Cardinals @ Dodgers August 21, 2018: Dodgers look to Pouncedeleon

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

Kenley Jansen returned last night, which is a good thing. In the most predictable plot twist of the century, last night was Jansen’s turn to give up the deciding runs in the ninth inning, as two solo home runs gave the Cardinals a 5-3 win in the series opener.

Knew this team would set records.

Cardinals
Dodgers
7:10 PM
Los Angeles
1B
Martinez
LF
Pederson
C
Molina
3B
Turner
RF
O’Neill
SS
Machado
LF
Ozuna
CF
Bellinger
SS
DeJong
1B
Muncy
3B
Gyorko
C
Grandal
CF
Bader 2B Taylor
2B
Wong
RF
Puig
P
Poncedeleon (R)
P
Ryu (L)

Hyun-Jin Ryu makes his second start since returning from a three-month DL stint. He looked about as good as we could have expected, as he held the Giants to three hits in six shutout innings while striking out six and not walking a batter. Ryu was robbed of the ever-important win when Caleb Ferguson allowed a game-tying home run to Andrew McCutchen in the eighth inning, but he pitched well and efficiently, needing only 89 innings to complete six innings and facing five or fewer batters in each inning. Ryu has only tossed 35 2/3 innings this year because of that three-month groin injury, but he owns a 1.77 ERA and has struck out nearly 31 percent of the batters he’s faced this season.

Daniel Poncedeleon starts for the Cardinals for only the second time this season. Poncedeleon started in his Major League debut on July 23 in Cincinnati and tossed seven no-hit innings, but issued three walks and threw 117 pitches before being pulled. Each of his five appearances since then have come in relief, and he’s allowed four runs in 10 2/3 innings as a reliever. Poncedeleon is currently ranked as the Cardinals’ 30th-best prospect on MLB Pipeline. He’s an easy guy to root for.

The video is out there if you need a visual, but Poncedeleon’s first start came 14 months after a comebacker fractured his skull and he needed an emergency brain surgery.

Brian Dozier and Matt Kemp both sit for the Dodgers today. Yadier Molina is back in the lineup for the Cardinals after not starting last night for the first time in 27 games.

——

The Dodgers are ambidextrous again.

JT Chargois left last night’s game after facing one batter. The Dodgers said he left the game with “neck discomfort”, and he’s been placed on the DL with nerve irritation. Pat Venditte is back up after being demoted last Monday when Erik Goeddel returned.

——

Ross Stripling is nearing his return.

If everything goes according to plan, Stripling could pitch in one of the games this weekend against the Padres. Most importantly, Stripling pitching on players’ weekend means that we could see the return of the Chicken Strip jersey on the mound.

——

Today was fun for like five minutes.

The Dodgers reportedly claimed Bryce Harper on waivers, and the Nationals pulled him off. Harper won’t be a Dodger (until free agency). Striking a deal for Harper would have been complicated given the teams’ concerns with the luxury tax. The Nats did make two deals, as Matt Adams is back with the Cardinals and Daniel Murphy is now a Cub.

About Alex Campos

Alex Campos
I've been writing about the Dodgers since I graduated from Long Beach State, where I covered the Dirtbags in my senior year. I'm either very good or very bad at puns.