Dodgers @ Reds May 18, 2019: Buehler vs Mahle

The Dodgers are undefeated this season when a sick person writes the Game Thread, and look to continue that trend today. They donged all over the place in Cincinnati yesterday, and Rich Hill and the bullpen kept the surging Reds off the board en route to a 6-0 win. Today, the Dodgers look to clinch a series victory and their 31st win of the season.

Dodgers
Reds
1:10 p.m.
Cincinnati
LF
Pederson
CF
Senzel
3B
Muncy
1B
Votto
RF
Bellinger
3B
Suarez
SS
Seager
LF
Winker
CF
Verdugo
RF
Puig
1B
Beaty
2B
Dietrich
2B
Taylor SS Iglesias
C
Barnes
P
Mahle (R)
P
Buehler (R)
C
Barnhart

Walker Buehler is coming off arguably his best start of the season against the Nationals. He’s pitched seven innings in consecutive starts, but after allowing three runs in the first of those starts, Buehler shut Washington out last time out. He outdueled Max Scherzer, who allowed a pair of runs in seven innings. The Nats scored five runs in the eighth to beat the Dodgers, but Buehler finally appeared to be turning a corner after a rough first month of the season.

It was Buehler’s second scoreless outing of 2019, and the first came against these Reds at Dodger Stadium. Buehler struck out eight and allowed only three hits and a walk over 6 1/3 innings on April 17. Two of the three hits Buehler allowed came in the sixth inning, and one of those ended up scoring but the run was unearned. Buehler allowed a leadoff walk in the first and a two-out single in the second, but didn’t allow another baserunner until the sixth.

Tyler Mahle makes his ninth start of the season tonight. He’s still searching for his first win of the season, and the Reds have only won one game he’s started. Mahle hasn’t been all that bad, with a 3.97 ERA and a 3.56 FIP in 45 1/3 innings. He’s struck out 49 batters and walked only nine so far. Mahle has essentially had four great starts and four bad starts so far. He’s coming off a bad start, as he went a season-high 6 1/3 innings and allowed four runs to the Giants. His worst start came in LA, as the Dodgers pounded 11 hits and four runs in six innings against Mahle. In the two starts following that start in LA, Mahle allowed nine runs in 11 innings combined. However, in his four good starts, Mahle has allowed a total of three runs in 22 innings. This is Mahle’s first start in Cincinnati since April 10, as his last six outings have come on the road. In his only start at Great American Ballpark, Mahle allowed a run and two hits in five innings against Miami.

Mahle hasn’t been fooling many batters, as his average exit velocity against is the 12th-worst in baseball among pitchers with 50 batted balls against this season. He’s currently running a 46.8 percent hard-hit rate, which is the 18th-worst among pitchers with 50 batted balls against. He throws a fastball 62.6 percent of the time and mixes in a curveball and splitter, with an occasional cutter thrown in.

Justin Turner is out of the lineup for the Dodgers after fouling a ball off his leg and leaving yesterday’s game. Max Muncy slides over to third and Matt Beaty makes his first career start, starting at first and hitting sixth. Beaty had two hits in three pinch hit opportunities in his first stint in the Majors, but struck out in the ninth last night.

——

Turner should be able to avoid a trip to the IL.

With off days coming Monday and Thursday, there should be plenty of time for him to heal. Him being potentially available to pinch-hit today seems like a good sign since managers would never lie about that.

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.