Dodgers line up rotation for crucial stretch in NL West race

first_img How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire “Obviously, understanding that every game is very difficult, but when you’re playing a division rival that essentially counts as two games. So to have the guys you want in a particular lineup, that’s what we feel is best.”Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.What the Dodgers also feel is a sense of urgency. Roberts acknowledged that his team has “dialed it up” over the past week.“I think the focus, tightening things up regardless of opponent – we had to do that,” he said. “I’ve seen that over this past week. We’ve dialed it up a couple notches – which we needed to.“Up and down the lineup, we’ve taken better at-bats. I think that’s how I can sum it up – consistently better focus each at-bat. … Yeah, I think that’s a sense of urgency. It’s no longer a long season. You’re not going to hear those things. We have 30 games left. It’s a sprint and every game matters.”CLOSER CALLFollowing a rough ninth inning in which he gave up two runs Tuesday night, Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen vowed to “figure it out.” He has given up seven runs on 10 hits (including four home runs) in four innings since being treated for atrial fibrillation. “I’ll let this whole – whatever you want to call it and put it past me,” he said. “I’ll figure it out.”Jansen will have to figure it out while holding down the high-wire job of closer for a team in the middle of a playoff race. It’s questionable how much patience the Dodgers can afford to have with Jansen.“Can we afford to? I think it’s just more of we expect him to figure it out,” Roberts said. “He and Honey (pitching coach Rick Honeycutt) are working some things out. With a guy like Kenley, the track record has to carry some weight, the trust in the player and the person has to carry some weight. And also you do have to factor in the recency, for sure. But right now, I’m counting on him to figure it out.”PUIG APPEALThe Dodgers are still awaiting a decision on Yasiel Puig’s appeal of his two-game suspension for an incident involving catcher Nick Hundley of the San Francisco Giants on Aug. 14.Puig’s hearing was held by conference call on Tuesday but no decision was made by MLB chief baseball officer Joe Torre by Wednesday’s game time. Puig started the game in right field.ALSOWith five games left in the Pacific Coast League regular season, left-hander Julio Urias has been transferred from Class-A Rancho Cucamonga to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Urias pitched most recently on Monday, going two innings for the RC Quakes. Urias has had at least four days off between appearances since returning from shoulder surgery.In six appearances (two in the Arizona Summer League, four in the California League), Urias has allowed five runs and eight hits (including three home runs) in 10-1/3 innings while striking out 19 and walking four.UP NEXTDiamondbacks (TBA) at Dodgers (LHP Rich Hill, 6-4, 3.50 ERA), Thursday, 7:10 p.m., SportsNet LA (where available)Related Articles ARLINGTON, Texas — Acknowledging the importance of the upcoming stretch to their playoff hopes, the Dodgers have shuffled their starting rotation so their ace, Clayton Kershaw, will face the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies in his next two starts.Kershaw will get an extra day’s rest before starting Saturday’s game at home against the Diamondbacks. That puts him in line to also start the opener of the Dodgers’ series in Colorado next week – also on five days’ rest thanks to an off day before the series.Never a big fan of deviating in his routine, Kershaw has actually made 13 of his 20 starts this season on more than four days’ rest. In those starts, he is 5-2 with a 2.13 ERA (slightly better than his mark on regular rest).“This time of year when you have 30 games left and you have an opportunity to maximize each starter and put them in the best position to have success, it only makes sense,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of the shuffle, which will have Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu start the first two games against the Diamondbacks, Kershaw on Saturday and Walker Buehler in the series finale on Sunday. Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season last_img

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