Will Rockies fare better at Dodger Stadium without fans in attendance?

Dodger Stadium is an inhospitable host.

Four decks full of rowdy fans, a blaring sound system that shakes players to their core, and a very good local baseball team make Chavez Ravine a very difficult place for visiting teams.

Last year, the Dodgers went 59-22 in their home ballpark, the best home record in the National League. The Rockies were 1-8 there, and all-time, they are 82-143 in Los Angeles.

“When this place has fans in it, it is a very hostile environment,” Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland said Friday before the Rockies took the field at Dodger Stadium. Freeland is scheduled to start Saturday night’s game.

“It’s very loud,” Freeland continued. “They have a lot of loud music, they have a lot of fans and it’s a bit of an intimidating atmosphere.

“And, honestly, you look at their lineup and they obviously have a World Series caliber (team). You put those two together, it doesn’t make winning here easy. But at the same time, they’re playing the same game.”

This season, of course, there are no fans in the stands and it might be making a difference. The Dodgers entered Friday’s game with an 8-5 mark at home vs. an 11-3 record on the road.

Road warriors. The Rockies entered Friday’s play with a 1.63 road ERA through 10 games, the lowest road ERA in the majors. Overall, the Rockies have given up only 1.01 home runs per game, the third-lowest mark in the majors, trailing only Cleveland (0.97) and Houston (1.00).

Last season, however, the Dodgers hit 44 homers in their 19 games against Colorado. According to STATS, LLC, that number was tied for the most home runs vs. an opponent in a single season in National League history. Cincinnati hit 44 off the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956.

Tap time. Outfielder Raimel Tapia was in the leadoff spot for the second consecutive game Friday. It could be, if not a permanent move, then at least something manager Bud Black will use frequently.

“It makes sense for him to lead off tonight and we’ll see what we do moving forward,” Black said. “But Tapia has had experience as a leadoff hitter in the minor leagues. He feels comfortable there. So I can see this continuing as long as his performance continues to be where it is right now.”

Tapia batted leadoff for the first time this season on Thursday and drew a career-high four walks. Friday marked the 10th consecutive start for the left-handed hitter. Over the previous nine games, he hit .414 (12-for-29) with one double, one triple, five RBIs, eight walks and a .541 on-base percentage.

Harvey update. The Rockies recalled left-hander James Pazos from their alternate training site Friday after placing right-hander Joe Harvey on the 10-day injured list with a right elbow sprain. Harvey was pulled out of Thursday’s game against Houston in the sixth inning after feeling his elbow tighten up.

“Joe went through an MRI and some scans (Thursday),” Black said. “It showed a little bit of trauma to the elbow joint. We’re going to continue to assess it. It doesn’t look as though anything is pending or is long term (that) might affect Joe.”

On Deck
Rockies LHP Kyle Freeland
(2-1, 2.56 ERA) at Dodgers RHP Dustin May (1-1, 3.00)
7:10 p.m. Saturday, Dodger Stadium
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 AM

Freeland is 5-for-5 in quality starts this season and has been Colorado’s most consistent pitcher. He’s coming off a tough, 2-1 loss at Houston in which he pitched six innings, allowing two runs on seven hits. He struck out two and walked none. Freeland has a 3.96 ERA in five career starts at Dodger Stadium, where he’s struck out 14 and walked 14 but only served up one homer. Freeland’s WHIP at Chavez Ravine is a relatively high 1.680. A.J. Pollock has hit Freeland hard, batting .400 (8-for-20) with two home runs. May allowed two runs on seven hits and struck out two over 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision versus the Angels on Sunday. He needed 88 pitches to get through his short outing. He has not allowed more than two runs in any start this season but he’s made it to the sixth inning just twice. May’s primary pitch is a two-seam fastball that averages 97.9 mph. May has faced the Rockies just once, throwing one inning of relief last season.

Trending: Raimel Tapia entered Friday night’s game hitting .414 (12-for-29) in his past nine games, with seven hits in his last 16 at-bats.

At issue: The Rockies entered the three-game weekend series at Los Angeles 4-20 in the past 24 games vs. the Dodgers since Sept. 9, 2018. Also, the Rockies have lost 13 of the last 14 games at Dodger Stadium since July 1, 2018.

Pitching Probables:
Sunday: Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela (3-0, 3.90) at Dodgers RHP Ross Stripling (3-1, 5.61), 2:10 p.m., ATTRM
Monday: Rockies RHP Ryan Castellani (0-1, 3.77) at Diamondbacks RHP Merrill Kelly (3-2, 2.59), 7:40 p.m., ATTRM
Tuesday: Rockies RHP German Marquez (2-4, 4.38) at Diamondbacks TBD, 7:40 p.m., ATTRM

Source: Read Full Article