Dodgers @ Brewers May 8, 2023: Dodgers look to carry momentum to Milwaukee as Gonsolin opens the series

Somehow, the Dodgers won the series against the Padres. The Padres didn’t play great baseball, but the Dodgers put together like three good innings of baseball and somehow won two of the games? Clayton Kershaw started the series with a rough 4+ innings, but non-Kershaw pitchers combined to allow four runs in 22 1/3 innings. Last night’s game was especially dumb, as the Dodgers played some truly horrible defense and looked lifeless at the plate for most of the game. They were an out away from getting swept (according to ESPN), but a Mookie Betts game-tying homer sent the game to extras, where the rookies came up with big hits (after failing to do so two innings prior) to give the Dodgers a series win. That was their third straight series win and their eighth win in the last nine games since leaving Pittsburgh. They’re 21-14, good for the second-best record in the NL and fourth-best in all of baseball. Not bad for a rebuilding year.

Today they start a three-game set against the Brewers, who currently sit a half game behind Pittsburgh at the top of the NL Central. The Brewers were 18-9 at one point, but lost six straight against the Rockies, Angels and Giants. They snapped their losing streak yesterday against the Giants and return home closer to first place than they were prior to the losing streak. Last season, the Dodgers took four of seven from the Brewers and split the four-game set in Milwaukee (not including David Vassegh’s broken arm as a loss).

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4:40 PM Milwaukee
2B Betts LF Yelich (L)
1B Freeman (L) DH Winker (L)
RF Heyward (L) SS Adames
DH Muncy (L) 1B Tellez (L)
CF Outman (L) C Contreras
LF Peralta (L) 3B Anderson
3B Busch (L) 2B Turang (L)
SS Rojas RF Taylor
C Barnes CF Wiemer
P Gonsolin (R) P Peralta (R)

Tony Gonsolin makes his third start off the IL. Gonsolin cruised through the first three innings of his last start against the Phillies, but gave up a leadoff homer to Kyle Schwarber in the fourth. He started the fifth and got two quick outs, but allowed a single and issued two walks to load the bases and end his night. Phil Bickford came in and allowed two inherited runs to score, giving Gonsolin three earned runs on the night. Gonsolin made back-to-back starts against Milwaukee last August and was pretty good in both outings. He turned in his best start of the season in Milwaukee, with seven two-hit shutout innings and a season-high eight strikeouts. Five days later, Gonsolin allowed a run in five innings in LA against the Brewers, and reportedly felt some forearm tightness in that start. He was placed on the IL as a precaution and ended up missing six weeks, returning for one last regular season start before the postseason.

Freddy Peralta gets the ball for the Brewers for the seventh time this season. Peralta’s been mostly solid this season, with a 3.63 ERA/3.61 FIP in 34 2/3 innings. He had two bad starts, where he combined to allow nine runs in 10 2/3 innings against the Padres and Red Sox. Outside of that start, Peralta’s allowed only five runs in four starts. He’s coming off a solid start in Colorado, where he allowed two solo homers in six innings and struck out a season-high 10 batters. Peralta missed almost two and a half months last season with a lat strain and missed another two weeks in September with shoulder inflammation. Around the injuries, Peralta did get a start in against the Dodgers in Milwaukee. He lasted four innings and allowed only two hits and a run, but needed 92 pitches to complete the four innings and issued four walks.

Peralta’s main issue is durability, but when he’s available he’s one of the most underrated pitchers in the league. Obviously sample sizes are limited, but there’s a whole lot of red on his Baseball Savant page. His most complete season came in 2021, where he made the All-Star team in the only season he’s thrown over 100 innings. All of his expected numbers were near the top of the league and among pitchers with >140 innings pitched, Peralta’s 33.6 percent strikeout rate was the third highest (and yet only second highest on the Brewers). His strikeout rate dropped to 27.1 percent last season and is 27.9 percent this season, so he’s still looking for that 2021 dominance again. Peralta’s thrown a fastball 54 percent of the time this year and has averaged 94.4 MPH on it, which would be the highest average velo of his career. He’s thrown a slider 22.7 percent of the time, changeup 11.8 percent and curveball 11.5 percent.

Will Smith gets his first day off since returning from his concussion, as Austin Barnes starts behind the plate. Mookie Betts starts at second with David Peralta, James Outman and Jason Heyward manning the outfield. Max Muncy goes back to DH with Michael Busch getting the start at third.


The bullpen will be slightly shorthanded tonight.

Caleb Ferguson pitched each of the last two days and would have been down tonight anyways. He’s likely going to be put on the paternity list as he joins a long list of Dodgers to welcome a child this season.


First pitch is scheduled for 4:40 PM PT 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.