Cubs @ Dodgers June 24, 2021: Buehler and the Dodgers look to rebound at home

Photo by: Stacie Wheeler

I had thread last Friday for the series-opener in San Diego. I wrote this:

They’re also 3.5 games up on the Padres, so no matter what happens this series the Dodgers will be no worse than second place in the NL West. They should try to not get swept again, IMO.

The idiots did not take my advice, as they got swept by the Padres. The Dodgers were outscored 14-7 in the three games and it often didn’t even feel as close. The Padres scored in the first inning in each of the three games and didn’t trail once in the series. The Dodgers still sit a half-game ahead of San Diego, but are now four back of the division-leading Giants. For you scoreboard-watchers out there, neither team plays tonight, San Francisco opens a series against Oakland and San Diego against Arizona tomorrow.

The Dodgers welcome the Cubs to LA for a four-game series. The Cubs rallied off five straight wins, but have dropped six of nine since then. They’re 41-33, a half game behind the Brewers in the NL Central race. The Cubs swept the Dodgers in three games at Wrigley in early May in one of the rougher series of the season for the Dodgers. The series started with a rain delay, and the first and last games each went into extras.

7:10 PM Los Angeles
LF Pederson (L) RF Betts
3B Bryant 2B Muncy (L)
SS Baez 3B Taylor
1B Rizzo (L) CF Bellinger (L)
C Contreras 1B Pujols
CF Ortega (L) LF Pollock
RF Heyward (L) SS Lux (L)
2B Sogard (L) C Barnes
P Davies (R) P Buehler (R)

Walker Buehler makes his 15th start of the season tonight. Buehler no-hit the Diamondbacks out through seven innings in his last start and pitched into the eighth for the first time in 2021. He allowed two singles and recorded a strikeout in the eighth before being replaced by Mitch White, who allowed both inherited runners to score. Buehler struck out a season-high 11 batters and threw a season-high 108 pitches, so there would have been a lot of not-fun takes had he kept his no-hitter going. Buehler started the finale in Wrigley on May 5. He allowed two runs on five hits in six innings, but didn’t factor into the decision as the bullpen (and defense) allowed the Cubs to tie the game in the eighth and eventually walk off in the 10th.

Zach Davies makes his 16th start of the season for the Cubs tonight. Davies has struggled this season, with a 4.66 ERA/4.63 FIP in 73 1/3 innings. Davies was on a hot streak before his last start, as he shut out the Padres over six innings and shut out the Cardinals over 6 1/3 innings in consecutive starts, allowing only three hits in the two games. The wheels fell off last time out against Miami, where Davies allowed eight runs in six innings. He issued a bases-loaded walk in the third inning and then allowed a grand slam, which makes you wonder how he made it through six.

Davies has been a largely solid pitcher for much of his career, but has had success against the Dodgers in the past. In eight starts (49 1/3 innings) against the Dodgers, Davies has a 2.37 ERA and Dodgers are slashing .232/.276/.365 against him. Davies is a soft thrower, with his fastest offering being a sinker that averages 87.7 MPH. Davies owns a 13.9 percent strikeout rate and an 11.1 percent walk rate. The strikeout rate is the worst among pitchers with 70 or more innings pitched this season, and his walk rate is the third-worst. Not a great combination.

Mookie Betts returns to the lineup after missing the last game and a half with stomach issues (Dookie Betts, imo). Justin Turner gets the day off with Chris Taylor starting at third.


Old friend Joc Pederson leads off for the Cubs tonight. He’ll receive his World Series ring prior to the game.

I miss Joc, the collective sneaker game of the Dodgers is really lacking this year.


Scott Alexander is beginning a rehab assignment.

Alexander’s been sidelined since May 1 with shoulder inflammation and is on the 60-day IL.


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.