The Dodgers are still struggling, as they took another loss last night in Milwaukee. A loss in a bullpen game might not be the biggest surprise in the world, but the “how” was particularly ugly. The pitching staff did a fine job, holding the Brewers to three runs (Mitch White in particular looked good and gave the Dodgers some length). However three runs is a pretty insurmountable ask for this offense right now, as the offense couldn’t even get three hits in last night’s contest.
The Dodgers look to avoid/delay a third straight series loss with a win tonight, and have to face the Brewers’ best healthy starter.
|SS||Seager (L)||1B||Vogelbach (L)|
|1B||Muncy (L)||3B||Shaw (L)|
|RF||Beaty (L)||CF||Bradley Jr. (L)|
|2B||Lux (L)||LF||McKinney (L)|
|P||May (R)||P||Woodruff (R)|
Dustin May starts for the Dodgers on the first day of May, leading to a whole lot of original jokes. Like the rest of the rotation, May has been excellent so far in 2021. His 2.53 ERA in four starts is the Dodgers’ third-best among starters (also third-worst). He’s coming off as annoying of a no-decision as you can get. He allowed a run and two hits in six innings against the Padres and was pulled with a 7-1 lead. The Dodgers completely imploded, allowing two runs in each of the seventh, eighth and ninth innings before losing in the 11th. May set a new career-high with 10 strikeouts in the game. May’s 37.2 percent strikeout rate is the ninth-highest in baseball among pitchers with 20 or more innings pitched and is tops on the Dodgers. He’s nearly doubled his strikeout rate from last year (19.6 percent) while cutting his walk rate (7.1 percent to 5.8 percent), which is a very nice sign from a 23-year-old pitcher.
Opposing May is Brandon Woodruff. Corbin Burnes has gotten the headlines in the Brewer rotation, but Woodruff has quietly been dominant this season. He currently has a 1.55 ERA in 29 innings, with five earned runs allowed in five starts. Three of those runs came on Opening Day, meaning Woodruff has allowed only two runs and seven hits in 25 innings over his last four starts. Three of those starts have come against the Cubs, including a six-inning, two-hit shutout his last time out.
The Dodgers saw Woodruff in the Wild Card round last year and had a surprising amount of success off him. He struck out nine Dodgers in only 4 2/3 innings, but allowed five hits and three runs (nearly all of that coming in the fifth inning). Woodruff is perhaps best-known by Dodger fans for what he did in the 2018 NLCS against the Dodgers. He piggybacked Gio Gonzalez in game 1 of the NLCS and threw two perfect innings. He also hit a home run off Clayton Kershaw in that game, so he’s probably a bigger threat at the plate today than most of the Dodger lineup.
Edwin Uceta made his major league debut with his start yesterday, and he’s been optioned.
Uceta allowed a two-run homer to Jackie Bradley Jr. yesterday and was tagged with the loss. The Dodgers called up Alex Vesia for the second time this season. He didn’t pitch last time he was up, so his next outing will be his Dodger debut.
Dave Roberts named a pair of lefties as now-leverage relievers.
Scott Alexander has appeared in a team-high 12 games so far this year and has allowed only three runs (and only one out of five inherited runners to score. He’ll be a late-game option more, as will Victor Gonzalez. Gonzalez has allowed an earned run in only two of his 11 outings this year, but has allowed three of seven inherited runners to score. He picked up his first career save in San Diego in mid-April, and could also be an option late in a close game.
First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 PM PDT and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.