Cubs @ Dodgers June 26, 2018: Stripling vs. Lester, Part 2

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

The Dodgers (42-35) secured the series opener win against the Cubs (42-34) on Monday night thanks to seven shutout innings from Kenta Maeda and two dongs by Enrique Hernandez and Chris Taylor. Now they turn to Ross Stripling (6-2, 1.99 ERA, 2.47 FIP) in game two of four Tuesday evening.

Cubs
Dodgers
7:10 PM
Los Angeles
2B
Zobrist
SS
Hernandez
RF
Heyward
3B
Turner
3B
Baez
LF
Kemp
1B
Rizzo
1B
Muncy
C Contreras
2B
Forsythe
LF
Schwarber
CF
Bellinger
CF
Happ RF Puig
SS
Russell
C
Barnes
P
Lester (L)
P
Stripling
(R)

Stripling had one of his worst starts of the year against the Cubs at Wrigley Field last week, and it wasn’t even that bad. He allowed three runs over six innings, struck out seven and walked none on 84 pitches. Stripling’s name has been discussed as a longshot for an All-Star nod, and tonight’s start could make or break his chances.

Stripling leads active Dodger starters in ERA (1.99), K/9 (10.6), and a 7.73 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Although Chicken Strip’s short of qualifying right now, he’s right behind Jacob deGrom in ERA and seventh in the NL in K/9 among NL starters with at least 50 innings pitched. He’s been dominant at home, going 4-0 with a 1.82 ERA in 10 games (5 starts).

Ross the Boss will have to be careful pitching to pesky Javier Baez who has three doubles in three at-bats against him. Baez is starting at third base and batting third in Joe Maddon‘s lineup tonight. The Cubs placed Kris Bryant (shoulder) on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday.

Jon Lester (9-2, 2.10 ERA, 4.19 FIP), who will counter Stripling for the rematch, wasn’t sharp at all in his start against the Dodgers last Wednesday. He actually pitched worse than Stripling but still managed to shut out the Dodgers over seven innings on 119 pitches. It was a frustrating game, because the Dodgers had a lot of hard hit balls and deep fly balls. Wrigley ultimately did them in.

Kiké Hernandez now has a career-high 13 home runs on the year. He’s 5-for-20 (.250) against Lester with a triple and two home runs. He’s 4-for-7 (.429) with two home runs in two starts in the leadoff spot this season.

Overall, the Dodgers are hitting .234/.319/.413 with 29 home runs against left-handed pitching this year. That’s 10th in the league.

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Tony Cingrani (left rotator cuff strain) and Pedro Baez (right biceps tendinitis) played catch today. Walker Buehler (right rib microfracture) threw a bullpen session.

Old friend alert:

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The Dodgers go for their fifth straight win, but the Cubs will try to avoid their sixth straight loss. The Arizona D-backs lost yesterday, so the Dodgers now sit 1 1/2 games back in the NL West. The Cubs are 2 1/2 games back of the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central. With the 2-1 win over the Cubs yesterday, the Dodgers also moved into the second Wild Card position in the NL. Let’s get wild.

About Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler
Stacie Wheeler, born and raised in So Cal, has been writing about the Dodgers since 2010. She wrote daily as the co-editor of Lasorda's Lair for five long years, and she has also written for Dodgers Nation, Dodger Blue 1958 and The Hardball Times. She currently contributes to True Blue LA. Stacie graduated from the University Of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in Cinema-Television. You can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel, DishingUpTheDodgers.