Dodgers @ Marlins July 8, 2021: Urias vs. Alcantara; please don’t get swept

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Baseball is so cruel. The Dodgers steamrolled their way to a 9-game winning streak and have since followed that up with three consecutive lackluster performances in Miami against the plucky Marlins.

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9:10 a.m. Miami
RF Betts 2B Chisholm Jr.
1B Muncy CF Marte
LF Beaty RF Cooper
CF Bellinger 1B Aguilar
C Smith SS Rojas
2B Taylor LF Sánchez
SS Lux C Leon (S)
3B McKinstry 3B Berti
P Urias (L) P Alcantara (R)

Julio Urias gets the ball this morning. He’s being opposed by Sandy Alcantara, the Marlins’ second-best pitcher. So, it’ll be a tall task to avoid the 4-game sweep.

Justin Turner is just getting a day off. He’ll play all three games against Arizona this weekend before a well-deserved rest for the All-Star break. Last night’s almost-hero Zach McKinstry starts in his stead.

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I’m going to spend a decent portion of this thread talking about the injury to Clayton Kershaw. It was revealed shortly before game time on Wednesday that he was going on the injured list with left forearm inflammation.

That’s … not great. It’s the first time in his career that he’s ended up on the IL with a non-shoulder arm injury, and the forearm inflammation isn’t great. It can lead to a strain which is sometimes (but not all the time) a precursor to a player needing Tommy John surgery. I wouldn’t worry about that right now. It’s not a direct correlation. But he’s going to be out for a little while.

They get back on Friday. I’m sure there will be an MRI and other tests that can help determine the severity of the injury.

One way or another, the Dodgers are going to need to figure out their pitching depth. With Trevor Bauer out (and should never put on the uniform again) and Kershaw’s injury, they’re considering stretching David Price out to get him back in the rotation. He’s going to try to go three innings on Friday. Tony Gonsolin‘s last start was promising, so that’s a spot of good news. Urias has been good this season, but he’s also logged more innings than he has in any season since 2016. There’s no telling how the second half might impact his performance.

Right now, the Dodgers are basically Walker Buehler and everyone else. Expect them to pursue at least one starting pitcher at the trade deadline. If Kershaw’s test results are more worrisome than hoped, then it wouldn’t be at all crazy to think they could target a couple starting pitchers. We’ll start the trade deadline series after the draft (this Sunday), but expect to see some names like Jose Berrios, Sonny Gray, Kyle Gibson, Max Scherzer and, yes, even Kenta Maeda.

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The Dodgers made a roster move prior to today’s game.

Quick “scouting” report on Darien Nunez: 92-95 MPH fastball, good curveball, a little wild. He ranked No. 41 in 2019 and No. 44 in 2020 in my Top 100 prospects list.

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If Price can get stretched out, then maybe they won’t need to look for two starters on the market (or in the minors in the form of Josiah Gray and/or Ryan Pepiot).

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Something to keep in mind for today’s game.

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.