Dodgers @ Diamondbacks April 27, 2022: Seeking a third straight rubber game victory

For the third straight series, the Dodgers have won the first game and dropped the second before looking for a series victory in the third. Impressively, it’s the third straight game thread I’ve taken on with the team in this situation.

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Starting pitching hasn’t really been an issue in the two games against the Diamondbacks so far. After Walker Buehler‘s complete game shutout on Monday, Tony Gonsolin finished 4 innings against Arizona with 5 strikeouts to 3 hits and 1 walk allowed. As has been the case at times in his major league career, Gonsolin’s pitch count ran a little high but 33 of those 75 pitches came in the 3rd inning due in part to an error and a weak single in back-to-back at-bats.

After the bullpen was pretty well-rested heading into Tuesday, Justin Bruihl, Evan Phillips, Alex Vesia and Brusdar Graterol all were used for an inning. Bruihl needed just 9 pitches in his inning, with the others going 14, 14 and 17 respectively.

This afternoon’s game will be Julio Urias‘ fourth start this season and it will be interesting to see where his velocity is after it has taken a bump up in each start and on all four pitches tracked by Baseball Savant:

April 22, at San DiegoApril 16, vs. CincinnatiApril 10, at Colorado
Fastball92.7 (37 pitches)92.3 (36 pitches)91.4 (23 pitches)
Curve81.4 (29 pitches)80.5 (19 pitches)80.3 (16 pitches)
Change86.2 (8 pitches)86.0 (9 pitches)84.6 (15 pitches)
Sinker 94.1 (1 pitch)92.9 (1 pitch)91.7 (3 pitches)

Allowing just 1 run in 5 innings against San Diego, Urias finished with 6 strikeouts to 3 walks last Friday. That followed a 5-inning outing against the Reds with just 1 hit and 1 walk allowed to 5 strikeouts.

Urias started against the D-backs four times last season, with the Dodgers winning all four games. Finishing with 21 2/3 innings, 23 strikeouts, 3 walks, 15 hits and 3 runs allowed, Urias earned 4 of his 20 victories against Arizona alone.

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On the other side, it will be Zac Gallen facing a team other than the Mets for the first time in 2022.

Holding the Mets to just 1 run in 9 innings, Gallen allowed just 4 hits and 2 walks in the two games combined. In the second meeting, Gallen struck out 7 batters in his 5 innings of work, on April 22 in Phoenix.

Last season, Gallen finished the year with 121 1/3 innings while striking out 139 to 49 walks. Holding a 4.30 ERA/4.25 FIP/3.00 SIERA, Gallen completed a third major league season with his WAR at 1.6 or 1.5.

Gallen started three games against the Dodgers last season, with the D-backs going 2-1 in the games. Striking out 8 batters in late July, Gallen allowed just 2 runs in 6 innings before splitting a pair of games in September. First allowing 4 runs on 8 hits and 3 walks, Gallen finished with just 4 strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings on Sept. 13. Less than two weeks later, Gallen’s start in Los Angeles was closer to the one in July. Allowing 1 run in 6 innings, Gallen struck out another 8 batters in his final meeting with the Dodgers.

Of those 20 strikeouts, Gallen got Max Muncy four times, Justin Turner four times, Chris Taylor three times and Will Smith three times. Taylor did however get a homer off of Gallen in the July meeting.

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Image Image
12:40 PM Phoenix
RF Betts LF Hummel (S)
1B Freeman (L) RF Luplow
SS T. Turner DH Davidson
3B Muncy (L) 1B Walker
CF Bellinger (L) 2B Marte (S)
LF Taylor C Kelly
DH Rios (L) SS Ahmed
2B Lux (L) CF Varsho (L)
C Barnes 3B Alcantara (S)
P Urias (L) P Manaea (L)

While the D-backs won 5-3 last night thanks to David Peralta‘s two-run homer in the 8th, it was just the second extra-base hit by the D-backs in 17 innings against the Dodgers. It’s just seven hits total in the two games, with Peralta’s homer and double the only extra-base hits. And with a lefty on the mound, and a career platoon split of .675 to a .844 OPS, Peralta is out of the starting lineup today.

As for the Dodgers, Edwin Rios gets another start at DH while Austin Barnes catches Urias. Counting this afternoon, that’s 6 games at DH for Rios behind Justin Turner’s 8 and Muncy’s 4.

After 3 homers in 24 at-bats during the spring, with 6 walks to 6 strikeouts, Rios has just 4 hits in 17 at-bats this season with 1 home run. He’s not nearly struggling as bad as he was to start the 2021 season, but it would be nice to see him slow down the 44.4 K%.

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First pitch is scheduled for 12:40 PM PDT and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.

About Cody Bashore

Cody Bashore is a lifelong Dodger fan originally from Carpinteria, California (about 80 miles north of Dodger Stadium along the coast). He left California to attend Northern Arizona University in 2011, and has lived in Arizona full-time since he graduated in 2014 with a journalism degree. He now works for the university’s athletics department after spending seven years with the local newspaper.