The Dodgers have hit their roughest stretch of the season so far, as last an extra-inning loss last night gave them their first three-game losing streak of the season. They won six straight to start May, but have lost four of their last five. The optimist view is that the Dodgers have scored 17 runs in the last two games, which is undoubtably good despite still managing to squander some scoring chances. However, they’ve given up 21 runs in 19 innings in this series. They used six relievers last night, with Craig Kimbrel and Evan Phillips each throwing more than 20 pitches. Tonight, the Dodgers look to right the ship and salvage a chance of splitting the four-game series.
|7:10 PM||Los Angeles|
|DH||Harper (L)||SS||T. Turner|
|LF||Schwarber (L)||CF||Bellinger (L)|
|P||Suarez (L)||P||Urias (L)|
Julio Urias makes his seventh start of the season tonight. He’s coming off a weird start in Pittsburgh, where he allowed two runs in six innings. However, he only struck out four and allowed 11 hits, the most he’s allowed in a game since last May. He did a good job escaping jams, as he stranded seven Pirates on base (with some help from Mookie Betts‘ arm). Urias saw the Phillies once in 2021 and turned in a solid outing, allowing three runs (two earned) and six hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Ranger Suarez gets the ball for the Phillies, which has usually been a good sign for Philadelphia this season. Despite having a worse ERA and FIP than Urias, the Phillies are 5-1 when Suarez starts (as opposed to the Dodgers being 3-3 when Urias starts). Suarez is coming off his best start of the season in Seattle, as he blanked the Mariners through six innings and scattered four hits and two walks while striking out a season-high seven batters.
The 26-year-old lefty was phenomenal in 2021, when he split time between the rotation and bullpen. In 106 innings, Suarez posted a 1.000 WHIP and 1.36 ERA/2.72 FIP. He struck out 107 batters while walking only 33 overall. He made 12 starts (65 2/3 innings) in 2021 and opponents slashed .219/.282/.265 against him as he posted a 1.51 ERA as a starter. Despite being used as a reliever as well, Suarez didn’t really have any fall off the deeper he went into games. He faced 59 batters a third time in one game last season and held those batters to a .200/.254/.273 triple slash line. He only allowed one homer as a starter last season.
Suarez is a sinkerballer, throwing a sinker 52.4 percent of the time so far this season. He throws a changeup 24.2 percent of the time, mostly to righties (only 11 to lefties in 2022). He’s also shown a four-seamer and slider.
Austin Barnes and his hot bat remain in the lineup and behind the plate, with Will Smith getting his first DH appearance today. Max Muncy and Gavin Lux both sit with Hanser Alberto getting the start at second.
Blake Treinen has yet to pick up a baseball, which feels like an important step before returning from injury.
The last Treinen update came with the subtext of the bullpen being dominant, so it didn’t feel like something that couldn’t be overcome. After the last week however, things have changed a bit.
The Clayton Kershaw injury made the Dodgers bump some starters up and left them without a starter for the series finale.
It looks like Michael Grove will become the second Dodger pitching prospect to debut this week. Grove has yet to pitch above Double-A, and after struggling with Tulsa last season has been much better so far in 2022. He has a 2.76 ERA in 16 1/3 innings this season and has struck out 22 of the 67 batters he’s faced. He likely won’t pitch too deep into the game as he’s yet to throw more than 72 pitches in a game this year. Grove was Josh’s 17th-ranked and Dustin’s 21st-ranked prospect in their Top 30 prospect lists.
Shoutout Sarah Wexler for the important boots-on-the-ground reporting we all needed on this day (open this thread).
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PDT and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.