The best team in baseball, which already has a home-run record this season, will return home Tuesday while trying to get one of its more talented pitchers on track.
Left-hander Julio Urias is scheduled to pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers when they open a three-game series against an Arizona Diamondbacks club that shed some talent before Monday’s trade deadline.
The Dodgers’ offense that will back Urias is ready to continue its launch party.
The Dodgers, at 26-10, enter having set a National League record for home runs in a calendar month at 57. Yes, the NL’s first use of a designated hitter in regular-season games helped, but the long-ball fest is evidence that the team’s offense is clicking as intended.
“We’re having fun, and I think we’re all now used to this season,” slugger Cody Bellinger told reporters Sunday after hitting one of three Dodgers home runs at Texas. “It took a while for a lot of people to get used to it, but it feels normal now, and we’re playing like we thought we would.”
Mookie Betts leads the Dodgers with 11 home runs, while Bellinger has 10. Both Max Muncy and Corey Seager have nine. A.J. Pollock has six home runs, while Joc Pederson has five, with both of those players capable of hitting more.
Urias (2-0, 3.67 ERA) will take whatever his teammates are offering. His raw numbers look decent enough, but he has no-decisions in three of his last four outings and is coming off his worst start of the season. On Aug. 25 in San Francisco, he gave up four runs on six hits over four innings.
One of Urias’ two victories came against the Diamondbacks on Aug. 1, when he gave up two runs on five hits over six innings in Phoenix. He is 2-1 lifetime against the Diamondbacks with a 2.08 ERA in four appearances (one start).
Arizona will counter with left-hander Alex Young (1-1, 4.70 ERA), who has been filling the shoes of Madison Bumgarner in the rotation. Bumgarner has not pitched since Aug. 9 because of a back issue.
Young does not have a start against the Dodgers this season, but made two relief appearances against them in July, giving up one earned run in a combined two innings. He also had three appearances (two starts) against the Dodgers last season, going 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA.
It was a busy trade deadline day for the Diamondbacks, who sent left-hander Robbie Ray to the Toronto Blue Jays, outfielder Starling Marte to the Miami Marlins, right-hander Archie Bradley to the Cincinnati Reds and left-hander Andrew Chafin to the Chicago Cubs.
Arizona received left-handers Travis Bergen and Caleb Smith in the deals, as well as right-hander Humberto Mejia and utility man Josh VanMeter, among other returns.
“I commiserate and empathize with the fans for 2020,” Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen told reporters. “We started this season with every expectation of making the playoffs. At this moment in time we are not projected to do so, and that is very disappointing. … I think we’re situated in a fairly strong position moving into the offseason.”
The Dodgers’ only move at the deadline was to trade right-hander Ross Stripling to the Toronto Blue Jays for two players to be named later.
–Field Level Media