Dodgers @ Mariners April 19, 2021: May and the Dodgers look to avoid a losing streak

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

The Dodgers dropped the finale of the most important series in baseball history in San Diego. They opted to go with a pitcher making his first appearance of the season and probably the two last guys out of the bullpen in a one-run game, and it surprisingly did not go well. They still left San Diego with another series win and a 13-3 record overall, and now open up a quick two-game series in Seattle. The Mariners are currently in first place in the AL West at 10-6, despite a -3 run differential. They’ve won four of their last five games, including taking two of three in a weekend series against the Astros.

7:10 P.M. Seattle
CF Betts RF Haniger
SS Seager (L) 3B France
DH Turner DH Seager (L)
C Smith LF Marmolejos (L)
2B Taylor 1B White
LF Pollock C Torrens
RF McKinstry (L) CF Trammell (L)
3B Neuse 2B Moore
1B Rios (L) SS Crawford (L)
P May (R) P Sheffield (L)

Dustin May starts the opener of the series in Seattle. May wasn’t quite as dominant in his last start as he was in his first, as he lasted only 4 1/3 innings against the Rockies. May allowed seven hits and was charged with two runs, both coming in the fifth inning and one of which came after being removed for Victor Gonzalez. Given the quality of his stuff, it’s surprising how bad May was at striking out batters in 2020. May’s 19.6 strikeout rate was 61st out of 81 pitchers with over 50 innings pitched in 2020, which was also the worst among Dodger starters not named Ross Stripling. He’s had the strikeouts working so far in 2021, with 14 in 10 1/3 innings (last year he had 44 in 56 innings). His 31.8 percent strikeout rate so far this year is 25th-best out of 145 pitchers with 10 innings or more, and the second-highest among Dodger starters. Obviously a small sample size and he hasn’t faced a world-beating offense yet, but still a welcomed sight.

Justus Sheffield starts for the Mariners for the third time in 2021. He had a rough debut against the White Sox, as he allowed six runs (four earned) and eight hits over five innings. He bounced back last time out against the Orioles with a six-inning, three-hit effort where he allowed two runs. In each game he’s issued one walk, struck out five batters and surrendered one home run. Sheffield is a three-pitch pitcher, throwing a sinker 49.7 percent of the time, slider 30.2 percent of the time and changeup 20.1 percent. His slider is his best pitch- hitters hit only .192 with a .188 xBA against it last season. He’s thrown 51 sliders so far this season and has gotten a whiff on 51.9 percent of them.

Justin Turner will serve as the DH in the opener with Sheldon Neuse getting the start as third, his second position in two starts. Max Muncy gets his first day off with Edwin Rios getting the start at first. Defending AL Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis is expected to make his 2021 debut tomorrow as he returns from a bone bruise that’s sidelined him since Spring Training.


The Dodgers announced their rotation for the second act of the 2021 World Series, a weekend series with the Padres in LA starting on Thursday.

Julio Urias was originally announced as the Sunday starter, but it’ll be May staying on rotation. Urias will start the early game tomorrow and then likely start next Monday’s series opener against the Reds.


Dodgers vaccine update:

There are reportedly 10 teams over the 85-percent vaccination threshold, which loosens restrictions for the team. Do it for Cody Bellinger‘s Warzone nights. He needs this while he’s on the IL. Also, get your vaccines, dummies.


Wholesome content alert:

Vin Scully got his ring.


First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PST and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.

About Alex Campos

I've been writing about the Dodgers since I graduated from Long Beach State, where I covered the Dirtbags in my senior year. I'm either very good or very bad at puns.