Cardinals @ Dodgers May 24, 2017: Hill vs. Leake; Joc out, Chris Taylor makes CF debut

(Via)

The Dodgers managed to come out on the right side of last night’s 13-inning game, avoiding what would have been one of the most deflating losses of the year. Tonight, Rich Hill (2.77 ERA, 5.42 FIP, 1.385 WHIP) will try to help them secure the series win against the Cardinals.

Cardinals
Dodgers
7:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
CF
 Fowler
3B
Forsythe
RF
Piscotty
SS
Seager
1B
Carpenter
C
Grandal
3B
Gyorko
LF
Bellinger
C
Molina
1B
González
SS
Díaz
CF
Taylor
LF
Grichuk 2B Utley
2B
Wong
RF
Puig
P
Leake (R)
P
Hill (L)

Hill will be making his second start since his most recent blister-related DL stint. On May 16, Hill pitched five innings of run-run ball against the Giants in San Francisco. He threw 82 pitches, allowed six hits (one home run), struck out six batters and didn’t walk anybody. Overall, it was an encouraging performance from a guy who hadn’t pitched in a major league game in a month.

On the mound for the Cardinals is Mike Leake (2.03 ERA, 3.18 FIP, 0.994 WHIP), who is having a very good season thus far. Prior to yesterday, he was actually the National League ERA leader (although Kershaw lowered his ERA to 2.01 last night, giving him the current lead). Leake’s never been a big strikeout guy, and that’s no different this year (6.24 K/9, 17.5 K%). However, he’s posted some nice walk numbers (1.69 BB/9, 4.7 BB%), and his 53.7% ground ball rate is fourth highest in the National League.

Leake, now in his second year as a Cardinal, faced the Dodgers twice last season: once in Los Angeles (6 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 3 K), and once in St. Louis (6 IP, 7 R, 6 ER, 12 H, 4 K). He’s made eight starts this season, four of which the Cardinals have won and four of which they have lost.

Joc Pederson, who had an ugly outfield collision with Yasiel Puig last night, is out of the lineup, though he is available “in an emergency,” despite still being monitored for a concussion, which … doesn’t sound great, to be honest. Chris Taylor will instead be starting in center field for the first time in his major league career. Taylor’s 28 Spring Training innings in center and 24 Triple-A innings earlier this season are the extent of his professional experience in the outfield, but Dave Roberts says “the comfort level … is there” for Chris.

——

A look ahead at the Dodgers’ rotation in their upcoming series against the Cubs:

We may be seeing Alex WoodBrandon McCarthy and Kershaw this weekend, but it doesn’t seem we’ll be seeing Hyun-Jin Ryu any time soon:

Meanwhile, Julio Urías has his first start set for his return to the Oklahoma City Dodgers:

About Sarah Wexler

Sarah Wexler
Sarah Wexler is a native Angeleno and longtime Dodger fan. She began blogging about baseball in 2012 on her Tumblr, New Grass On The Field, where she covered an array of topics but especially enjoyed exploring baseball history. She is now a reporter/producer for MLB.com. She earned her master's degree in Sports Management from Cal State Long Beach. She graduated from New York University in 2014 with a bachelor's in History and a minor in American Studies. She's an avid Springsteen fan, which is a big boost to her baseball writer cred.