Rockies @ Dodgers August 21, 2020: Buehler starts as the Dodgers look for win number 20

The Dodgers got a vintage Clayton Kershaw start last night, preserving their streak of not losing a series yet in 2020. Today, the Dodgers get their first look at the Rockies.

In a sentence I’m pretty sure I’ve written every year I’ve written about the Dodgers, the Rockies started the season on a torrid pace and have since fallen down to earth. They started 2020 with an 11-3 record and looking like the team to finally dethrone the Dodgers in the West. They’ve now lost nine of their last 11 games and are coming off a sweep at the hands of the Astros. They find themselves at 13-12, a game behind the Padres and in third in the division. However this team still has talent and should be annoying throughout the rest of the season.

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6:40 P.M. Los Angeles
LF Tapia (L) RF Pederson (L)
SS Story SS Seager (L)
RF Blackmon (L) 3B Turner
3B Arenado DH Bellinger (L)
1B Murphy (L) 2B Muncy (L)
DH Kemp CF Pollock
2B McMahon (L) 1B Beaty (L)
CF Hilliard (L) LF Taylor
C Butera C Barnes
P Gray (R) P Buehler (R)

Walker Buehler gets his fifth start of the season and hopes to turn his season around. He’s yet to turn in a dominant outing and has failed to complete six innings in each of his first four starts. Buehler allowed a season-high five runs (four earned) in only 4 2/3 innings last time out against the Angels.

Buehler’s ERA through four starts (19 innings) is 5.21. Buehler also got off to a delayed start in 2019, and in his first four starts (18 1/3 innings) he had a 5.40 ERA. It’s not uncommon to see Buehler get off to a slow start, but in this 60-game season he has less time to right the ship. Buehler made 11 starts in the first 60 games of the 2019 season and had a 4.03 ERA. In 19 starts after that, Buehler posted a 2.88 ERA.

Buehler saw the Rockies five times in 2019 and had some real mixed results. His first two starts against them were good; one run over five innings on April 6 and a complete game with 16 strikeouts on June 21. Things fell off the rails for Buehler against the Rockies after that, as he allowed seven runs and 13 hits in 5 2/3 innings on June 27. He saw the Rockies twice in September and allowed 10 runs in 11 combined innings.

Jon Gray gets his sixth start of the season today. He’s turned in four solid starts so far, allowing three or fewer earned runs in all but one of his starts. His overall stats are a bit skewed by one disastrous outing, where Gray allowed eight runs and 11 hits in 3 1/3 innings against the Diamondbacks.

Gray has some filthy stuff, which makes his lack of strikeouts this year confusing. Gray struck out seven Rangers in his last start, but hasn’t struck out more than three in any other outing this season. Gray has seen a bit of a velocity dip so far this season, with his slider and fastball each averaging about three MPH slower than they did in 2019.

Gray saw the Dodgers three times in 2019, each time pitching in Coors. He allowed five runs in six innings in his first start and two runs in 6 2/3 innings his second time out. In his last start of the season against the Dodgers, Gray turned in one of his best starts of 2019. He allowed a run and three hits in eight innings and threw a season-high 112 pitches.

Mookie Betts gets the day off (a “spa day”, as Dave Roberts called it). Joc Pederson leads off and starts in right. For the Rockies, old friend Matt Kemp is tonight’s DH. Charlie Blackmon and his .424 batting average starts in right and bats second.

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The Dodgers have announced a pregame ceremony on Sunday, which will be broadcast on Sportsnet LA.

The coverage of the ceremony will begin at 12:40.

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Somehow, the trade deadline is like a week from Monday.

In before the Dodgers pull off like 17 blockbusters. Dustin wrote about the deadline a couple days ago, so y’all know who to ratio if the deadline is wild.

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Will Smith is expected to return this weekend.

Smith hasn’t played since August 12, but is on track to return Sunday in the finale against Colorado.

Edwin Uceta has seemingly been suspended.

Uceta was Dustin’s 16th-ranked prospect on his preseason list. He’s been suspended for breaking security protocol and flying to the Dominican Republic. Uceta was part of the Dodgers’ 60-man player pool and was playing over at USC. The tweet seems to imply he was suspended after leaving, so here’s hoping this doesn’t lead to any COVID-19 issues.

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First pitch tonight is scheduled for 6:40 PM PST and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.

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.