Diamondbacks @ Dodgers May 17, 2021: Pujols bats cleanup in his Dodger debut

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

The Dodgers dropped the finale of the weekend series against the Marlins to snap a four-game winning streak. Losing a bullpen game isn’t a huge shock, but the Dodger bats went quiet once again in the 3-2 loss.

Today, the Dodgers welcome the Diamondbacks to LA for the first of 19 meetings between these two teams in the regular season. Arizona currently sits in fourth place in the NL West at 18-23 and have been struggling of late, with three wins in their last 13 games. They dropped two of three against the Nationals over the weekend and were outscored 24-13 in the three games, as they allowed 17 runs in Friday’s game and scored 11 on Saturday.

7:10 PM Los Angeles
1B Smith (L) RF Betts
RF Rojas (L) 3B Turner
3B Escobar (S) 2B Muncy (L)
LF Peralta (L) 1B Pujols
2B Leyba (S) C Smith
C Vogt (L) LF Neuse
SS Ahmed SS Lux (L)
CF Locastro CF Peters
P Bumgarner (L) P Buehler (R)

Walker Buehler starts tonight on an extra day of rest. He allowed four runs in seven innings his last time out against Seattle, as he struck out eight while allowing only four hits and one walk. However, three of those four hits left the yard, as he allowed three homers in a game for the third time in his career. He’s allowed eight homers in seven starts this season, after allowing seven in eight starts in 2020. He’s been an equal-opportunity dong provider, as he’s allowed four to righties and four to lefties this season. Buehler started twice against Arizona last season. He shut them out over five innings on September 2, but had his shortest outing of the season in Arizona on September 8. He allowed five runs (three of which were unearned due to a Gavin Lux throwing error) and needed 61 pitches to record eight outs.

The Dodgers face a familiar foe today, as Madison Bumgarner gets the start for the Diamondbacks. Madbum started the season in incredibly washed fashion, as he allowed 22 hits and 17 runs in 13 2/3 innings spread out over his first three starts. However, he’s been absolutely dominant in his last five starts. In 30 innings over his last five starts, Bumgarner has allowed 12 hits and three runs while running a 34:2 K:BB. Opponents are OPSing .370 against Bumgarner in his last five starts after having a .367 batting average against him in his first three outings. Neither sample is probably indicative of Bumgarner’s true talent level now, but a 4.12 ERA overall is probably pretty close.

Bumgarner is one of the softest-throwing pitchers in the Majors, as he’s in the eighth percentile in average fastball velocity. His four-seamer averages 90.8 MPH and he’s thrown it nearly 36 percent of the time. He throws a cutter 37.5 percent of the time and a curveball 23 percent.

Speaking of washed, Albert Pujols makes his Dodger debut and bats cleanup, moving Max Muncy to second and Lux to short. DJ Peters starts in center and Sheldon Neuse gets the start in left.


The Dodgers made a few roster moves.

Pujols and Yoshi Tsutsugo are both active, with Alex Vesia and Keibert Ruiz getting optioned to make room.

David Price is also back from his hamstring injury. Mitch White pitched a scoreless inning last night, and he’s been optioned to make room for Price.


Chris Taylor is not in the lineup against a righty, but is available today.

He was scratched from the lineup yesterday with wrist soreness, but it doesn’t appear to be serious.

I am very happy about the number of likes this tweet has at time of posting.


First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM 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.