Series preview: Dodgers at D-backs

April, 11, 2014
Apr 11
9:00
AM PT
The Los Angeles Dodgers return to the scene of the crime -- or at least some people seemed to view it as a crime when they playfully took a dip in the Chase Field swimming pool while celebrating their NL West title last September.

Several Arizona Diamondbacks players ripped the Dodgers to reporters or through their Twitter accounts, and Arizona Sen. John McCain joined in, via Twitter, calling the Dodgers “overpaid, immature, arrogant spoiled brats.”

[+] EnlargeMark McGwire, Matt Williams
Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY SportsThe Dodgers and Diamondbacks haven't exactly gotten along recently.
And now?

You get the impression neither team is particularly concerned with any lingering hostility from last year, whether it’s left from their June brawl or the late-season swim. Both teams have been hit fairly hard by injuries already -- perhaps in part because of their long, season-opening trip to Australia -- and the Diamondbacks are dealing with a messy pitching situation and a 4-8 record after their 10-inning win Thursday night against the San Francisco Giants.

The first question the Dodgers need to answer is which Hyun-Jin Ryu will show up? Will it be the guy who dazzled in his first two starts, pitching 12 scoreless innings, or the guy who got hit around by the Giants in the home opener, working his shortest start in the major leagues? Ryu had to wait two extra days to get that one out of his system as the Dodgers played only four games since that April 4 day game. They played a two-game series with the Detroit Tigers surrounded by off days.

Arizona will use Brandon McCarthy to oppose Ryu on Friday. McCarthy has shown revived stuff in his early starts, but has been hurt by blow-up innings.

The Dodgers have their best healthy pitcher, Zack Greinke, going in the second game of the series against Wade Miley, whom the Dodgers faced on Opening Day in Australia. Miley was a last-minute replacement for Arizona’s young lefty ace, Patrick Corbin, who underwent Tommy John surgery.

It’s likely Yasiel Puig will return at some point in the series, probably Friday, after missing three games because of an injured left thumb from sliding headfirst into first base on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers will have to try to cool off slugger Mark Trumbo, who went deep off closer Kenley Jansen in Australia and has five home runs and 13 RBIs through the first 12 games.

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Clayton Kershaw
WINS ERA SO IP
21 1.77 239 198
OTHER LEADERS
BAY. Puig .296
HRA. Gonzalez 27
RBIA. Gonzalez 116
RY. Puig 92
OPSY. Puig .863
ERAC. Kershaw 1.77
SOC. Kershaw 239