Astros @ Dodgers August 3, 2018: AstroWorld Series rematch

Photo: Sarah Wexler

The Dodgers had quite a night last night, as seven dongs powered them to a 21-5 victory in the series finale against the Milwaukee Brewers. They salvaged a series split in the four-game set after losing each of the first two games, and now sit a game ahead of the Diamondbacks in the NL West once again. This is all happy news, considering this will be an awkward and uncomfortable weekend as the Dodgers welcome the Houston Astros back to Los Angeles. Last time the Astros were around, they took game seven to clinch the first World Series title in franchise history. Hurray for memories.

Astros
Dodgers
7:10 PM
Los Angeles
RF
Springer
LF
Pederson
LF
Reddick
SS
Machado
SS
Bregman
3B
Turner
1B
Gurriel
C
Grandal
3B
Davis
CF
Bellinger
2B
Gonzalez
RF
Kemp
C
Maldonado 1B Muncy
CF
Marisnick
2B
Taylor
P
Verlander (R)
P
Wood (L)

Alex Wood starts the opener of the series for the Dodgers. Wood makes his 22nd start of the season, and his 117 1/3 innings thrown this season makes him the only Dodger qualified starter. Wood snapped a six-start streak of at least six innings pitched in his last outing, as he was removed with two outs in the sixth inning. He wasn’t efficient as he needed 96 pitches to get to that point and walked a season-high four batters, but Wood kept the Braves off the scoreboard and allowed only one hit to the second batter of the game. Wood lowered his ERA to a solid 3.68, which is still the highest ERA among Dodger starters. Wood faced the Astros twice last postseason and was solid both times. He started game four in Houston and held the Astros scoreless for 5 2/3 innings before a solo home run by George Springer knocked him out of the game. Wood also appeared in relief the decisive game seven and faced the minimum over the final two innings.

Justin Verlander starts for the Astros, who come into the series having used the same five starters in every game this season. They have the best starters’ ERA (3.04) and WHIP (1.09) in baseball, while the Dodgers are in second in both of those stats (3.32 and 1.15, respectively). Verlander has been his usual workhorse self. If he lasts 6 1/3 innings tonight, he’ll have more innings pitched this season than anyone else in baseball. He’s been excellent this season, with the third-lowest ERA (2.24) and second-best WHIP among qualified starters. His 32.9 percent strikeout rate is the fourth-best in baseball and he owns the seventh-lowest walk rate (4.7 percent). He’s been great, but let’s stop acting like we all knew this at last years trade deadline and the Dodgers made a huge mistake trading for Yu Darvish instead of Verlander. When the Dodgers traded for Darvish, Verlander had a 4.29 ERA. Darvish had an all-time bad World Series, but Verlander left both of his starts losing and wasn’t exactly dominant in either outing (five earned runs in 11 innings). /rant

Brian Dozier is out of the lineup today as Chris Taylor draws the start at second. Yasiel Puig also sits tonight, with Matt Kemp starting in right and Joc Pederson starting in left. The Dodgers draw the Astros at a bit of a fortunate time, as both Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve are on the DL and the Dodgers likely won’t see either of them in this series. Springer was dealing with a shoulder injury, but is back in the lineup tonight.

——

John Axford is active for today’s game.

That clearly explains Erik Goeddel‘s struggles last night. He was clearly dealing with lat inflammation. It’s not my fault that he’s broken.

——

It might be a while until we see another Dodger reliever.

Tony Cingrani hasn’t pitched since June 6 due to a shoulder strain. He’s had his rehab stalled a few times with setbacks, and this seems to be another one.

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If today’s game wasn’t a perfect storm to make a Travis Scott pun, the headline likely would have given a nod to Andre Ethier. Ethier’s officially retiring today and being honored before today’s game. I don’t trust anyone whose favorite Ethier memory isn’t this.

I guess I’ll also accept any of his million walk-offs.

——

Hyun-Jin Ryu survived his rehab start last night.

He allowed two hits and struck out four in his four innings for Single A-Rancho Cucamonga last night. He’ll have at least one more rehab start next week.

About Alex Campos

Alex Campos
I'm a writer that has blogged at a whole bunch of places about a whole bunch of sports. I was most recently writing for Chavez Ravine Fiends, but was also the former editor at Dodgers Way. I graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Marketing. At Long Beach, I covered the Dirtbags in the 2014 season as an assistant sports editor at the Daily 49er.