The Los Angeles Dodgers open their seven-game road trip with a midweek series in Phoenix against the Arizona Diamondbacks tonight, looking to rebound from two consecutive losses for the first time since July 22 - when they dropped two in a row in Atlanta - and for only the second time since June 8.
June 8 was also the last time they were licking their wounds from a three-game skid, having lost two consecutive home games to the Washington Nationals after being shutout in a road trip finale at Milwaukee.
Three games remains the longest losing streak of the year for the Dodgers. This also occurred on May 16 - at Colorado and two in San Francisco - and April 18 in three home games, two with Arizona, then one against Colorado. All three of those slides were snapped with a win by Clayton Kershaw.
But Kershaw’s not yet back on the active roster so Rich Hill toes the rubber for the Blue, while Zack Godley deals the cards for the Snakes. It’s hard to go into a game at offense-friendly Chase Field predicting a pitching duel, but this game could be it.
The Diamondbacks currently on the active roster have a combined .552 OPS (.140/.232/.320) in their careers against Hill, striking out an unsightly 36.8% of the time.
Their Dodgers counterparts fare even worse with the right-handed Godley, tallying a mere .520 OPS (.176/.211/.309), although they flail at a somewhat lower but still impressive 27.8% rate.
This is Hill’s first appearance since spinning a near-perfect game in Pittsburgh. As Eric Stephen pointed out earlier this isn’t exactly a unique experience for the portsider:
Rich Hill faces the Diamondbacks in Arizona in his first start after a near-perfect game for the second time in 11 months. In 2016, five days after his seven-inning masterpiece in Miami, Hill struck out eight in 5⅓ innings in Phoenix, but allowed four runs to suffer the loss.
Hill has faced the Diamondbacks twice previously this season, with both starts in Los Angeles. In the most recent of those, the southpaw tossed seven innings of two-hit baseball, allowing a solo home run to Jake Lamb while striking out nine batters. Hill didn’t figure in the decision, a victory for the Dodgers when Arizona closer Fernando Rodney failed to convert a three-run lead into a save by allowing his first six batters to reach base, including four via the base on balls.
No Diamondback currently on the active roster has faced Hill more than ten times. Noted Dodgers nemesis Paul Goldschmidt has been held by Hill to two singles in eight plate appearances, but the left-handed hitting Lamb has two walks to go with his aforementioned homer in only four PA.
Justin Turner has enjoyed extra-base hit success against Godley - his only three hits are a double and two home runs - and his twelve PA vs the Arizona starter are tops among the Dodgers on today’s 25-man roster.
Time: 6:40 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA. KTLA