Dodgers @ Brewers May 2, 2021: Urias vs. Bettinger

The Dodgers (16-12), look to take the final game of the series in Milwaukee to avoid the sweep and grab a much needed win. The first place Brewers (17-10) pulled off a comeback last night, ultimately winning the game in eleven innings as the taxed Dodgers’ bullpen gave up the lead. It appears that after back to back bullpen games, most of the relievers will be unavailable. This puts some pressure on Julio Urias to get the team as many innings as he can today. The team goes straight to Chicago after the game, so with no day off the bullpen needs time recover. They’ll be facing off against the rookie right-hander Alec Bettinger, making his MLB debut.

The team has now lost three in a row, six of their last seven, and ten of their last thirteen. While it’s pretty bad, the true talent level of this team over 162 games makes this stretch not overly concerning. The only issue to actually be concerned with is health. Dustin May leaving the game after throwing a pitch isn’t good. Losing Corey Knebel wasn’t good. Losing is fine, but injuries are devastating.

11:10 AM Milwaukee
RF Betts 2B Wong (L)
SS Seager (L) LF Taylor
3B Turner RF García
C Smith 1B Hiura
CF Taylor SS Urías
1B Beaty (L) CF Bradley Jr. (L)
LF Pollock 3B Reyes
2B Lux (L) C Nottingham
P Urías (L) P Bettinger (R)

Ironically but also totally on brand, the Dodgers had their best offensive performance of the series thus far against Brandon Woodruff, the Brewers’ second starter and one of the best in the league. The team eventually did manage to compile some baserunners as well, including extras they managed eight hits and seven walks. That’s better! Matt Beaty had two hits and will start at first base as Max Muncy takes the day off, Mookie Betts added two hits including his leadoff home run, and Corey Seager also managed a triple and a walk.

The Brewers will start Keston Hiura over Dan Vogelbach at first base, Tyrone Taylor over Billy McKinney in left field, and Pablo Reyes over Travis Shaw at third base. This leaves the only left-handed batters in the lineup Kolten Wong and Jackie Bradley Jr. – two everyday regulars.

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Last time out, Urías allowed three runs on four hits and two walks while striking out six over five innings against the Reds. Prior to that, he was coming off his best start of the year, allowing one hit over seven innings in Seattle while striking out a career high eleven. He now features a 3.23 ERA, 2.96 FIP, and a 0.98 WHIP. His current 26.2% strikeout rate is a career high, while his 4.9% walk rate is a career low. Naturally, this also means a career low in WHIP and FIP. He’s been great.

The bad news for the Dodgers, well there is a lot of bad news as of late, but specifically for this game — a rookie starting against them. If you’ve followed the team for a while, you know how this goes. Even when the offense is at full force, you match them up against a rookie who throws in the low 90’s and it’s game over for them. It’s just how it goes. The 25 year-old right-handed Bettinger sits in the low 90’s with his fastball, and performed well in his 2019 campaign in AA. He had a 3.44 ERA, 3.13 FIP, and a strikeout rate of 26.7%, striking out 157 in 146.1 innings. From what I can tell, he projects to be a back end rotation guy, so he’s a legitimately good pitcher.

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Like I mentioned, they’ll need some length from Urías. I’m sure the team will manage to shuffle guys around enough to get innings eaten and have some guys ready for the Chicago series, but for today coming off two bullpen games, the situation is a little more bleak.

For the upcoming series against the Cubs, here’s what we’re looking at:

Monday: Walker Buehler vs. Kyle Hendricks

Tuesday: Clayton Kershaw vs. Adbert Alzolay

Wednesday: Trevor Bauer vs. Jake Arrieta

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As expected, Dustin May hits the IL and Corey Knebel goes on the 60-day. Mike Kickham is a 32 year-old lefty who made six appearances and two starts last year for the Red Sox. He sits 89-90 with the fastball, but is primarily throwing his off-speed stuff with a curveball and a slider both thrown more often than his fastball.

Tony Gonsolin returning could and will be a huge boost whenever the team gets him back.

Naturally, May will have an MRI tomorrow and there will likely be an update after that as to his status. That upcoming stretch that features a few off days will be much needed after playing fourteen days in a row.

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First pitch is at 11:10 AM PST 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!