Dodgers return to Diamondbacks' 'house' (Aug 29, 2017)
PHOENIX -- Three weeks after the Arizona Diamondbacks' "our house" moment, the Los Angeles Dodgers are back in town.
Reliever Archie Bradley boldly staked out the D-backs' territory during a 6-3 victory over the Dodgers on Aug. 8, stoking the crowd when he walked off the mound after the top of the eighth inning with arms pumping, shouting, "This is our house. Let's go."
Bradley said he meant no disrespect. He compared it to Phoenix guard Devin Booker's similar proclamation as the Suns kept Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook from setting the NBA season triple-double record two blocks west at Talking Stick Arena in April. Bradley attended that game.
"It's the same thing," Bradley said then. "You look up and you see the blue (of Dodgers fans) in the stands. This is our house. I don't care how many games back we are. I don't care if we are the worst team in baseball. I want to win at home, and I want to see Diamondbacks in the stands.
"I don't like seeing blue in the stands. I'm a competitor, and it's the emotions coming out of me. It was not about divisions. ... It was about a moment, and I just felt it and kind of let it out.
"They're the best team in baseball. Of course, I'm pumped up to beat them."
The Dodgers (91-38) still are baseball's best. They won the final two games of that series, and now they arrive for their final three-game visit of the season to Chase Field.
Los Angeles left-hander Rich Hill (9-5, 3.32 ERA) will oppose Arizona right-hander Zack Godley (5-7, 3.15) in the series opener.
In his most recent appearance, Hill lost a no-hitter and the game when Pittsburgh's Josh Harrison led off the 10th inning with a homer last Wednesday. The Pirates escaped with a 1-0 win even though their only other baserunner against Hill came on a ninth-inning error.
Arizona (73-58) is two games ahead of Colorado in the race for the first National League wild card after winning six of its past seven. The Milwaukee Brewers are three games behind the Rockies.
The series begins a critical division stretch for the Diamondbacks, who have six games against the Dodgers and seven against Colorado between now and Sept. 14. The winner of the wild-card game is almost certain to meet the Dodgers in the NL Division Series.
"We just want to play good baseball against every team, especially the good teams," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said when asked if the Dodgers series carried extra importance.
"We want to continue to show the rest of the league that something special is happening here in Arizona. We fight. We play hard. We grind. We do all those little things that we are supposed to do so that when somebody walks into the stadium they know they are going to have a tough ballgame for nine innings. That's what we are mostly focused on.
"The Dodgers are a special team. They are having an incredible year. They are projected to win over 110 games. That's an amazing year. We know who they are, and we want to make sure that we are ready for that challenge when they walk in here."
The Dodgers lost two of three games to Milwaukee over the weekend, their first series loss since dropping two of three to the Washington Nationals from June 5-7. They went on a 51-9 burst after winning the last game of that series, the second-best stretch in major league history and the best since 1912.
With top Rookie of the Year candidate Clay Bellinger on the disabled list due to an ankle injury, the Dodgers have scored 11 runs in their past five games and have been shut out twice. Bellinger is expected to be activated for the second game of the series Wednesday.
"You look at our club offensively, that's where we're a little cold right now," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "You look at the guys in the lineup who aren't swinging the bats the way they are capable or have been this year, it's all kind of happening at once. We'll get through it."
Hill is 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA in two starts against Arizona this season, with 11 strikeouts in 10 innings. He is 1-3 with a 4.12 ERA in seven career starts against the Diamondbacks, having spent most of his career in the American League. Hill is 4-2 with a 3.49 ERA in nine road starts this season.
Godley is 0-1 with a 2.92 ERA against the Dodgers this season and 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA against them in seven career appearances, three starts. Godley is 2-2 with a 3.22 ERA in eight home starts this season.