The Dodgers finally completed a sweep, as they crushed Carlos Carrasco and the rest of the Mets pitching staff to the tune of a 14-4 victory. The Giants and Padres each won yesterday to prevent any changes in the standings, but the Dodgers quietly had a 5-1 road trip and have won seven of their last eight. Both the Dodgers and Mets had to fly home for games in California tonight, as the Mets start a series in San Francisco and the Dodgers host the Pirates. Pittsburgh’s .356 winning percentage (42-76) is tied for the third-worst in all of baseball. The Pirates have been real bad of late, as they’ve lost 10 of their last 11 games (1-9 is somehow not the worst 10-game stretch in the NL Central). The Dodgers swept the Pirates in Pittsburgh in June, as they outscored the Pirates 13-7 in the three games.
|7:10 PM||Los Angeles|
|RF||Polanco (L)||RF||McKinney (L)|
|P||Brault (L)||P||Bruihl (L)|
The Dodgers are essentially using two bullpen games in this series with Julio Urias hitting the IL. Justin Bruihl gets the start tonight. Bruihl started a game at Triple A earlier this season and threw 18 pitches in a perfect first. Between the Majors and Minors, Bruihl has topped out at 43 pitches and has thrown 30 or more pitches in an outing six times, all of which coming in the Minors. He’s topped out at 23 pitches in the Majors and last appeared on Friday, where he threw 15 pitches to four batters and allowed two hits and two walks.
Steven Brault will make his third start of the season for the Pirates. Brault missed the first part of the season with a lat strain that kept him sidelined until mid-July. He’s been effective in his two starts. He allowed a run and three hits in four innings in his first start against Milwaukee, and followed that up allowing two runs in five innings against the Cardinals. He’s issued one walk and struck out eight in nine innings this season and he allowed a pair of solo homers. Brault has pitched against the Dodgers four times in his six-year career, all in relief. He’s allowed 16 hits and 10 runs in 12 2/3 innings against the Dodgers, and he’s walked (8) more than he’s struck out (7).
Obviously dealing with limited sample sizes here, but so far Brault’s velocity has been down a tick. He’s averaged a bit over 92 MPH on his fastball in each of the last three seasons (and exactly 92 MPH in 2017), but is down to 90.8 so far this season.
The Dodgers are certainly rolling out a lineup. Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger and Will Smith all sit with Trea Turner getting a start at short again. Justin Turner is in the lineup again, and Albert Pujols gets the start at first against a lefty.
Enter a new arm (and new hair)
Andre Jackson will make his Major League debut tonight behind Bruihl. Jackson was Dustin’s 7th-ranked prospect on his midseason update and brings the 80-grade hair that the Dodgers have been missing since Dustin May hit the IL. The roster move wasn’t announced before I scheduled this post, so just imagine it’s here.
The Dodgers have a new bullpen candidate.
They claimed Evan Phillips from Tampa. The 26-year-old righty has appeared in four Major League seasons and the Dodgers will be his fourth team. He made one appearance for the Rays this season, and allowed a run over three innings for a three-inning save (@ericstephen) on Friday.
Clayton Kershaw catch update.
Kershaw’s next step will be determined after he responds to playing catch.
What’s better than one shirt, you may ask?
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PDT and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.