Dodgers start 7-game home stand tonight against Brewers
Tonight the Los Angeles Dodgers open up a four-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers, one of the strongest teams in baseball and currently 1.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs. The Brewers have had as good a season as the Dodgers, maybe a little better. But in the month of July the Dodgers have continued a surge that began in May and the Brewers have barely stayed at .500 for the month. Los Angeles is 16-8 in July and Milwaukee is 13-13.
On the road trip that started the Dodgers second half they defeated the Brewers 2-1 in a three-game series in Milwaukee. The Dodgers newest acquisition, shortstop Manny Machado joined the team in Milwaukee and immediately had an impact. He had five hits in 13 at-bats for Los Angeles, solidifying his position with the team this season.
As Machado gels with his teammates in the field his defense will likely improve. Not that it’s bad right now or even mediocre. He’s a pro who can play two positions very well and that is the kind of versatility that has helped the Dodgers win the West Division that last five years.
The Brewers have recently acquired third baseman Mike Moustakas and pitcher Joakim Soria from the Royals and White Sox respectively.
Moustakas is giving the Brewers an experienced third baseman and strong bat and that, they hope, will turn them around going into the last half of this season.They will need to keep up with the Cubs, who know how to close out a season, as the Brewers have seen the last two years.
Milwaukee went through a six-game losing streak going into the All-Star break. With their new players they need to continue their current pace since the All-Star break (6-4) at least, to overtake the Cubs or at least make the wild card game.
The Dodgers are just a half game ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League West and just one game ahead of the Colorado Rockies. The San Francisco Giants are just 6.5 games behind Los Angeles so there is really no margin for extended slumps.
After this four-game series with the Brewers, the Astros will be here for three games so the next two series will be important for all three teams. Dodgers fans should see seven great games before the Dodgers head out on the road.
On Friday the Dodgers plan to honor outfielder Andre Ethier who recently announced he has retired. Ethier spent his entire 12-year career with Los Angeles, reaching the All-Star Game twice. The will be a big event and game for Dodger Fans.
Kenta Maeda starts for the Dodgers tonight and Freddy Peralta for the Brewers.
Below we have Claudia Gestro’s interviews with Max Muncy, Chris Taylor and Ross Stripling of the Dodgers; plus Lorenzo Cain and Travis Shaw of Brewers.
Photos by Claudia Gestro
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