The Dodgers clinched the division last night, becoming the first team to do so. Clayton Kershaw shoved, Max Muncy got over the Mendoza Line and Chris Taylor started making contact again. The next couple weeks are about staying healthy, figuring out the best possible lineup and trying to wrap up the best record in baseball and home field advantage throughout the postseason. A combination of 11 wins and Met losses will wrap up the one seed. The Dodgers are also two wins away from a third straight non-shortened 100-win season and a fourth in the last five 162-game seasons. They had won 100 games six times in franchise history prior to 2017, so while the playoffs are still a crapshoot, it’s important to not ignore the dominance and consistency this team has shown over the last 10 seasons.
|3B||Muncy (L)||RF||Varsho (L)|
|LF||Gallo (L)||2B||Marte (S)|
|CF||Bellinger (L)||CF||Thomas (L)|
|P||Grove (R)||P||Davies (R)|
Michael Grove was recalled to make the start tonight. It’ll be Grove’s fourth Major League appearance and third start of the season. He started on August 29 in Miami and had a solid outing, as he allowed two earned runs in 4 2/3 innings. He made two minor league starts after that, and his last one did not go well. His seven strikeouts were the second-most he’s had this season, but he allowed six hits and five runs in 3 2/3 innings against Tacoma. Grove was recalled in place of Andre Jackson, who was optioned.
Opposing Grove will be Zach Davies. Davies has made 23 starts this season with a 4.09 ERA/4.73 FIP in 116 2/3 innings. Prior to this season, Davies had a ton of success the Dodgers. In 55 1/3 innings, Davies had allowed 13 earned runs against the Dodgers before 2022. This season, the Dodgers have solved him. The Dodgers have seen Davies three times this season and have put up 10 runs in 13 1/3 innings. Davies is coming off his worst start of the season at Coors, where he allowed six runs and three homers in 3 2/3 innings in a game with a final score of 13-10.
Davies is primarily a sinker/changeup pitcher, throwing one of those two pitches 87 percent of the time. He’s used a sinker 53.2 percent of the time this season and averages only 89.4 MPH on it. He’s a rare pitcher that throws the change often to same-handed batters, with 372 of his 659 changeups this season have been to righties.
The hangover lineups are less drastic with the decreased September roster sizes, but the Dodgers sit Mookie Betts, Trea Turner, Justin Turner and for the first time this season, Freddie Freeman tonight. Miguel Vargas starts at first base, Hanser Alberto starts at short and Trayce Thompson hits cleanup and starts in right.
Tony Gonsolin threw a bullpen.
Dave Roberts called the bullpen encouraging, but the “in some capacity” part feels like an unwelcomed update. Seems like he could be used out of the bullpen rather than as a starter in the playoffs if he doesn’t have enough time to build back up.
Yency Almonte threw a simulated game and his next step might be a rehab assignment. Blake Treinen threw a bullpen and could progress to facing hitters, and Brusdar Graterol and David Price both threw bullpens as well.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 PM PT and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.