Dodgers @ Astros July 29, 2020 – Kelly, Roberts suspended ahead of round two in Houston

In case you missed it last night, which would be hard to believe if you are reading this today, the Dodgers started some shit with the Astros in their first meeting of the 2020 season.

At least that’s the way the Astros would like the narrative written. Unsurprisingly, they continued to proclaim their innocence.

I suppose this came from the Dodgers’ dugout if the Astros don’t like that kind of language.

Joe Kelly and the Dodgers were rather vague about his intentions when facing Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa on Tuesday night.

I suppose I understand why Dusty Baker took the job, but it is honestly embarrassing seeing him defend “his guys” through all of this. Obviously it is his job now, but if the Astros are set off by a few words, imagine what cheating opponents out of a championship might trigger. Granted, it isn’t the first time Baker has had to blindly back players on the team he manages.

How much control did Kelly really have last night? Who knows. The breaking pitch to Correa would seem odd to throw intentionally, but the 3-0 fastball to Bregman seems pretty clear if he figured he was walking him anyway. Either way, I’m not really in favor of throwing near people’s heads. This isn’t really an exception to that because I don’t want to see anyone actually get hurt at the hands of a Dodgers’ pitcher.

Unfortunately, MLB brought this upon itself, as did the Astros with their heelish bullshit after essentially getting through all of this unpunished. They want to cry because someone spoke rudely in their direction? I’m fairly certain that won’t be changing any time soon, though MLB is naturally jumping in now and so Bob Geren will manage tonight.

I know we are all going to laugh pretty hard at Kelly initially being suspended for about 13% of the season, but I can’t say I am too surprised.

I didn’t really expect Kelly to be the first one to step in and do something like this given he wasn’t even on the roster at the time and was on a team who more or less did the same thing in 2018, but I know he and the Red Sox were knocked out in 2017 by the Astros.

And while the pitch itself isn’t something I’m going to be very proud of, his reactions on the way back to the dugout were obviously entertaining. The Dodgers’ roster thought so as well.

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In other pitching news, Clayton Kershaw will not end up as Friday’s starter. However, he could find himself rejoining the Dodgers’ rotation soon if Thursday goes well. Tony Gonsolin really seems like the logical choice assuming he’s in starting shape himself.

Image
4:10 p.m. Houston
1B Muncy LF Tucker
RF Betts 2B Altuve
CF Bellinger 3B Bregman
3B Turner DH Brantley
SS Seager 1B Gurriel
2B Taylor SS Correa
LF Pederson RF Reddick
DH Beaty CF Straw
C Barnes C Maldonado
P May P Javier

In actual gameday news, Dustin May will take the mound for his second start of the season tonight as he faces Cristian Javier.

Javier, filling in for the injured Justin Verlander, was the Astros 2019 Minor League Pitcher of the Year as he carried a 1.74 ERA across three levels last season. A 23-year-old signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2015, Javier’s most significant work came in Double-A Corpus Christi.

With a 2.07 ERA/2.91 FIP/3.29 xFIP, Javier’s 74 innings at the level included 114 strikeouts to 39 walks. Primarily using a fastball (that sits around 92 while topping out at 95 and creates some unusual spin based on his arm slot), change, slider and curve from what I can see, Javier made his major league debut just a few days ago throwing a scoreless inning against the Mariners.

Depending on the health of Kershaw and Wood, May could still see an extended stay in the rotation. The 22-year-old struck out four Giants on Opening Day, working through 4 1/3 innings on 60 pitches.

About Cody Bashore

Cody Bashore
Cody Bashore is a lifelong Dodger fan originally from Carpinteria, California (about 80 miles north of Dodger Stadium along the coast). He left California to attend Northern Arizona University in 2011, and has lived in Arizona full-time since he graduated in 2014 with a journalism degree. He now works for the university’s athletics department after spending seven years with the local newspaper.