The Dodgers kicked off their four-game series against the Cubs with a mostly-stress-free victory. Craig Kimbrel continued his weird ass season by allowing three baserunners and striking out two batters before needing to be relieved by Alex Vesia to close out the 5-3 win.
Vesia to closer please. Also he lowkey looks like Frenchie from The Boys and it’s weird that nobody talks about that. Tonight the Dodgers look for a fifth consecutive victory and their ninth win in the last 10 games, which has helped them jump ahead of the NL West race by six games, the largest gap in any NL division.
|7:10 PM||Los Angeles|
|LF||Happ (S)||SS||T. Turner|
|P||Thompson (R)||P||Anderson (L)|
Tyler Anderson makes his 16th start of the season for the Dodgers tonight. He’s coming off a good outing against the Padres over the weekend, allowing a run and six hits over 6 1/3 innings while issuing two walks and striking out six. It was a nice bounce-back after two rough starts following his near-no-hitter, which saw his ERA jump from 2.82 to 3.23. It’s back down at 3.09 right now, which has to be better than the Dodgers expected when he was signed in March.
Anderson pitched the second game of a doubleheader back in May in Chicago. He held the Cubs to four hits and two runs over five innings. Willson Contreras was his main tormenter, as he tripled and homered off Anderson. Contreras was named an All-Star starter today, but is out of the lineup tonight and has missed three games with hamstring tightness (future Dodger?).
Keegan Thompson starts for the Cubs tonight. He’s made 18 appearances (10 starts) so far this season and has a 3.41 ERA/3.79 FIP in 71 1/3 innings. Most of his success came out of the bullpen, as he owns a 1.38 ERA in 26 relief innings and held opponents to a .505 OPS against him. As a starter, opponents are OPS’ing .812 against him and he has a 4.57 ERA. Thompson relieved Daniel Norris in game two of that May doubleheader against the Dodgers and inherited a bases-loaded situation. He allowed all three runs to score, as he walked Hanser Alberto and allowed a bases-clearing double to Mookie Betts. He finished off that inning and allowed only one other baserunner in two innings.
Thompson is mostly a three-pitch pitcher, with a four-seamer (43.1 percent), cutter (26 percent) and curveball (18 percent) making up most of his arsenal. He mixes in a changeup and a slider, and some of his fastballs are tracked as sinkers on Baseball Savant. Despite only throwing it 18 percent of the time, four of the seven homers Thompson has allowed have come on the curve.
All-Star starters were announced today.
Betts and Trea Turner both were named All-Star starters after the second round of voting. Turner beat out Dansby Swanson with 51 percent of the vote for the starting shortstop spot, and Betts was the highest vote-getter of outfielders in the second phase of voting. Joc Pederson was the second-highest vote getter in the outfield, meaning he and Ronald Acuna Jr. will round out the NL outfield. This is the first time the Dodgers have had two position player starters in the All-Star game since 1980, which is the last time the game was held in LA. Reserves will be announced on Sunday. Former Dodger Albert Pujols will be one of the reserves, as he and Miguel Cabrera were given roster spots by the commissioner.
Brusdar Graterol left the game last night with an injury.
He seemingly avoided anything serious as he left with what seemed like a cramp. He’ll be unavailable today but will avoid the IL.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PT and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.