The Dodgers snatched defeat from the jaws of victory last night, blowing a six-run lead in the sixth to drop three of four against the Padres. Twitter Dot Com was pretty doom and gloom last night, but even after all that the Dodgers find themselves with the best record in baseball (by a half game, ahead of the Royals?).
The Dodgers had an eight-game winning streak, and since then have dropped five of seven and looked extremely crappy doing it. Today, they welcome a Cincinnati team that won six straight games earlier this month, but come to LA on a seven-game losing streak. The Reds have the best team OPS in the NL (.778, with the Dodgers in second at .767), but the fifth-worst team ERA at 4.65.
|7:10 PM||Los Angeles|
|LF||Winkler (L)||SS||Seager (L)|
|P||Mahle (R)||P||Urias (L)|
Julio Urias gets the start for the Dodgers. He’s coming off arguably his best start of his career (I feel like I’ve typed this sentence this year) last time out in Seattle. Urias tossed seven shutout innings, allowing only one hit and one walk while striking out a career-high 11 batters. He got through those seven innings in only 88 pitches, but was relieved by Victor Gonzalez and good Kenley Jansen for his third win of the year. Urias has faced exactly 100 batters in 2021 and struck out 26 while issuing only four walks. Somehow, his 2.81 ERA is the highest in the Dodger rotation right now.
Tyler Mahle starts for the Reds tonight. Mahle’s been excellent in his four starts so far, allowing only four runs and nine hits in 20 2/3 innings. The 26-year-old righty is coming off 6 2/3 shutout innings against the Diamondbacks, his second shutout against Arizona of the season. Mahle saw the Dodgers twice in 2019 with mixed results. In Cincinnati, Mahle allowed 11 hits and four runs over six innings in a 6-1 Dodger win. Mahle rebounded nicely in LA a few starts later, holding the Dodgers to four hits in six shutout innings in a 4-0 Cincinnati win.
Mahle has been excellent this year, as he’s in the top five percent of the league in xBA (.154) and top eight percent in xSLG (.270). His 38.8 percent strikeout rate is the seventh-highest among pitchers with 20 or more innings this season. His fastball averages 94.7 MPH this year and he throws it 57.6 percent of the time. He mixes in a slider and a splitter, both of which have whiff rates over 30 percent (his sorry-ass fastball only has a 29.9 percent whiff rate, why does he even try).
Gavin Lux returns for the Dodgers today and starts at second base. Justin Turner gets a day off and is available to pinch hit if needed. Edwin Rios gets the start at third, and Chris Taylor starts in center. Old friend Kyle Farmer starts at third base for the Reds. Nicholas Castellanos starts in right, meaning we’re one bad Urias pitch from Chad definitely tweeting a “deep drive to left field” tweet.
Dennis Santana is also back off the IL, seemingly feeling better after reportedly hitting the COVID-19 IL after receiving his second vaccine dose. Mitch White has also been called up for the first time in 2021. White made his Major League debut last year with a scoreless inning against Texas. He got his first career win in September, as he somehow became the pitcher of record after throwing two shutout innings to finish off a 15-6 Dodger win. Garrett Cleavinger and DJ Peters were both optioned, and David Price was placed on the IL with a hamstring strain. Price is expected to be out “a few weeks minimum“, per Dave Roberts.
Zach McKinstry‘s return from an oblique injury is still up in the air, but he’ll head to Arizona when the Dodgers travel to Milwaukee for a weekend series.
Not ideal. Dustin wrote about the Dodgers’ depth, which has been pretty infallible for the last few years. It has not lived up to that this season, and it’s still early but it’s much less of a sure thing than it was in past years. They should simply play better, IMO.
I didn’t think this needed to be said, but stop reading/engaging/tweeting about Bill Plaschke.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PST and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.