With the Dodgers’ 8-6 comeback win Friday night over the Brewers (95-65), the Dodgers (104-56) remained two games behind the Giants (106-56) in the NL West with two games remaining in the regular season. San Francisco has the opportunity to win the division with either a win today over the Padres or a Dodgers loss. The Padres defeated the Giants 3-2 in 10 innings this afternoon, keeping the door slightly ajar for the Dodgers.
To win the NL West, the Dodgers need to force and then win a Game 163 on Monday at Oracle Park. That would mean the Dodgers need to win both remaining games, and the Giants are going to have to lose both of theirs. The Dodgers’ odds to win the division, going into Saturday’s games, was at 4.7% per FanGraphs. Unlikely, but not outside the realm of a small baseball miracle.
|6:10 PM||Los Angeles|
|3B||Escobar (S)||2B||T. Turner|
|LF||Yelich (L)||1B||Muncy (L)|
|P||Burnes (R)||P||Urias (L)|
The Dodgers’ final series of the regular season continues Saturday night with a great pitching matchup between Julio Urías (19-3, 3.01 ERA, 3.16 FIP, 1.037 WHIP) and Corbin Burnes (11-4, 2.29 ERA, 1.55 FIP, 0.933 WHIP). Both Urias and Burnes should be in the discussion for Cy Young Award.
Urias has been fantastic both on the mound and at the plate for the Dodgers this season. The southpaw leads MLB with 19 wins and is sixth in the NL in ERA (3.01), FIP (3.16) and WHIP (1.04). His 26% strikeout rate and 5% walk rate are the best of his career so far. Urias will go for his 20th win of the season, a pitching feat which is becoming rare in the game today. He’s proven that he can handle the workload of a full-time starter with a career-high 179.1 innings pitched.
With the bat, Urias has been impressive as well. He has a .211 batting average with nine RBI, which is tied with Germán Márquez for the league lead among pitchers. I’m going to miss watching him hit if MLB goes with the Universal DH. Anyhow, Julio has been great this season, and a 20th victory for him would be the cherry on top.
For Milwaukee, they’ll have MLB ERA leader Burnes on the mound. Burnes is leading Max Scherzer for the ERA title by .17, so it would behoove the Dodgers’ offense to continue their hot hitting against him in order to help Scherzer potentially snag the ERA crown.
|Rank||Player (age that year)||Fielding Independent Pitching||Year||IP||Throws|
|1.||Christy Mathewson (27)||1.287||1908||390.2||R|
|2.||Satchel Paige (38)||1.322||1945||38.0||R|
|3.||Walter Johnson (22)||1.379||1910||370.0||R|
|4.||Pedro Martinez (27)||1.395||1999||213.1||R|
|5.||Ed Walsh (27)||1.418||1908||464.0||R|
|6.||Frank Bradle (20)||1.484||1938||48.2||R|
|7.||Rube Waddell (31)||1.506||1908||285.2||L|
|8.||Cy Young (41)||1.522||1908||299.0||R|
|9.||Corbin Burnes (26)||1.557||2021||165.0||R|
|10.||Rube Waddell (30)||1.569||1907||284.2||L|
Burnes also leads MLB with a 35.5% strikeout rate, and his walk rate is 5.1%. That’s good for third best in baseball, slightly behind Urias (5.0%).
The Dodgers have dealt with a plethora of injuries this season, including the potential loss of Kershaw for the postseason after he exited Friday’s game in the second inning with left forearm discomfort. Former MVP Cody Bellinger hasn’t been his MVP self this year. They lost Dustin May early in the season to Tommy John surgery, and the Trevor Bauer disaster led them to scramble to find starting pitching reinforcements. Despite all those bullpen games, the injuries and the often streaky offense, they still have the potential to tie the franchise record of 106 wins with a sweep of the Brewers this final series.
The Dodgers’ comeback win on Friday was a bittersweet victory when Clayton Kershaw left the game, game ball in hand with a left forearm injury. Today he was placed on the 10-day injured list, and Mitch White was recalled in a corresponding move.
The move wasn’t a shock after Kershaw told Juan Toribo of MLB.com that the odds of him pitching again this season aren’t looking good.
“This team is special, you saw it tonight, you saw what Trea did and what this team is capable of doing,” said an emotional Kershaw. “I’ve known that. I know that we’re going to do something special this year and I wanted to be a part of that. That’s the hardest part for me right now is just knowing that chances are that it’s not looking good [for me] in October right now.”
I can’t imagine Kersh pitching for any other team. Hopefully the Dodgers can bring him back on a new contract so he can finish his career as a Dodger as it should be.
The Dodgers are playing some of their best baseball right now, but unfortunately the two best teams in baseball are in the same division. It has made for an exciting pennant race down the stretch between the two rivals. I wouldn’t be surprised if this race goes right down to the wire and isn’t decided until Game 162 or even, hopefully, Game 163.
First pitch is at 6:10 PM PST.