Rockies @ Dodgers April 14, 2021: May Day vs. Gray

Tonight is just the 12th game of the season, but this is already game six between these two sides, as the Dodgers (9-2) face off against the Colorado Rockies (3-8) once again. The Rockies aren’t likely to be a contender in the NL West this season, but that poor 3-8 record does also stem from having to play the Dodgers for literally half their games thus far. After the series finale tomorrow, they will get a break from seeing the Dodgers, as twelve of the nineteen games the two teams play against each other will come after the All-Star break, the next time being July 16. Dustin May takes the mound for the Dodgers as they look to win the series, while Jon Gray and the Rockies try to prevent that.

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7:10 P.M. Los Angeles
2B Hampson CF Betts
LF Tapia (L) SS Seager (L)
SS Story 3B Turner
RF Blackmon (L) 1B Muncy (L)
3B McMahon (L) 2B Lux (L)
1B Cron LF Beaty (L)
CF Hilliard (L) RF McKinstry (L)
C Nuñez (L) C Barnes
P Gray (R) P May (R)

Mookie Betts will shift over to center field tonight with Chris Taylor having the night off. Justin Turner will be back in the lineup after a day off yesterday, and AJ Pollock will have the night off against the right-handed Gray. Matt Beaty will be in left field to get his first start of the year, as he looks to take advantage of an opportunity while he has a chance to grab playing time. Zach McKinstry will once again start in right field, while Austin Barnes will catch tonight over Will Smith.

The Rockies shift their lineup slightly to go lefty-heavy against May, with five of their eight non-pitchers batting from the left side. These two changes feature Dom Nunez starting at catcher over Elias Diaz, while Sam Hilliard replaces Josh Fuentes.

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May is making just his second start of the season as he gets extra rest while veterans Clayton Kershaw and Trevor Bauer continue to pitch on regular rest. This might be a trend that continues with May, as well as Julio Urias being the two most likely to have starts pushed back for this reason. May threw 85 pitches last outing and hadn’t thrown more than that since his career high of 88 against the Angels back on August 16 of last season. For one of the most electric pitchers in the league in terms of raw stuff, his 19.6% strikeout rate last season was below the league average of 22.9%. In his last start he struck out eight while allowing just four baserunners on two hits and two walks over six innings. While it’s just one start, he also struck out seventeen of the 59 batters he faced in 13.2 innings in Spring Training for a 28.8% strikeout rate. He’s done this by throwing a four-seam fastball 28.2% of the time compared to 5.5% last season. His 24 four-seam fastballs that he’s thrown thus far are exactly half of those he threw the entirety of the 2020 regular season.

Through two starts, Gray is looking more like his old self than he did in 2020. Here’s what I wrote in the game day thread for the third game of the season, prior to his first start. “Gray was inconsistent the whole season, losing two full ticks on his fastball before he was placed on the IL with right shoulder inflammation. He made one start against the Dodgers in 2020, allowing four runs on seven hits through 3.2 innings.” Well, since then he had a super solid start against the Dodgers, going five innings allowing only one run on four hits while striking out seven, and he followed that up with another strong performance allowing just one run against the Diamondbacks over six and two thirds innings. He currently has a 1.54 ERA and 2.37 FIP through his first two starts, and I’m sure he’d love to continue that trend, but naturally he has his work cut out for him against the Dodgers.

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Looks like we’re close to seeing both Brusdar Graterol and Cody Bellinger again, although there’s no reason to rush either one.

Jimmy Nelson isn’t the first pitcher to say something similar to this. You can read more about the study of the new ball being used in great articles here and here.

Dave Roberts has spent 4,088 innings in center field in his MLB career, and even though he hasn’t played since 2008, naturally he’s still got it … albeit slightly less fluid.

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First pitch is at 7:10 PM PT on SNLA.

About Allan Yamashige

Just a guy living in Southern California, having a good time writing about baseball. Hated baseball practice as a kid, but writing about it rules. Thanks for reading!