Mets @ Dodgers May 27, 2019: deGrom vs. Kershaw on Memorial Day

The Dodgers had a very strong showing against the Pirates, as they finished off a series and season sweep of Pittsburgh with an 11-7 victory yesterday afternoon. The Dodgers finished their road trip winning six of their eight games and have won 12 of their last 15 games overall. They haven’t lost consecutive games since April 23rd and 24th, and their 35 wins lead the National League. This team is good.

Today, the Dodgers open up a homestand with the first of four games against the Mets. The Mets are currently 26-26, but have won six of their last seven contests. They’re still Mets’ing pretty hard. Yoenis Cespedes fractured his ankle falling at his ranch. Robinson Cano was recently criticized for lack of hustle, so naturally he pulled a quad running to first base (never try, kids).

Mets
Dodgers
5:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
SS
Rosario
LF
Pederson
LF
Davis
1B
Muncy
RF
Conforto
3B
Turner
1B
Alonso
RF
Bellinger
3B
Frazier
SS
Seager
2B
Hechavarria
CF
Verdugo
CF
Lagares 2B Taylor
C
Nido
C
Martin
P
deGrom (R)
P
Kershaw (L)

Clayton Kershaw starts for the Dodgers, which so far in 2019 has meant a Dodger victory. They’re 7-0 in games started by Kershaw, and while he’s been pitching pretty well they’re giving him nearly six runs of support per game so far. In 46 innings this season, Kershaw owns a 3.33 ERA/3.69 FIP while striking out 44 batters and issuing eight walks. He’s had trouble with the longball, as he’s allowed seven dongs in seven starts.

Last time out in Tampa Bay, Kershaw allowed two earned runs in 6 1/3 innings. His eight strikeouts matched a season-high, and it was only his second start of the season in which he didn’t allow a homer. Both runs scored off relievers. Kershaw allowed a single and a double after getting the first out in the seventh. Pedro Baez came in and took a 103-MPH comebacker to the knee, which allowed the first run to score. Scott Alexander relieved Baez and allowed a grounder to score the second run charged to Kershaw.

Jacob deGrom starts for the Mets this season and has been a disappointment coming off his Cy Young winning 2018 season. deGrom’s first two starts of the season were pretty incredible, as he combined to strike out 24 and didn’t allow a run in 13 innings to start the season. The wheels have come off a bit since then. Four of his other eight starts have been good, with deGrom allowing two or fewer earned runs. However, he’s allowed six runs in a game twice already this season after allowing no more than four runs in a game in 32 starts last season.

So far this season, deGrom has posted his lowest ground ball rate (42.6 percent, down from 47.8 percent last season) and turned those into more line drives (27.7 percent, up from 22.9 percent last year). His average exit velocity has jumped up to 88 MPH, which is also the worst of his career. deGrom still has elite velocity, with a fastball averaging 96.4 MPH and a slider averaging 92.4 MPH. Last season, his changeup had an average exit velocity of 83.8 MPH. So far this season, that’s up to 95.4 MPH, the worst of all his pitches.

Russell Martin gets the start today, catching Kershaw for the first time since August 1, 2010.

——

Austin Barnes was removed from yesterday’s game and was placed on the Injured List today with a left groin strain.

Will Smith is getting his first call to the majors. Dustin wrote in-depth about Smith last week, and we all know the only thing I have to add is some puns. I figured we’d see Smith debut in the Summertime, but alas. I punned all over Twitter, so gimme those follows. Smith will make his first start tomorrow.

——

In some somber news:

Bill Buckner spent his first eight Major League seasons as a Dodger. He passed away this morning at the age of 69 after a battle with dementia.

——

The Dodger bullpen added a piece today.

Joe Kelly is back from bereavement after missing the weekend series in Pittsburgh. Caleb Ferguson has been optioned back to Oklahoma City.

——

A reminder that tonight’s game will be shown on ESPN.

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.