Dodgers @ Phillies May 20, 2022: Urías starts as the team plays the Phillies … again

After a four-game series against the Phillies in Los Angeles last week, the two teams will matchup again, this time for a three game series in Philadelphia. The Dodgers (25-12) have won five straight games after dropping the first three games to the Phillies in that series, sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks in a four game series at home. Philadelphia (18-20) trails the Mets by seven games in the NL East, but will look to gain some ground while the Mets have issues with starting pitching depth. The Dodgers are in first place over the San Diego Padres (24-14) by 1.5 games, and they’ll look to keep that margin or extend it over this road trip. This is the beginning of a ten game roadstead, featuring the Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks after this current series.

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4:05 PM Philadelphia
RF Betts 1B Hoskins
1B Freeman (L) 3B Bohm
SS T. Turner RF Castellanos
C Smith 2B Segura
DH J. Turner DH Schwarber (L)
LF Taylor C Realmuto
CF Bellinger (L) SS Camargo (S)
3B Alberto LF Herrera (L)
2B Lux (L) CF Quinn (S)
P Urías (L) P Suárez (L)

Bryce Harper is not playing in the first game of the series, which is a blessing, as he looked like his 2021 NL MVP self last series, going 8-15 with four doubles and three homers in three games. However since playing in the first three games of the series in Los Angeles, Harper now hasn’t played since 5/14 and isn’t in the starting lineup today. The team will run out what is essentially their top lineup, with the main change having Max Muncy sit out against the left-handed Suárez, while Hanser Alberto starts at third base. The Dodgers are fourth overall in wRC+ at 116, while the Phillies are 13th at 107. Against left-handed pitching, the Dodgers have improved as of late and are up to 12th in wRC+ at 101, while the Phillies are sixth at 117. All of Freddie Freeman (163 WRC+), Mookie Betts (133 wRC+), Will Smith (126), Trea Turner (124), and Chris Taylor (123) are significantly above average against left-handed pitching, and naturally all are in the starting lineup today (as usual).

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Here’s how Urías and Suárez matchup.

Urias took the loss in his last start which was against the Phillies, allowing eight runs (five earned) on eight hits with three strikeouts in six innings. Urias gave up four home runs and found himself in a 6-1 hole after the third inning. He has recently improved his command, cutting down on the walks, but the Phillies hit two of those four home runs on first pitch strikes. Look for Urias to switch it up during this start, as this is a chance for redemption against the Phillies. Prior to that last start, he also went six innings against the Pirates, but luckily allowed just two runs on 11 hits while striking out four. He hasn’t been near his former self, giving up a total of 19 hits and seven earned runs over his last two starts and twelve innings pitched. However, he has gone six innings in each of his last four starts now, and has not walked a batter in his last three starts, lowering his walk rate to 5.4%. He’s been hittable and it’s worth monitoring moving forward, keeping an eye on his velocity and performance, but he’ll look to bounce back from his last couple starts tonight.

The last outing for Suárez was his win against the Dodgers, allowing three runs on five hits and one walk with six strikeouts in seven innings. Two early homers by the Phillies gave Suarez a big lead and the 26-year-old did his job to prevent the Dodgers offense from getting them back into the game. The lefty appears to have found his stride, going at least six innings while allowing three runs or fewer in three of his last four turns with at least six strikeouts and over 100 pitches in consecutive outings. His two previous starts have been the best of his season, allowing just three earned runs total (all three against the Dodgers) with 13 strikeouts and three walks total.

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Not great news for Tommy Kahnle, who is easy to root for and disappointing for a bullpen that is already missing Blake Treinen.

Getting Andrew Heaney back soon would be a huge boost, especially with the current absence of Clayton Kershaw, and with Urías and Walker Buehler looking hittable as of late.

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Not facing Zack Wheeler this weekend is very nice.

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https://twitter.com/ericstephen/status/1527728020126982144

It appears that the Dodgers have re-signed old friend Pedro Baez to a minor league deal, which means he gets to deal with the pitch clock. Exciting.

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First pitch is at 4:05 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!