Dodgers @ Braves June 6, 2021: Bauer vs. Fried in rubber game

The rubber game of this 3-game rematch of the 2020 NLCS commences this morning with the Dodgers throwing Trevor Bauer. The Braves will counter with Max Fried.

10:20 a.m. Atlanta
RF Betts RF Acuña Jr.
3B Turner 1B Freeman
2B Taylor 2B Albies
1B Pujols SS Swanson
LF Pollock LF Almonte
CF Bellinger 3B Adrianza
C Smith C Contreras
SS Lux CF Inciarte
P Bauer (R) P Fried (L)

With all the recent talk about pitchers and substances on they may or may not be putting on the ball, it’s fitting that Bauer is getting the ball today. He has seen his fastball spin rate increase in every season of his career, and it’s getting 56 more RPM than last season, when suspicions first started to arise. His curveball spin rate is over the 3,000 RPM mark for the first time of his career, up from 2,926 last year. His slider is flirting with 3,000 RPM, too. The only pitch that’s down in spin rate is his cutter, and it’s down just 10 RPM from last season.

The lineup has a slightly different look today, with Albert Pujols manning the clean-up spot against the left-hander Fried. Cody Bellinger drops down to sixth, with AJ Pollock drawing the start in left field. And Will Smith is back in the lineup, which was expected, but would probably would have happened anyway with Austin Barnes suffering a mild sprained ankle in last night’s affair. The Braves are sitting Austin Riley today, who had been the cleanup hitter in the first two games of the series.

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Max Muncy remains out today, but hopefully not for long.

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The Dodgers travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates on Tuesday.

I think most expect the Giants to fade a bit (but maybe not?), but we kinda knew this would was going to be a slog between the Dodgers and Padres all season.

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.