Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Top things to know: Dodgers at D'Backs
By Will Cohen, ESPN Stats & Info
Jake Roth/USA TODAY SportsThe Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks play the third game of a four-game series in Phoenix tonight (10 ET on ESPN/WatchESPN). Arizona needs only one win in the next two days to win the season series for the third straight year.
Don Mattingly has the Dodgers on the verge of a 3rd division title in the last 6 years.
Here are a few storylines you might hear about during the broadcast.
1. The Dodgers magic number to clinch first place in the NL West is two, meaning they can clinch with a win tonight.
This would be LA’s third division title in the last six years. However, in each of the last two instances (2008, 2009) the Dodgers were eliminated in the NLCS by the Philadelphia Phillies.
2. The Dodgers have overcome a number of injuries this season. In fact, they’ve used the DL 25 times, more than any other team in the Senior Circuit.
Matt Kemp made his first start off the DL Tuesday night and posted his first four-hit, three-RBI game since Sept. 26, 2012. This was also the fifth such game of his career (four have come against NL West opponents).
3. Paul Goldschmidt has belted five home runs and 18 RBIs off Dodgers pitching this season. His RBIs are tied with Colorado's Michael Cuddyer and San Francisco's Hunter Pence for the most among all players against Los Angeles this season.
In addition, Goldschmidt is riding a seven-game hitting streak that has seen him hit .566 (15-for-27) with nine RBIs.
4. The Diamondbacks have won their share of dramatic games this season. Arizona has 16 extra-inning wins, most by an NL team since the 1999 Atlanta Braves (17) and their 13 walk-off wins are a club record.
• Yasiel Puig is hitting .554 on the first pitch of an at-bat this season, the highest average in the majors (minimum 50 plate appearances).
• Arizona’s Didi Gregorius has had a solid rookie season. Among NL rookies, only Yasiel Puig (.401 to .328) has posted a higher OBP (minimum 300 at-bats).
• Opponents are hitting .071 (4-for-56) with runners in scoring position this season against Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen.