Mets @ Dodgers May 29, 2019: LA looks to Syndergaard against another bullpen implosion

The Dodgers (36-19) lost a rare home game Tuesday night to the Mets (27-27) after the bullpen meltdown in the 7th inning. The third game of the series will matchup two of the best fastball pitchers as Walker Buehler (5-1, 3.58 ERA, 3.06 FIP) takes on Noah Syndergaard (3-4, 4.93 ERA, 3.70 FIP).

Mets
Dodgers
7:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
SS
Rosario
LF
Pederson
LF
Smith
2B
Muncy
1B
Alonso
3B
Turner
RF
Conforto
RF
Bellinger
C
Ramos
SS
Seager
3B
Frazier
1B
Beaty
CF
Gomez CF Verdugo
2B
Hechavarria
C
Smith
P
Syndergaard (R)
P
Buehler (R)

Buehler has turned things around in May after allowing 17 earned runs on 26 hits in his first 29.1 innings this season. So far this month, the right-hander is 2-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 14 K/BB in 26 innings of work. Last time out against the Pirates in Pittsburgh, he pitched six innings of one-run ball with six strikeouts and a walk for the win.

This will be Buehler’s first career start against the Mets. The only current New York batters who have faced Buehler are Robinson Cano and J.D. Davis who are both hitless against him. Cano is currently on the injured list with a left quad strain.

Syndergaard is trying to pull himself out of a frustrating rough patch. Last time out against the Tigers, he allowed six runs on 10 hits including two home runs in 5.1 innings. He left the mound amidst a chorus of boos at Citi Field.

Syndergaard isn’t “pushing the panic button” just yet, but his results including a 1.255 WHIP and the 10 home runs he’s allowed have been one of the biggest disappointments for the Mets this season. One of the major factors in his struggles has been his troublesome slider, usually a very effective weapon in his pitching arsenal. His slider usage is down almost 8% over last season. Whether it’s mental or mechanical, Syndergaard looks to right the ship against the Dodgers on Wednesday night.

The hard-throwing righty is 1-0 with a 1.65 ERA and 0.796 WHIP in three career starts against the Dodgers. Corey Seager is 3-for-9 with a home run vs. Thor.

Dave Roberts‘ nearly all lefty lineup has Joc Pederson and Alex Verdugo back in there with the long-haired right-hander on the mound. The only starting right-handed batting position players are Justin Turner and Will Smith. Smith makes his second straight start behind the plate. He went 2-for-4 with a single and a double in his major-league debut Tuesday. 

——

Since I really don’t feel like writing about how dreadful the bullpen has been, I’ll focus my thoughts on Cody Bellinger’s awesomeness instead. There’s a lot of season left, but these two months of Bellinger have been spectacular. He’s absolutely locked in.

Bellinger has the hottest bat in baseball and leads the majors in almost every offensive category including WAR (4.4), wRC+ (218), batting average (.382), slugging percentage (.770), OPS (1.239), runs (49), and RBI (51).

He’s not only dominating NL pitching, but he’s also remarkable in the field. He has seven (!) outfield assists, most in the NL.

Yasiel Puig, Bryce Harper and Mookie Betts all have four OF assists. Last season, Puig had 10 total and three outfielders led the category with 12.

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.