Dodgers @ Braves July 29, 2018: Stripling for the sweep

(Via)

Quickly pivoting from a sad series in Philadelphia, the Dodgers are now playing for a four-game sweep against the second-place Braves on the road. Baseball is funny. The Dodgers have outscored Atlanta by a margin of 17-4 in the first three games of this set, obviously supported by stellar pitching. Today, it’s Ross Stripling‘s turn to try to extend this brilliant run.

Dodgers
Braves
10:35 AM
Atlanta
SS
Taylor
LF
Acuña
3B
Machado
2B
Albies
LF
Kemp
1B
Freeman
CF
Hernández
RF
Markakis
1B
Muncy
C
Suzuki
C
Grandal
3B
Camargo
RF
Puig CF Inciarte
2B Forsythe
SS
Swanson
P
Stripling
(R)
P
Newcomb
(L)

Stripling got beat up a bit in Philadelphia and looked pretty bad in his start against the Padres before the break, and he enters today’s outing with an ERA of four since the start of July. Given that he’s sitting at 100 innings even, just 19-2/3 innings shy of his career high set in 2016, there are some concerns of fatigue creeping in. In fairness, that “cold stretch” spans just four starts, and it’s four starts in which he’s struck out 25 and walked two batters. Stripling has managed to set expectations so high in such a short period of time.

The most concerning part about Stripling’s recent “rough patch” (if you can call it that) is the home run ball. Stripling has allowed homers in seven of his past eight starts, a total of ten surrendered in that span. I’d imagine I’d feel worse about that stretch if he a strikeout to walk ratio worse than 48:3. This homer-happy set of games started in Stripling’s June 10th start against these same Braves, when both Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman took him deep.

Today’s game is a pitching rematch of that June 10th start, with lefty Sean Newcomb facing Stripling once again. In that game, Newcomb allowed five runs on seven hits in 5-1/3 innings, with the Dodgers winning behind the strength of a Logan Forsythe home run (yes, really). This time around, Cody Bellinger gets the start off against the lefty, while Yasmani Grandal gets the start on his weaker side of the plate. After looking somewhat uncomfortable physically at the plate (in terms of stretching and wincing), Yasiel Puig is back in the lineup as well, which could be interpreted as a positive sign for his health. I know some are saying that the Dodgers might be trying to showcase Puig for a trade right now, but trading him would be pretty dumb. I can’t wait for July 31st to be gone.

——

It looks like Hyun-Jin Ryu is closer to returning:

Look at that disrespectful t-shirt.

——

The Dodgers are celebrating last night’s weird controversy in an odd way:

Whatever works, I guess.

About Daniel Brim

Daniel Brim
Daniel Brim grew up in the Los Angeles area but doesn't live there anymore. He still watches the Dodgers and writes about them sometimes.