Dodgers @ Rockies September 18, 2020: Wood and Co. vs. Castellani

With nine games remaining, the Dodgers (36-15), maintain a four game lead over the Padres in the NL West. The magic number for clinching the division for the eighth straight season is now just five. The Rockies (22-27) are…struggling, and have been for most the season. They started 11-3, leading the division by 1.5 games. Since then however, they’ve gone 11-24, the worst record in baseball over that stretch. The rookie Ryan Castellani will look to help get the Rockies back on track for a positive end to their season. Alex Wood will start the game as the opener, as the team likely looks for just two or three innings from him.

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5:10 P.M. Denver
RF Betts DH Tapia (L)
SS Seager (L) SS Story
LF Taylor 3B Arenado
1B Muncy (L) RF Blackmon (L)
CF Bellinger (L) CF Pillar
DH Pollock 1B Fuentes
3B Ríos (L) LF Dahl (L)
2B Lux (L) C Díaz
C Barnes 2B McMahon (L)
P Wood (L) P Castellani (R)

Corey Seager led the way last night, going three for five, coming a triple shy of the cycle. AJ Pollock will be the designated hitter and Justin Turner will have the day off entirely as the team tries to keep those two healthy with only nine games to go. Will Smith will also sit out tonight to get rest, and Barnes will also catch tomorrow with Clayton Kershaw pitching. Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy, and Gavin Lux will all be starting, all trying to end their seasons on a positive note prior to the postseason.

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Wood has a 4.32 ERA and 1.56 WHIP over his first eight and a third innings, but that’s hardly enough to indicate how he’s pitching. The way things unfold after that aren’t certain, but it’s yet another game where the team can experiment with combinations of certain relievers to get through different lineups. This is their third bullpen game within the last week.

Castellani is part of the Colorado staff that has struggled, featuring a 4.46 ERA and 7.19 FIP. However, he’s coming off a start where he allowed one hit over five and two thirds innings but also walking six. The young right-hander has struggled with command thus far, walking 18 batters and hitting four over 34.1 innings, striking out only 23. Considering his lack of control and how good Justin Turner is at getting hit, it’s a good idea for him to sit this one out.

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In other news,

It’s pretty safe to assume that unless something happens, Barnes will be catching Kershaw in the postseason as well. That’s totally fine, as Smith will need days off behind the plate, with no rest in the majority of the playoffs.

Mitch White has been recalled as Josh Sborz is optioned. White has primarily been a starting pitcher in the minors, so he can likely provide length out of the bullpen that the team needs.

Super fun game 14 years ago. The highlight video is just a minute long, so check it out before the game.

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First pitch is at 5:10 PT on SNLA.

About Allan Yamashige

Allan Yamashige
Just a guy living in Thousand Oaks, CA who happens to love the Dodgers and statistics. Hated baseball practice as a kid, but writing about adults doing baseball is alright.