Pirates @ Dodgers August 18, 2021: The Bruihlpen games will continue until morale improves

Dodger Stadium
Photo by: Cody Bashore

The good news is that the Dodgers are one of the hottest teams in baseball. They’re 9-1 in their last 10 games and have won five in a row. *The bad news is that the Giants are also 9-1 in their last 10 games, and the Dodgers have made up zero ground in the NL West race. The Giants already beat the Mets today to complete a sweep, so the Dodgers need to complete a sweep of their own to hold serve and remain four games back.

*Okay, yes, I wrote this paragraph when the game went to extras, the Mets won, avoiding the sweep. The Giants are now 8-2 in their last 10 and the Dodgers can cut the deficit in the division to three games. I am taking credit for the Mets win.

7:10 PM Los Angeles
SS Park (L) LF Pollock
3B Hayes 1B Muncy (L)
CF Reynolds (S) 3B Turner
1B Moran (L) SS Seager (L)
LF Tsutsugo (L) C Smith
2B Difo (S) CF Bellinger (L)
RF Polanco (L) RF McKinney (L)
C Perez (L) 2B Lux (L)
P Brubaker (R) P Bruihl (L)

Yet another bullpen game for the Dodgers, as Justin Bruihl will be the opener for the second time in three games against the Pirates. Mitch White will be the bulk guy today, coming off two consecutive starts. He started July 31 for the Dodgers in Arizona and allowed two runs and two hits over 3 2/3 innings. He was sent down and brought back up in Philadelphia, where White started the lone Dodger loss over the last 10 games. It wasn’t entirely his fault, as he allowed two runs in four innings (the Dodgers only scored one, which by my math was not enough). White has topped 50 pitches in each of his last two starts and has maxed out at 65 pitches this season.

JT Brubaker will make his 22nd start of the season today. Brubaker started against the Dodgers in Pittsburgh back in June and cruised for four innings, allowing only a pair of singles. The wheels fell off in the fifth, when Gavin Lux singled, AJ Pollock doubled and Mookie Betts tripled to give the Dodgers two runs and chase Brubaker from the game. He was charged with a third run when Betts scored. Brubaker had a 3.90 ERA after that game. Since then, Brubaker has made 10 starts and allowed five or more runs in four of those and his ERA has ballooned to 5.13. In his last two starts, Brubaker has allowed 13 runs and 12 hits in 10 innings. Despite not having enough innings to be a qualified pitcher, Brubaker is tied with three other pitchers with 25 home runs allowed, the fourth-most in baseball. Brubaker throws two fastballs charted by Baseball Savant, a sinker and a four-seamer. He throws a slider the most (34 percent of the time) and it has a 41.5 percent whiff rate.

Pollock is leading off tonight with Trea Turner getting the day off. Chris Taylor also gets the day off after running into the wall in right field yesterday.


Big day for catch.

Clayton Kershaw played catch for a third consecutive game. Danny Duffy and Tony Gonsolin joined him. Julio Urias played catch and threw a simulated game. He is still expected to return for one of the three games against the Padres next week (likely Tuesday when he’s eligible). Duffy is expected to become a multi-inning reliever when he is healthy enough to return (no earlier than September 15), and Gonsolin will throw a bullpen tomorrow.

Dare I say Betts may play catch tomorrow? He will start his baseball activities tomorrow.

Betts could go on a rehab assignment and if things go well, he could return next week.


The Dodgers are getting some extra rest for pitchers by using another bullpen game tomorrow against the Mets.

Max Scherzer and Walker Buehler will each get an extra day of rest.


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.