The Dodgers bounced back from an embarrassing loss on Saturday to take the rubber match of the weekend series against the Rangers. That win plus a dominant Joe Ross outing against San Francisco moves the Dodgers back to a game behind the Giants for first in the NL West. It might be tough to make up ground for now, as the Giants begin a home series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are 9-27 on the road and own the worst record in baseball.
The Dodgers welcome the Phillies to LA for a three-game series. At 32-31, the Phillies have the same number of wins as the NL East-leading Mets, but have six more losses thanks to a slew of postponements for the Mets early on. The Phillies own a -5 run differential, but have won six of their last seven and are on a four-game winning streak.
|7:10 PM||Los Angeles|
|P||Howard (R)||P||Gonsolin (R)|
Tony Gonsolin makes his first home start of 2021 and his second start overall. Gonsolin missed the first couple months of the season with a shoulder issue and his return was supposed to free the Dodgers from bullpen game hell. His first start didn’t live up to that promise, as he needed 66 pitches to record five outs against the Pirates. In 46 2/3 innings in 2020, Gonsolin issued seven walks. He walked five batters in 1 2/3 innings against the Pirates. After a shaky first inning where he allowed a run and stranded the bases loaded, Gonsolin struck out the first two batters in the second. He then issued three straight walks and was lifted for Victor Gonzales, who got out of the jam. Gonsolin’s velocity and spin rate (in an impressively small sample size) was more of less in line with his averages from last year, so from that perspective he seemed healthy enough. Command was definitely off though, and he’ll hope to clean that up against a middle-of-the-pack offense (15th in walk rate and OBP, 17th in wRC+).
Spencer Howard gets the start for the Phillies. At the end of the 2020 season, MLB Pipeline named Howard the Phillies’ top prospect and the number 42 prospect in all of baseball. Howard made six starts for the Phillies in 2020 and struggled, with a 5.92 ERA/5.86 FIP and 1.644 WHIP in 24 1/3 innings. He’s been a bit better in six appearances (three starts and three relief outings) in 2021, with a 4.61 ERA/3.23 FIP and 1.537 WHIP in 13 2/3 innings. Howard has improved his strikeout rate by nearly 10 percent, but his walk rate has also jumped from 8.8 percent in 2020 to 17.2 percent so far this season. Howard’s last three outings have been as a starter, and he’s posted a 2.89 ERA (three earned runs) in 9 1/3 innings across the three starts. He’s yet to throw more than 68 pitches in a game this season, so don’t expect him to go too deep into this game.
Howard has a four pitch mix, throwing a fastball 71.3 percent of the time this season. He mixes in a slider, curve and changeup. Pipeline called his changeup one of the best secondary pitches in the Arizona Fall League (he pitched there in 2019) and he reportedly would touch 99 with his fastball. Howard has not yet allowed a home run in 2021.
Bellinger will not be in the lineup tomorrow either.
Bellinger did some running today, and may still be placed on the IL if his hamstring doesn’t improve. #TrueDodger
The first round of All-Star voting results were released today.
Not many other updates before today’s game. Today is the final game before Dodger Stadium opens up to full capacity. While hearing the full capacity crowd will be sweet, I will miss not having to deal with people and parking lot traffic so much.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PDT and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.