D-backs @ Dodgers September 15, 2021: Urias and the Dodgers look to end a perfect homestand

Photo by: Stacie Wheeler

The Dodgers seem to have woken up on this homestand. They’ve won each of the first five games on the homestand and are actually scoring runs. They’ve outscored the Padres and Diamondbacks 29-9 in the five games and look to close out the homestand with another win tonight. Of course, it hasn’t mattered all that much as the Giants refuse to lose and the Dodgers are still 2.5 back in the division with 16 games left. Theoretically that’s a manageable deficit, but not so much if the Giants don’t lose again until 2023. The Dodgers can only take care of their own business, and they did clinch their playoff berth last night. They can’t afford to roll out the classic hangover lineup, but look for win number 94 tonight.

7:10 P.M. Los Angeles
SS Ahmed RF Betts
CF Marte (S) 1B Muncy (L)
C C. Kelly 2B T. Turner
1B Walker SS Seager (L)
3B Rojas (L) 3B J. Turner
LF Ramos (S) C Smith
2B Young CF Bellinger (L)
RF Varsho (L) LF Lux (L)
P M. Kelly (R) P Urias (L)

Julio Urias will make his 29th start of the season tonight. There’s been some Cy Young chatter around him (which I don’t know that I agree with, as the main argument is his league-leading 17 wins on the year. It’s also hard to make an argument for the award when he’s pretty clearly the third best starter on his team). Urias put together a Cy-worthy performance last time out, holding the Padres to three hits in seven innings while striking out eight batters. That start dropped his ERA under 3.00 for the first time since May. Urias has been excellent since the start of July. In his last 12 starts, Urias has a 1.67 ERA/2.96 FIP and opponents are slashing .206/.260/.300 against him. This stretch includes a game against Arizona, where Urias held them scoreless over five innings (he was removed at 83 pitches with a seven run lead). Urias has already doubled the next-highest innings total he’s had in his six-year Major League career, so the Dodgers are saving his arm where they can. He’s only topped 100 pitches in one start this season and has only topped 90 pitches nine other times, and he’s not showing any signs of slowing down.

Opposing Urias will be Merrill Kelly. Kelly will be making his 25th start of the season and he owns a 4.30 ERA/3.91 FIP in 142 1/3 innings. Last time out, Kelly allowed a season-high 11 hits and five earned runs against the Giants. He faced the Giants in his previous start and turned in his best start of the year, allowing three hits over eight shutout innings (in a game the Diamondbacks somehow lost because they blew a four-run lead in the ninth because of course they did).

Kelly has seen the Dodgers three times this season and had some success against them. He owns a 3.38 ERA in 18 2/3 innings and has 21 strikeouts to only three walks. The Dodgers won each of the three matchups. Kelly has a five-pitch mix, throwing a four seam fastball most often (31.9 percent of the time). He also throws a sinker, curve, change and cutter.


Chris Taylor is still out of the lineup.

Taylor is available off the bench but remains out of the lineup with neck pain. He was reportedly playing catch on the field earlier.

AJ Pollock has a bit of a timetable now.

Pollock will play in sim games and is scheduled to play some rehab games starting Monday. He still seems at least a week away from returning to the big league club.


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.