Dodgers @ Cardinals July 24, 2016: Kazmir vs. Mayers in rubber game

4:15 p.m. PT
St. Louis
2B Utley LF Grichuk
SS Seager SS Diaz
3B Turner RF Piscotty
1B González 1B Holliday
LF Kendrick 3B Gyorko
C Grandal C Molina
RF Toles CF Pham
CF Pederson 2B Wong
Kazmir (L)
Mayers (R)

The Dodgers rebounded nicely from Friday night’s 16-inning loss, handing the Cardinals a 7-2 defeat in Saturday’s contest. Tonight, the two teams square off on national television with the series on the line, and the Dodgers will be facing a rookie making his first Major League start.

Mike Mayers is a 24-year-old right-handed pitcher selected by the Cardinals in the third round of the 2013 draft. He started the 2016 season with Double-A Springfield, where he made nine starts, posting a 2.30 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP across 54 and two-thirds innings pitched. He was then promoted to Triple-A Memphis, where he made another nine starts, posting a 2.94 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP across 52 innings pitched.

From Viva El Birdos:

Mayers … has made steady progress, starting in High-A in 2014 before pitching half the season in Double-A. Thoracic outlet surgery set him back in 2015, but after a quick start in Double-A this season, Mayers earned a promotion to Memphis.

After his struggles last season, Mayers was not on any major publications’ Cardinals prospect lists, and he is still not in’s Cardinals top 30. Prior to the 2015 season, FanGraphs’ Kiley McDaniel (now in the Braves organization), had this to say:

“[H]e’s a potential fifth starter with a solid average sinker/slider combo but inconsistent fastball command and changeup.”

Basically, Mayers is a big question mark who may or may not be ready for this opportunity, so expect him totally shut the Dodgers down tonight.

Scott Kazmir comes into this game following his second-longest outing of the season. In his start versus the Nationals on July 19th, Kazmir delivered seven innings of one-run ball, the lone run coming via a Jose Lobaton solo shot. In that game, Kazmir struck out eight batters while walking none. That start was just the eighth time this season a Dodgers starter who wasn’t Clayton Kershaw pitched seven full innings.

Yasiel Puig is out of the lineup for the third straight game, and Dave Roberts won’t rule out the DL for him:

Meanwhile, Brett Anderson is due to start rehab this week:

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About Sarah Wexler

Sarah Wexler is a native Angeleno and longtime Dodger fan. She began blogging about baseball in 2012 on her Tumblr, New Grass On The Field, where she covered an array of topics but especially enjoyed exploring baseball history. She is now a reporter/producer for She earned her master's degree in Sports Management from Cal State Long Beach. She graduated from New York University in 2014 with a bachelor's in History and a minor in American Studies. She's an avid Springsteen fan, which is a big boost to her baseball writer cred.