Dodgers @ Cardinals April 10, 2019: Maeda vs. Flaherty; Martin to IL

The Dodgers (8-4) take on the Cardinals (6-5) in the third game of four at Busch Stadium Wednesday evening. They’re in danger of losing their first series of the season and third straight game to St. Louis. Despite being shut out on Tuesday, the Dodgers still lead the NL in almost all offensive categories including average (.290), on-base percentage (.394), slugging percentage (.538), on-base percentage plus slugging (.932), home runs (24), runs (87), hits (119), and walks (67).

The pitching, on the other hand, has been inconsistent. Although the combined 5.01 ERA of the pen has been inflated primarily by Yimi Garcia (11.12), Joe Kelly (13.50) and Brock Stewart (18.00). The trio have struggled mightily.

Dodgers
Cardinals
4:45 p.m.
St. Louis, MO.
LF
Pederson
3B
Carpenter
SS
Seager
1B
Goldschmidt
3B
Turner
SS
DeJong
1B
Bellinger
LF
Ozuna
2B
Muncy
C
Molina
RF
Verdugo
RF
Fowler
CF
Taylor 2B Wong
C
Barnes
CF
Bader
P
Maeda (R)
P
Flaherty (R)

Kenta Maeda (2-0, 3.09 ERA, 6.18 FIP) wasn’t as sharp as he
usually is at Coors Field in his last start, but the Dodgers still won the game
thanks to 10 runs of offense. Also, no one died. That’s a big victory in my
book. Maeda barely lasted 5 innings, so the Dodgers are looking for Maeda to go longer in order to give the taxed bullpen a bit of a break.

Maeda’s 2-0 with a 4.19 ERA and 1.345 WHIP in six career games (three starts) against the Cardinals. He’s 1-0 with a 4.38 ERA and 1.378 WHIP in four career games (two starts) at Busch Stadium. Maeda always fares better when he gets run support. He’s 1-17 when the Dodgers score two runs or less. I’m looking at you, offense. The Dodgers left 13 men on base in Tuesday’s loss 4-0 loss.

None of the current Red Birds have hit a homer against Maeda, and Paul Goldschmidt has struggled against him. He’s 6-for-29 (.207) with seven strikeouts against Maeda.

Jack Flaherty (0-0, 3.86 ERA, 3.22 FIP) will face the Dodgers for the third time of his young career. He’s 0-1 with a 1.50 ERA, 0.750 WHIP and 18 strikeouts in 12 innings against the Boys in Blue. He didn’t pitch past the 5th inning in either of his first two starts of the season after racking up high pitch counts early in both games.

Joc Pederson has a home run vs. the right-hander, but he’s currently in a 0-for-21 skid. His last hit was on March 30.

The Cards see a lot of potential in Flaherty, hence his Opening Day starting nod this year. Last season he led rookie pitchers who had at least 130 IP with a 29.6 strikeout percentage, just ahead of Walker Buehler (28.4 K%). The right-hander has a extensive pitch repertoire including a four seam fastball, sinker, curve, slider, and changeup.

Don’t swing at those high fastballs, guys.

As far as the lineup, Max Muncy gets the start at second base instead of Enrique Hernandez. Cody Bellinger, future MVP, starts at first base. A.J. Pollock gets the night off. Pederson, Chris Taylor, and Alex Verdugo man the outfield.

——

Austin Barnes is behind the plate, and will catch the bulk of the games for at least the next 10 days. Russell Martin was placed on the injured list with lower back inflammation. 

Rocky Gale has only 22 at-bats at the major-league level (.091). He was briefly called up by the Dodgers last September, but only had two plate appearances. Last season with Triple-A Oklahoma City, he slashed .281/.305/.383/.689 with four home runs in 85 games.

Clayton Kershaw is back soon, and Rich Hill is making progress in his rehab as well.

I’ll gladly take a series split at this point. The good news is that they’re getting this set at Busch over with early in the season.

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.