The Dodgers (33-16) lost yet another game to the Pirates (21-27) last night, this time by a score of 5-3, making them 1-4 against the Pirates this season, and locking in a season series loss. Luckily, after today the Dodgers will be done facing the Pirates this season. With the loss, they still remain 3.5 games ahead of the Padres (30-20) in the NL West.
In hopes of not getting swept, Mitch White will be on the mound making his third consecutive start, against the left-handed Jose Quintana, who has always be a thorn in the Dodgers’ side.
|5:10 PM||Los Angeles|
|CF||Reynolds (S)||1B||Freeman (L)|
|2B||VanMeter (L)||DH||J. Turner|
|C||Heineman (S)||2B||Lux (L)|
|P||Quintana (L)||P||White (R)|
No secret formula for the offense today. Hit! The Dodgers own the 15th ranked wRC+ against left-handed pitching at 108, and the 12th ranked OPS at .726. Not amazing, but good enough to beat the Pirates more than 20% of the time. In those five games against the Pirates thus far, the Dodgers have outscored the Pirates 22-21. It happens. It shouldn’t, but it’s baseball and it does. Last year they went 106-56, yet lost the season series to the 67-95 Marlins, as well as the season series against the 71-91 Cubs. In 2019, the Dodgers went 106-56, dominating the league, and yet were 0-4 against the Angels who finished the season 72-90. Still, it’s a shame as the Dodgers own the best run differential in the league at +116, way clear of the second place Yankees at +79, while the Pirates are dead last at -81. There’s no secret with the offense here. They had seven walks yesterday, but just four hits. Gotta find a way to put some runs on the board.
Here’s how the two starters matchup.
Quintana allowed two runs (both unearned) on four hits and two walks while striking out four across 5.1 innings last Friday against the Padres. He was controlling the Padres well through five innings, but was pulled in the sixth after a single and an error. Quintana has allowed two or fewer earned runs in seven consecutive starts and now owns a 2.15 ERA, 3.23 FIP, and a 1.17 WHIP this season, with 38 strikeouts to 17 walks. The strikeout to walk ratio isn’t amazing, but overall he’s been great. Over his last six starts, he has a 1.41 ERA, 2.61 FIP, and a 1.03 WHIP over 32.0 innings. The Dodgers have clearly been Quintana’s best opponent over the years, with a 1.81 ERA in 44.2 innings pitched against them. He added to that last time he faced them, with six scoreless innings allowing just two hits while also walking four.
White didn’t factor into the decision his last time out, which was last Thursday when the Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 14-1. He allowed just two hits and two walks with two strikeouts in four scoreless innings. The team made it easy on him as he was making just his second consecutive start of the season, and provided him with an early lead. He worked around some baserunners, but all in all it was a fine outing for him. He threw 61 pitches, but the command was an issue, landing just 33 for strikes. The outing dropped his ERA from 6.17 to 4.60 and he’ll look to be the savior the Dodgers need, hopefully allowing the Dodgers to get a win, as well as earning his first of the season.
Fun storylines here, predominantly Freddie Freeman returning to Atlanta for the first time.
Some cool matchups for this coming series against the Mets (35-17), who are currently on a six game winning streak.
Good to see Caleb Ferguson with the team. He’s been great his last handful of appearances in the minors, so hopefully it’s not long till he’s back again full time.
Cody Bellinger seems to be close to 100%, likely just sitting out tonight against the lefty.
Amazing news for Clayton Kershaw, looks like his return is getting close.
Craig Kimbrel hasn’t been good, no getting around that. However, his peripherals do show that there are plenty of positives to his performance thus far and he’s likely not far off from being the dominant reliever he usually is.
First pitch is at 5:10 PM PDT on SNLA.