Dodgers @ Pirates May 26, 2019: Maeda vs. Archer

The Dodgers (34-18) took the second game of the series against the Pirates (25-24) last night, behind another strong outing from Hyun-Jin Ryu. The offense added eight doubles, which also helps. They’ll go for the sweep this morning, sending Kenta Maeda against Chris Archer. If the Dodgers win today, they’ll be up 6-0 in the season series against Pittsburgh.

Dodgers
Pirates
10:35 A.M.
Pittsburgh
LF
Pederson
2B
Frazier
2B
Muncy
RF
Polanco
3B
Turner
CF
Marte
RF
Bellinger
1B
Bell
1B
Beaty
LF
Reynolds
SS
Seager
3B
Moran
CF
Hernandez C Diaz
C
Barnes
SS
Newman
P
Maeda (R)
P
Archer (R)

Justin Turner is back in the lineup after resting yesterday, which naturally moves Max Muncy over to second. Austin Barnes will start over Russell Martin today, as will Enrique Hernandez over Alex Verdugo. Hernandez will make just his seventh start of the year in center field, as Verdugo is dealing with some back tightness today.

Maeda has had a decent season so far, but he’s been trending upwards and looking like his former self. He’s currently sitting at a solid 3.51 ERA with a 3.76 FIP. Since April 16, Maeda has thrown 34.1 innings over six starts. Over that stretch, he has a 2.88 ERA, 2.84 FIP and a 1.11 WHIP. Additionally, he’s coming off undoubtedly his best start of the season, striking out 12 Padres over 6.2 innings, while allowing only three hits. That was on May 15, as he was placed on the IL May 17 due to a “left adductor contusion”. This was the result of fouling a pitch off his leg during that game. It a was precautionary move more than anything, as he was throwing “aggressive” bullpens nearly immediately.

Archer has had a rocky start to his first full season as a Pirate. He is a famous former future Dodger, as it seemed for at least two seasons that he would eventually end up on the team via trade. He currently has a 5.55 ERA and a 5.17 FIP. His strikeout rate of 23.6% is his lowest since the 2014 season, while his walk rate of 11.5% is the highest of his career. Not an ideal pairing. His velocity is also down, measuring at 93.2 MPH according to FanGraphs — again, the lowest mark of his career. He mixes in a slider as his main off-speed pitch, occasionally throwing in a changeup.

He’s been significantly better against left-handed batters, featuring a 1.14 WHIP and a 4.44 FIP, compared to 1.78 and 6.04 against right-handed batters. At the same time, Archer faced the Dodgers earlier in the season, allowing six runs over four innings — his worst start of the year.

——

Kyle Garlick goes back down, in order to reinstate Maeda. Additionally, some of the injured Dodgers are making progress, and some are not.

This is great, a healthy A.J. Pollock (if possible), is an everyday above-average center fielder. Adding a strong right-handed bat to the lineup is a big addition. He just needs to be healthy which is, well … you know.

This sucks because I really like Tony Cingrani and when healthy I think he can be the second-best reliever on the team. It sucks that he just can’t seem to stay healthy.

——

First pitch is at 10:35 A.M. on SNLA.

About Allan Yamashige

Allan Yamashige
Just a guy living in Thousand Oaks, CA who happens to love the Dodgers and statistics. Hated baseball practice as a kid, but writing about adults doing baseball is alright.