Dodgers @ Cardinals June 1, 2017: Brunch baseball

(Via)

The Dodgers take on the Cardinals in a matinee, looking to take three of four from St. Louis. Last night’s loss was annoying (and even more so when you think about it), but if it takes a home run in the bottom of the eighth to lose to Carlos Martinez, then I’ll roll the dice on that every time.

Dodgers
Cardinals
10:45 a.m.
St. Louis
CF
Taylor
CF
Fowler
SS
Seager
1B
Carpenter
LF
Bellinger
RF
Piscotty
1B
Gonzalez
3B
Gyorko
2B
Utley
C
Molina
3B
Hernandez
LF
Pham
C
Barnes 2B DeJong
RF
Puig
SS
Diaz
P
McCarthy (R)
P
Wainwright (R)

Brandon McCarthy gets the call against Adam Wainwright today. McCarthy is making his first start since shutting out the Cubs over six innings. He also left that game after six because of a sore knee, but as promised, he’s making his next start. With the bullpen, save Ross Stripling, getting a day off yesterday, it should be plenty rested if McCarthy struggles or his knee doesn’t allow him to go deep into the game. But here’s hoping it does because he has been fantastic this season: 3.28 ERA, 2.95 FIP, 47.3 GB%, 22.0 K%, 6.5 BB% and a 1.3 fWAR (third on the team behind Alex Wood and Clayton Kershaw — both 1.9).

Wainwright has been a bit better than his 4.20 ERA would indicate. He has a 3.43 FIP and a 48.8 GB%. He’s also been a bit unlucky with a .355 BABIP, which has contributed to an opponents batting average of .290.

McCarthy and Wainwright are similar pitchers — both are tall, both have similar mechanics and both have identical repertoires (velocity in parenthesis).

McCarthy pitch usage
FB: 46.1 (93.0)
CB: 21.4 (79.9)
CT: 28.4 (91.2)
CH: 4.2 (88.5)

Wainwright pitch usage
FB: 46.9 (90.5)
CB: 26.3 (73.6)
CT: 23.4 (85.6)
CH: 3.3 (82.5)

The biggest difference, as you can see, is velocity. So, expect to see a lot of this for as long as both pitchers are in the game.

I thought Cody Bellinger might get a day off in this series (especially after an 0-for-6, 4-strikeout performance on Tuesday), but he’s in the No. 3 spot toady because Yasmani Grandal is getting the day off. Other than that, it’s a pretty standard lineup these days for the Dodgers. It might be a better defensive alignment with Enrique Hernandez in center field and Chris Taylor at third base, but Taylor isn’t going to get better in center without reps.

——

Onto the news, and there are two key items.

That’s not good because:

Adam Liberatore has been up-and-down this season, and forearm tightness is never a good thing. It’s an indicator of future Tommy John surgery, though it isn’t a 100 percent certainty. Grant Dayton has been recalled to take his spot. With Luis Avilan still out (for an unknown amount of time), Dayton is going to have to rediscover his magic from last season if the Dodgers are to have an effective lefty in the bullpen.

Honestly, I’m not particularly interested in seeing any of those guys on the active roster. If Liberatore is down for an extended period of time and Dayton doesn’t figure things out, the Dodgers might target a left-handed reliever sometime next month.

If that news wasn’t bad enough, there’s this:

But, it doesn’t sound as bad as it could be.

Still not great, but much better than it being in his shoulder. With Hyun-Jin Ryu coming off his best start of the season, there’s no reason to rush Wood back. His rotation spot will be here when he’s healthy.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.