Dodgers @ Giants July 28, 2021: Buehler vs. DeSclafani

The Dodgers (61-41), dropped the first of three games to the San Francisco Giants (63-37) last night by a score of 2-1. The offense managed only that lone run, and once again managed to lose in a one run game. That drops their record in one run games to 13-18, the fifth worst record in baseball. Pretty astonishing for a team that holds the fourth best record in baseball overall. It seems as if in any somewhat close game, the team is destined to ultimately either lose by one run, or in extra innings. Their 1-10 record in extra innings is the worst in baseball. Whether it’s an error like last night, poor defense, offensive execution, or relief pitching, every night it’s a surprise as to how they’ll manage to lose. Tonight, they’ll try to not do that again. Walker Buehler is on the mound up against Anthony DeSclafani.

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6:45 PM San Francisco
SS Taylor RF Yastrzemski (L)
2B Muncy (L) C Posey
3B Turner LF Dickerson (L)
C Smith 2B Flores
1B Bellinger (L) CF Duggar (L)
CF Pollock 1B Ruf
LF Beaty (L) 3B Vosler (L)
RF McKinney (L) SS Estrada
P Buehler (R) P DeSclafani (R)

There isn’t much to say about the offense as of late. They’ve scored five runs in the last three games, although despite that, the offense has managed to put the team in positions to win recently, only to give it back somehow. Overall, the team is 3-6 in their last nine games, but the offense has somehow managed to put the team close enough to win in all but two of those games. Overall, they’ve now lost three consecutive games to the Giants, all via the comeback.

The team needs some relief help. Even with an offense devoid of Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, and featuring a struggling Cody Bellinger, just with some relief help, the team could’ve won the majority of all their recent games and be in sole possession of first place. At the end of the day, they’re still trailing by three full games.

The offense will have the same identical top six as yesterday, with Matt Beaty starting in left field over Luke Raley, and Billy McKinney batting eighth instead of seventh yesterday. Chris Taylor still looked strong with an eighth inning double, but the team will need to score more than one run to win. Walker Buehler will very likely put the team in a position to win, and the offense needs to execute.

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Here’s how Buehler and DeSclafani matchup.

Both of these pitchers have been great, and two of the strongest in the National League. Amongst qualified starters in the NL, Buehler has the fifth lowest ERA at 2.31, is ninth in FIP at 3.20, and fifth in WHIP at 0.91. In these same areas, DeSclafani is 12th in ERA at 2.87, however 19th in FIP at 3.61, and eighth in WHIP at 1.00. They’re both at ten wins each, trailing just Julio Urias and Kyle Hendricks who each have 12 wins.

Last time out, Buehler went 7.1 innings against the Giants, allowing just one run on five hits and one walk with nine strikeouts. That was his fourth start against the Giants this season, and now has a 1.00 ERA over 27.0 innings, allowing three earned runs on just seventeen hits over that span. He’s been red hot for almost the entire second half of his season thus far, with a 1.70 ERA, 2.48 FIP, and a 0.86 WHIP over his last nine starts and 58.1 innings. Of his 20 total starts, he’s gone six innings or more in all but just one start, pitching just five innings early in July against the Marlins.

DeSclafani, allowed three runs on six hits and a walk while striking out seven over six innings in his previous start against the Dodgers. That was also his fourth start against the team this season, featuring an 8.84 ERA in total, allowing 18 earned runs in 18.1 innings. Without elaborating on that more, that’s due to his first start against the Dodgers resulting in ten earned runs in just 2.2 innings. Additionally, he still hasn’t had a ton of success against the Dodgers, allowing eight earned runs in 15.2 innings over those other three starts, for a 4.60 ERA. Without facing the Dodgers at all, he has a 1.78 ERA over his other 16 starts and 101 innings. He’s basically been borderline elite all year, except against the Dodgers.

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Buehler also turned 27 years-old today.

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The team needs a healthy Betts to make up real ground in the NL West. It’s better to wait longer and hope he can get fully healthy, so putting him on the Injured List was a good call.

They also need a healthy Clayton Kershaw to make up ground.

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First pitch is at 6:45 PM PDT on SNLA.

About Allan Yamashige

Just a guy living in Southern California, having a good time writing about baseball. Hated baseball practice as a kid, but writing about it rules. Thanks for reading!