Mariners @ Dodgers May 11, 2020: Kikuchi vs. Buehler

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

The Dodgers haven’t lost in more than 24 hours, which is a win. After losing yet another one-run game on Sunday, the Dodgers sit a game over .500 and 3.5 games behind the first-place Giants in the NL West. Tonight, the Dodgers return home to start a homestand with a two-game series against the Mariners. The Mariners and Dodgers both have surprising 18-17 records, but each is a surprise for a different reason. The Mariners sit in third place in the AL West with a -12 run differential and have lost four of their last six games, including the last two games over the weekend against Texas.

7:10 PM Los Angeles
SS Crawford (L) RF Betts
RF Haniger SS Seager (L)
CF Lewis 3B Turner
3B Seager (L) C Smith
2B France 1B Muncy (L)
C Torrens CF Taylor
LF Moore LF Neuse
1B White 2B Lux (L)
P Kikuchi (L) P Buehler (R)

Walker Buehler gets his seventh start of the season. The Dodgers are 3-3 in his previous six starts, but he’s only received the decision in one of those outings. Buehler allowed two runs over six innings in his last start in Chicago and left with a one-run lead. The Cubs tied the game in the eighth and after each team scored in the 10th and the Dodgers got a run in the top of the 11th, Chicago scored two in the bottom to give the Dodgers one of their 10 one-run losses and one of their six extra inning losses this season. Buehler only struck out 12 batters in his first three starts of the season, but he’s struck out 27 in his last three.

Yusei Kikuchi also gets his seven start of the season. The 29-year-old lefty is in his third Major League season after nine seasons in the Japanese Eastern League. He’s struggled a bit since coming over, with a 5.22 ERA and 5.05 FIP in 246 1/3 Major League innings. He’s been a bit better than that this season, with a 4.30 ERA and 4.40 FIP in 37.2 innings so far this season.

Kikuchi has gone deep into games this season, completing seven innings in three of his six starts after doing so only four times in 41 starts heading into this season. He’s completed seven in each of his last two starts; a seven inning, one run shutout against Houston and a three-run, seven inning outing against Baltimore last time out. He’s been especially tough on lefties this year. In 30 plate appearances, lefties are slashing .103/.133/.103 so far in 2021.

AJ Pollock remains out of the lineup against a lefty, but will still avoid the IL. Sheldon Neuse gets the start in left.


The Dodgers made a roster move.

Luke Raley was recalled to take an empty 25-man roster spot. Yesterday, the Dodgers optioned Keibert Ruiz to OKC, leaving them with two catchers on the roster yet again.


Injury updates galore.

Pollock is available to pinch hit today and could be in the lineup tomorrow or Friday after the off day. Tony Gonsolin will face live batters in Arizona this week, and is expected to be built up to start before rejoining the team. David Price seemed healthy throwing off the mound and will face hitters. He could return without a rehab assignment. Cody Bellinger will go on a rehab assignment before returning, and the Dodgers are encouraged by his running.


First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PDT 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.