The Dodgers head out on the road for eight games starting Thursday night in two ballparks that haven’t treated them well this season. They’ll eventually end up in San Francisco where the Giants swept them back in June but first up is a four-game set against the Rockies at Coors Field.
Los Angeles dropped two of three on opening weekend in Colorado and had the same result at the end of June. The fact that the Dodgers are 30-17 on the road and have won 25 of 36 games against their own division overall hasn’t meant a thing and the numbers usually don’t mean much in Denver.
The Rockies are in a familiar part of their season when they have to decide who to trade as the August 2 deadline quickly approaches. Sitting 21 games back of the Dodgers in the NL West cellar and seven games behind the newly-added third wild card spot with four other clubs between them and the Cardinals in playoff position, selling seems like an easy decision.
Kris Bryant has been dealing with injuries all year and recently sat out Monday because he is now dealing with planter fasciitis. In the first year of a seven year, $182 million contract, the 30-year-old has only played in 38 of Colorado’s 99 games this year. Amazingly enough, Bryant has played all nine of the games these two clubs have played in 2022 and is 10-for-36 with a solo homer to his name against LA.
The Dodgers could be forced to make some moves over the weekend with the bullpen in mind. Coors Field has been known to cause havoc for pitching plans and coming off a series in Los Angeles that saw them drop two of three to a bad Nationals team due to bullpen problems, the ride could get a little bumpy in this four-game series.
Hitters to watch: Gavin Lux has reached base 11 times in 21 plate appearances at Coors Field this season, going 8-for-18 (.444) with three walks, a double, two RBI and four runs scored.
Thursday, 5:40 p.m. PT, SportsNet LA
Tyler Anderson makes his third start of the season at his old stomping grounds. After allowing one run in four innings back on opening weekend, the lefty was tagged with his only loss this season at the end of June. The Rockies touched him up for 10 hits and four runs over six innings. Anderson is 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in July.
José Ureña has gone at least six innings and given up two or less in three of the four starts since joining Colorado, including his best start of the year against the Dodgers in Coors on July 6. The Dodgers won the game 2-1 but Ureña held them to just one run over 6 2⁄3 innings.
Friday, 5:40 p.m. PT, SportsNet LA
Julio Urías gets his third shot at the Rockies as well, having a mixed bag of results this season in the thin air. His first start of the year lasted two innings after giving up six runs (three earned) but the lefty came back and earned a victory in the second game, going 5 1⁄3 innings while giving up three runs.
Chad Kuhl will be looking to duplicate his June 27 start when he tossed a three-hit shutout to beat the Dodgers 4-0. The right-hander had been a standout this season up until lately. Someone you might think would be a big trade chip has given up 17 runs in 17 innings over his last four starts combined and Friday will be his last before the trade deadline.
Saturday, 5:10 p.m. PT, SportsNet LA
Clayton Kershaw takes the ball Saturday looking to erase the bad taste in his mouth from Sunday’s start against the Giants. Even failing to get out of the fifth inning and giving up four runs, Kershaw sit has a 1.67 ERA in four July starts and has allowed two or less in 10 of his 13 starts overall.
Kyle Freeland has shown flashes of why the Rockies love him this year but it’s been the same inconsistency you’d expect from a rotation regular in Colorado. The lefty has allowed at least five runs in six of his 19 starts and three or less in 10. Freeland has a start in each of those categories against the Dodgers this year.
Sunday, 12:10 p.m. PT, SportsNet LA
Tony Gonsolin has struggled his last two times out and really three if you include the All-Star game. The right-hander gave up five runs to the Cardinals in his last start before the break and gave up four runs in six innings to the Nationals Monday.
Germán Márquez will make his fourth start against LA when he takes the ball Sunday. The right-hander held the Dodgers to one run in seven innings back in April but has allowed eight runs over a combined 9 1⁄3 innings pitched over the last two. Márquez has held opponents to two or less runs in four of his last six starts.