The Colorado Rockies aligned their starting rotation to ensure two left-handed starters would take the mound against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the short series at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles entered Wednesday 2-6 against southpaw starters this season.
Last season’s struggles against lefties have spilled into the first two-plus weeks of 2017. The Dodgers entered Wednesday’s matchup with the Rockies batting .216/.310/.330 against left-handed pitching.
They ranked 21st in the Majors in batting average, 16th in on-base percentage, 20th in slugging percentage, 19th in OPS, 19th in wOBA (.286) and 20th in wRC+ (81). Granted, that’s an improvement from 2016, when the Dodgers were last in the Majors in each of the aforementioned categories.
Manager Dave Roberts, a left-hander himself, threw a round of batting practice prior to the homestand finale. The Dodgers proceeded to tag Rockies starter Tyler Anderson for four runs (two earned) on six hits in five innings.
Scott Van Slyke homered off Anderson, Chris Taylor doubled, and Kiké Hernandez doubled and hit a triple. Considering their success, Roberts was asked if he would keep with throwing batting practice, which outside of Wednesday’s he’s done on occasion.
“I’ll do whatever it takes,” Roberts said with a laugh. “We have Robbie Ray on Saturday, so I’ll be toeing the rubber during BP.”
Of course, the Dodgers’ previous success off Anderson and/or players hitting to their potential were more of a factor than facing Roberts during BP. Anderson walked four and allowed five runs on five hits in five innings when he started against the Dodgers at Coors Field on April 9.
Ray is the lone lefty the Arizona Diamondbacks have lined up for their weekend series against the Dodgers. The San Francisco Giants are set to start Madison Bumgarner (Tuesday) and Matt Moore (Thursday) in the upcoming four-game series at AT&T Park.