Rockies.
The Marlins come into Friday with three straight wins. The Dodgers have won six straight.
Welcome to 22, old man
Cody Bellinger turned 22 on Thursday, so Friday starts a new chapter of his career. Because Bellinger’s birthday is after June 30, 2017 will always be his age-21 season. His 25 home runs are the most ever for a Dodger in their age-21 season, and there are still 70 games remaining.
The only other Dodger with even 20 home runs in his age-21 season was Adrian Beltre in 2000, with exactly 20. Beltre also played two seasons before that, and his 45 home runs before turning age 22 is the most in Dodgers history. Bellinger ranks second with his 25.
Time: 4:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA