Cardinals @ Dodgers May 31, 2021: Back-to-back Devil Magic series

Photo courtesy of Juan Toribio. (via)

Coming off a series loss against the Giants and their Devil Magic, the Dodgers welcome in Cardinals, the originators of Devil Magic. Thanks for that, MLB scheduled makers.

On the other hand, we get a fantastic pitching matchup. Future Dodger Jack Flaherty takes on current Dodger Trevor Bauer. Having said that, it’s probably gonna be a slugfest.

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6:10 p.m. Los Angeles
2B Edman RF Betts
CF Carlson 1B Muncy
1B Goldschmidt 3B Turner
3B Arenado CF Bellinger (L)
C Molina C Smith
LF O’Neill SS Lux
SS Sosa LF Taylor
RF Williams 2B McKinstry
P Flaherty (R) P Bauer (R)

Despite the poor weekend against Frisco, the Dodgers are getting healthier. Cody Bellinger and Zach McKisntry are back, which should help with the depth issue. Nothing against guys like DJ Peters and Luke Raley, but they’re just not on the level of active-roster-on-championship-caliber-team … yet.

The starting pitching, which has been the most consistent aspect of the team this season, struggled a bit of late. Julio Urias and Clayton Kershaw struggled against SF over the weekend, and the only game the Dodgers won in the Giants’ series was the bullpen game started by David Price.

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Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic has some notes on the Dodgers on this Monday. Check out his full article, but I’ll pull a couple interesting notes.

On Bellinger’s return and work with his swing:

“The Dodgers sent assistant hitting coach Aaron Bates along with Bellinger and McKinstry as they went through part of their rehab, with Bates continuing to work with Bellinger on some of the swing adjustments he was hoping to make (along with FaceTime hitting sessions with hitting coaches Robert Van Scoyoc and Brant Brown), with Roberts saying Bellinger is now ‘in a really good place mechanically, mentally.'”

Looking forward to Bellinger getting on track and being the MVP-caliber player he was just two seasons ago.

On Mookie Betts:

“‘He’s very frustrated. A guy like Mookie, who’s one of the leaders on this ballclub, feels like he’s letting the team down. But the truth of the matter is he wants to be out there and just can’t physically today and the other days. It’s my decision to not play him.’ Roberts said he doesn’t foresee an IL stint for Betts, even as a means of getting rid of all the nagging issues all at once. Betts, who wound up getting a plate appearance and drawing a walk Saturday, was scratched from Sunday’s lineup because of an allergic reaction, adding to the list of reasons he’s missed time this year.”

He also mentions AJ Pollock and Jimmy Nelson could return as soon as next weekend. That would be a nice boost, especially when it comes to Nelson, who was just finding his stride before he went on the injured list with forearm inflammation.

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First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. on this Memorial Day.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosted a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He was a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times and True Blue LA. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.