Dodgers aim to sweep Rangers in match of baseball’s elite

Dodgers aim to sweep Rangers in match of baseball's elite


The Los Angeles Dodgers seemingly arrived in Arlington, Texas, on Friday with a mission in mind: beating the high-scoring Texas Rangers at their own game

In the first two contests of the three-game series, which concludes on Sunday afternoon, the Dodgers scored double-digits in runs. An 11-5 victory on Friday night opened the series, and the Dodgers raced out to a 10-1 lead by the fourth inning on Saturday, eventually winning 16-3

It’s not like the Dodgers don’t have the firepower. While the Rangers lead the majors in runs scored with 572, the Dodgers are right behind them at 554. With four veteran starting pitchers on the injured list — Clayton Kershaw, Noah Syndergaard, Walker Buehler and Dustin May — Los Angeles has been forced to rely on its star-studded lineup

In the eight games since the All-Star break, the Dodgers are 6-2 and averaging 7.5 runs per game

The injuries to the core of the Dodgers‘ pitching staff also brought about Emmet Sheehan’s major league debut on June 16, and the 23-year old has emerged as a fixture within the starting rotation. Sheehan (3-0, 4.91 ERA) takes the ball on Sunday in what will be his sixth major-league start, having struck out 18 batters and allowed 19 hits in 25 2/3 innings

“I can’t remember the last time we had so many young arms in the rotation,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts commented shortly after Sheehan made his debut

With Kershaw and Syndergaard both on the 15-day injured list, and Buehler and May on the 60-day injured list, the four active starting pitchers currently on the depth chart have an average age of 25.5.

Sheehan is the youngest of that group, but he does not lack maturity nor confidence.

“After the first few innings, [I] noticed that I could get outs here,” Sheehan said after his debut, in which he held the San Francisco Giants hitless in six innings. “I’m facing the same guys. They’re just a little bit older.”

For Texas, Martin Perez (7-3, 4.84) will take the mound in his second straight weekend start.

The left-hander has struggled as of late, with a 5.55 ERA in his last seven starts, and he will look to move past a forgettable outing against Cleveland on July 16. The 32-year old walked four through five innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits, as he exited with a no decision for the third straight start.

The positive for Perez is that he is making his fourth consecutive start at his home ballpark. There, Perez is 3-1 with a 3.48 ERA and has a 2:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

“I feel comfortable here,” Perez said of pitching in Arlington.

For a squad that won six straight games coming out of the midseason break, the consecutive losses have challenged the Rangers. But they are not panicking

“You’re going to have [games like this] occasionally,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said after Saturday’s game. “The pitching wasn’t there. It was a clunker. You move on. That’s what we’ll do.

One storyline to follow is Adolis Garcia’s status for the series finale. The American League RBIs leader left Saturday’s game after getting hit by a pitch on the right hand, although reported X-rays were negative. Texas will be without shortstop Corey Seager, who was placed on the 10-day injured list with a sprained right thumb on Saturday.

–Field Level Media


Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.