In the first game of the four game series against the Marlins (36-47), the Dodgers (53-32) lost by a score of 4-5, snapping their nine game winning streak. The Giants (53-31), and the Padres (50-37) both lost, resulting in no change in the NL West standings. A lot had to go right for Miami yesterday to come out with that win, but a win is a win. If you’re going to lose to the Marlins, the most understandable game to lose is when facing All-Star lefty, Trevor Rogers. Tonight features Tony Gonsolin making his fifth start of the season, against the right-handed Pablo Lopez.
|RF||Betts||2B||Chisholm Jr. (L)|
|P||Gonsolin (R)||P||López (R)|
Max Muncy, Mookie Betts, and Cody Bellinger are all back in the starting lineup after having the night off against the left-handed Rogers. They each had one pinch-hit appearance late in the game. Bellinger was three feet from a grand-slam, while Betts and Muncy both drew walks. AJ Pollock remains in the lineup after hitting two of the hardest hit balls last night at 107 and 108 MPH, both lineouts directly to left field. If one of those is two degrees of launch higher or five feet further left or right, it’s a different game. Regardless, he still has an .897 OPS and a 135 wRC+ over his last nine games and 31 plate appearances.
For the Marlins, Jesus Aguilar takes over at first base as Adam Duvall has the night off. Like I’ve mentioned previously, the Dodgers excel against right-handed pitching with the second ranked 116 wRC+ and fourth ranked OPS at .767. Miami has the 25th ranked OPS against right-handed pitching at .675, and the 19th ranked wRC+ at 91.
Here’s how Gonsolin and López matchup.
Last time out, Gonsolin got his first win of the season against the Nationals after going three innings, while allowing one run on two hits and three walks while striking out four. He’s made five appearances this season, four have been starts and the fifth was that previous three inning outing in a bullpen game. To his credit, he’s only given up one run in each of his appearances, resulting in that solid 2.81 ERA.
A few good things about his start to the season, is that his strikeout rate has been impressive at 30.6%, with 22 strikeouts in 16 innings, tied with Yu Darvish at 30.6%, just trailing guys like Zack Wheeler (31.3%), and Brandon Woodruff (30.7%). Another positive is batters are hitting just .203 against him, once again trailing the likes of Walker Buehler (.194), Darvish (.197), and Wheeler (.198). The issue has been the walks. He’s issued 13 walks in 16 innings, with an 18.1% walk rate, resulting in a 1.56 WHIP. I don’t really need to explain why that’s bad. With improved command and control, it seems like he’s on track to have a successful season once again, but he needs to throw more strikes.
López funny enough, took the loss last Friday despite being ejected after just one pitch. He was coming off two solid starts, one against the Nationals where he went six innings allowing two runs while striking out nine, and then his best start of the season, allowing one hit over seven innings with seven strikeouts against the Cubs. Excluding the one earned run he was charged with in his last start, he’s had a 2.68 ERA, 3.01 FIP, and 0.96 WHIP over his last eight starts and 47 innings. He’s been great, and he’s just continuing from where he left off last season, where he had a 3.61 ERA and 3.09 FIP. He primarily goes to his fastball that sits in the mid 90’s with his changeup as his primary off-speed pitch, but he also mixes in a cutter, sinker, and curveball around 10% of the time each, giving him somewhat of a five pitch arsenal.
Interesting timing after blowing a game late last night, but plantar fasciitis in your foot that you’re pushing off is probably super uncomfortable. He hasn’t been great, but the team relied on him heavily last season, and went to him in the playoffs, so hopefully he’s fine and gets back to his regular self after. Garrett Cleavinger is awesome, hopefully his command and control is a little better this time around, his stuff is absolutely there.
After a slight setback, to get Corey Seager back after the All-Star break would be great. It’ll be just over two months since he’s been out by then, but the team has remained competitive in the tightest division race in baseball, without the NLCS and WS MVP.
Hopefully Steven Souza Jr. finds a spot somewhere. I was pretty excited for him to be able to stick here, but he’s had essentially just one good game.
I know absolutely nothing about Jake Reed, but considering that the Angels cut him when they could use almost anyone serviceable to help them pitch is interesting. It’ll be cool to see him pitch hopefully and see what he can do. Reed had eleven strikeouts and a 2.61 ERA in 10.1 innings in Triple-A.
Huge fan of this. First, this guy is from my former high school, second he’s born on the same day as the Dodgers’ Max Muncy (just twelve years later), and he’s super talented. If he’ll bypass going to Arkansas, in my official not a scout opinion, I’m a fan.
First pitch is at 4:10 PM PDT on SNLA.