Rays @ Dodgers September 18, 2019: Dodgers go for sweep in another ‘pen game

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

The Dodgers (98-54) pulled off a ‘pen game with a 7-5 win over the Rays (89-63) on Tuesday night behind Corey Seager‘s pair of doubles and a 5-run seventh inning. The Dodgers will open with Casey Sadler instead of starting Tony Gonsolin Wednesday as they continue to test out playoff strategies.

Rays
Dodgers
5:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
RF
Meadows
1B
Freese
LF
Pham
LF
Pollock
3B
Lowe
3B
Taylor
1B
Choi
CF
Bellinger
C
d’Arnaud
RF
Hernandez
2B
Wendle
2B
Muncy
CF
Garcia SS Seager
SS
Adames
C
Smith
P
McKay (L)
P
Sadler (R)

Sadler (4-0, 2.59 ERA, 4.45 FIP) hasn’t started a game since 2015 when he was with the Pirates. He’s made 21 relief appearances for the Dodgers this season (24.1 IP).

Gonsolin’s postseason status as a No. 4 starter should the Dodgers advance to the NLCS again is contingent on Hill’s health. Hill said he will face live hitters Friday and pitch in San Diego next Tuesday.

Since the cat-loving right-hander debuted on June 26 in Arizona, he’s shown consistency and the ability to keep the ball in the park. He also pitched well against the Yankees in a so-called ‘postseason preview’ matchup on August 24, allowing one run on two hits in five innings vs. the Bronx Bombers. The Dodgers could also use Gonsolin as an opener with Ross Stripling, Kenta Maeda or Julio Urias backing him up.

Top left-handed pitching prospect Brendan McKay (2-4, 5.27 ERA) takes the mound for the Rays. The rookie is also vying for a postseason role in the Tampa Bay bullpen should they advance to the postseason. Last time out against the Rangers, McKay allowed three runs on six hits in 3.1 innings for a loss.

McKay pitched at Dodger Stadium in 2015 for Team USA. He’ll get an opportunity to hit, and he’s decent at the plate. McKay collected 99 hits and 15 home runs in the minors.

——

Justin Turner isn’t in the lineup again. Chris Taylor starts at third base.

I’m worried, guys.

——

The Rays go into Wednesday’s contest with the AL’s second wild card spot, but they’re only 1/2 game ahead of the Indians. The A’s hold the first wild card by two games. The Dodgers have a 21-game lead on the D-backs, their largest NL West division lead in franchise history. 

The Rays have more on the line, but home field advantage in the NLCS and World Series would be nice.

Postseason anxiety status: brewing.

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.