D-Backs @ Dodgers May 20, 2021: Price and the bullpen look for a sweep

(Photo: Stacie Wheeler)

The Dodgers looked a bit like the 2020 Dodgers last night, as they rode a late rally to their third straight win. While they haven’t made up much ground in the NL West since the Padres and Giants can’t stop winning, the Dodgers have won seven of their last eight. They look for a four-game sweep tonight and turn to another bullpen game to do it.

7:10 PM Los Angeles
1B Smith (L) RF Betts
CF Marte (S) 2B Muncy (L)
SS Rojas (L) 3B Turner
3B Escobar (L) C Smith
RF Reddick (L) CF Taylor (L)
LF Peralta (L) 1B Pujols
2B Leyba (S) LF Tsutsugo (L)
C Vogt (L) SS Lux (L)
P Kelly (R) P Price (L)

The Dodgers are going with Johnny Wholestaff tonight, and David Price gets the first crack at the Diamondbacks. It’ll be Price’s first start as a Dodger after opting out of last season and being pushed into a bullpen role this season. He appeared in relief on Tuesday against Arizona and needed seven pitches to throw a perfect inning. It was his first appearance in weeks after being sidelined with a hamstring injury. He hasn’t thrown more than 20 pitches in a game since April 5 so he likely won’t pitch long into the game.

Has Chad made an inappropriate joke yet or … ?

Edwin Uceta is reportedly ready to pitch the bulk innings.

Uceta hasn’t pitched fewer than two innings in any of his three Major League appearances this season. He took on the bulk of the bullpen game against Miami and allowed three runs and four hits in three innings.

Merrill Kelly will start tonight for the Diamondbacks. Kelly has struggled this season, with a 5.24 ERA/4.50 FIP in 44 2/3 innings. His numbers are a bit skewed by two six-run starts in early April. In his last five starts, Kelly has allowed 11 runs in 28 2/3 innings and allowed only two homers. Kelly has allowed a lot of baserunners this season (49 hits and 16 walks in 44 2/3 innings) and has yet to strike out more than six in a game. Kelly saw the Dodgers once last year and allowed three runs and nine hits in six innings.

You usually don’t see that much blue in Arizona, am I right? Kelly ranks near the bottom in Average Exit Velocity against, whiff rate and chase rate. Not a winning combination. So far this season, his average velocity is down on all five of his tracked pitch types and Kelly’s cutter, which is the pitch he throws least often, is the only pitch with an xBA against of less than .280.

Chris Taylor starts in center today for the Dodgers. Dustin called him the Dodgers’ MVP earlier today and it’s pretty hard to disagree with that given how productive and versatile he’s been. Arizona called Josh Reddick up from the minors and he starts in right. A fan favorite, expect a delay tonight for some sort of tribute to the Dodger legend.


Rehab updates.

Cody Bellinger and Zach McKinstry will both begin their rehab assignments tomorrow at Triple-A OKC. It’s unknown how long either of them will need to rehab, but Roberts said a few days ago that he expected McKinstry to need less time than Bellinger.


I feel that it’s important to note the Dodgers are undefeated when I write the thread while listening to good kid, M.A.A.d city. Analytics run wild here at Dodgers Digest.


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.