Dodgers @ Braves August 17, 2019: Ryu vs Foltynewicz

The Dodgers took game one of Chad’s NLCS last night, overcoming a rough start by Kenta Maeda by beating up on a Braves’ bullpen that was supposed to be retooled at the deadline. Always trade your best prospects for relievers folks.

Yesterday’s win gave the Dodgers an 82-42 record, which seems kinda fake? The Braves have the second-best record in the National League at 72-52, but the Dodgers have beaten the Braves all four times the teams have faced off this season, outscoring them 31-10. For good measure, the Braves get to face the arguable favorite in the Cy Young race today.

Dodgers
Braves
4:20 p.m.
Atlanta
RF
Pederson
CF
Acuña Jr.
2B
Muncy
2B
Albies
3B
Turner
1B
Freeman
CF
Bellinger
3B
Donaldson
SS
Seager
LF
Duvall
LF
Beaty
RF
Culberson
1B
Rios C Flowers
C
Martin
SS
Hechavarria
P
Ryu (L)
P
Foltynewicz (R)

Hyun-Jin Ryu brings his world-leading 1.45 ERA into tonight’s start against the Braves. He returned from a short IL stint last Sunday and turned in seven shutout innings against the Diamondbacks, allowing five hits with a walk and a hit batsman in the process. The Dodgers have won 17 of the 22 games Ryu has started in 2019, and haven’t lost a Ryu start since June 28.

Ryu’s had a bit of a weird stretch, as his strikeout numbers are way down. In his last three outings, Ryu only has nine strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings. His 21.9 percent strikeout rate on the season isn’t spectacular, but a league-leading 3.1 percent walk rate and one of the lowest average exit velocities in baseball (85.2 MPH) has given Ryu a career year.

Ryu had one of his best outings of the year against the Braves at Dodger Stadium in May. It’s his only complete game of the season and only his second in the Majors, with the other one coming in May 2013. He allowed four hits and struck out six, but only needed 93 pitches to complete nine shutout innings.

The Braves counter with Mike Foltynewicz, who last season looked like the future ace for the Braves. Folty finished in eight place in Cy Young voting last year, after posting a 2.85 ERA in a career-high 183 innings. Folty got a late start to the season as elbow soreness interrupted his Spring. He made 11 starts for the Braves between April 27 and June 22, but posted a 6.37 ERA and allowed an opponents OPS of .890 in 59 1/3 innings. He was demoted to Triple-A for more than a month and returned on August 6. In two starts since his return, he’s allowed seven runs in 10 1/3 innings, dropping his ERA down to 6.24.

Folty made a start against the Dodgers in May, allowing five hits and five runs in six innings. He allowed homers to Enrique Hernandez and Max Muncy, two of the 18 homers he’s allowed in 13 starts this season.

Folty’s pitch usage looks a bit different this year in comparison to 2018. Last season, he threw a four-seamer 40.1 percent of the time, slider 27.3 percent of the time and sinker 16.4 percent of the time. This season, the slider is his most-used pitch at 29.8 percent. He throws the four-seamer only 26.7 percent of the time and the sinker 25.2 percent. Maybe that’s just baseball savant misclassifying pitches, but his fastball velocity has also dropped from 96.3 MPH last season to 95 MPH this season.

Cody Bellinger starts in center today with Edwin Rios starting at first. Russell Martin catches Ryu today.

——

A roster move hasn’t been announced yet, but tomorrow’s starter is now clear.

Tony Gonsolin is at SunTrust and will start the final game of the series. Dustin May would normally be lined up to start tomorrow, but he’ll be used in a shorter relief stint instead, likely as a way to limit his usage and prepare him for a potential bullpen role. Gonsolin got the win in his second-career start on August 5, tossing six shutout innings against the Cardinals. He made one start in the minors after being demoted and tossed five shutout while matching his season-high with nine strikeouts.

——

After seemingly a long time, the Dodgers finally got news on the fate of Julio Urias.

Urias has been suspended for 20 games, after his domestic violence incident in May. He missed five games at the time, which detracts from his current suspension. The Dodgers also released a statement.

Urias also had a statement released by the MLBPA.

On the baseball side of things, the Dodgers have recalled Casey Sadler to take Urias’ bullpen spot. It doesn’t appear that Urias’ postseason eligibility will be impacted by this decision, because he laid hands on a woman and didn’t take the wrong medicine or some shit.

Priorities.

——

The Dodgers will have another addition tomorrow along with Gonsolin.

The Dodgers’ offensive deadline acquisition will make his debut tomorrow. He struggled in 38 games with the Cardinals earlier this season and got demolished by injuries, as a lower-back strain, left calf strain and wrist surgery has kept him out since June 7. Gyorko played nine games in the minors since being acquired and OPS’d 1.030 and is a year removed from a respectable .762 OPS in the Majors.

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.