Dodgers @ Cardinals May 20, 2023: Syndergaard starts as the Dodgers look for a win on FOX

Last night’s game started off a bit ominously, as the Dodgers needed length from Tony Gonsolin and Gonsolin needed 30 pitches to get out of the first inning. Gonsolin didn’t exactly cruise, but did give the Dodgers five innings, which is the first time a Dodger pitcher completed five since Gonsolin’s last start Sunday in San Diego. The Dodgers still used four relievers to complete the final four innings, but that felt like a breath of relief after the inauspicious start. Also, importantly, the five Dodger pitchers combined for a two-hit shutout of a hot Cardinal offense.

It propelled the Dodgers to 29-17 on the season and moved them to 3.5 games ahead of the Diamondbacks, who got shelled by the Pirates last night. A win today would make the Dodgers the second (potentially third) team with 30 wins this season (Baltimore also has 29 wins, and as I schedule this post they’re down 5-2 in the 8th).

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4:15 PM St. Louis
RF Betts CF Nootbaar (L)
1B Freeman (L) 1B Goldschmidt
DH Martinez DH Gorman (L)
3B Muncy (L) 3B Arenado
2B Vargas C Contreras
LF Peralta (L) RF Donovan (L)
CF Heyward (L) SS DeJong
SS Taylor LF Burleson (L)
C Barnes 2B Edman (S)
P Syndergaard (R) P Mikolas (R)

Noah Syndergaard makes his ninth start of the season and second since his finger tore open in Milwaukee. He had a solid outing against the Twins on Monday, allowing two runs and four hits in four innings while striking out five (and cemented his place in Dodger history as he struck out Carlos Correa twice). He was pulled after four innings/59 pitches in what seemed like a fine move at the time, but hindsight and a 12-inning game made that feel like it was an inning too early at least. Syndergaard’s spot in the rotation looked to be in question for a while, but Dustin May‘s injury likely solidifies his spot for at least a month or so (unless Bobby Miller continues to turn around his rough start to the season in OKC, check out Josh’s prospect notes series).

Syndergaard got his first and only win of the season against the Cardinals on April 30, despite a pretty poor start. He lasted 5 1/3 innings and allowed eight hits and three runs which isn’t terrible, but failed to record a strikeout and got only two swinging strikes in 73 pitches (he got three swinging strikes in one inning in Milwaukee).

Miles Mikolas gets the start for St. Louis. Mikolas had a terrible start to the season, as he allowed 29 hits and 16 runs in 14 1/3 innings over his first three starts. He’s rebounded nicely since, allowing 10 runs in his last six starts since. He’s allowed one run in each of his last two starts. The first of those came in Chicago and the one run is nice, but he needed 96 pitches to complete four innings (#futuredodger). In his last start at Fenway he allowed a run in six innings but failed to record a strikeout. Mikolas hasn’t seen the Dodgers since September 2021, a game where the Dodgers put up four in the first inning and scored another unearned run in the third.

Mikolas mainly throws four pitches, and both of his fastballs have gotten lit up this season. Baseball Savant has his sinker at 27.6 percent and four-seamer at 24.5 percent usage this season. They both have average exit velocities over 90 MPH (91.2 and 95.2, respectively). He’s allowed a .333 average and .478 slugging on the sinker (with expected numbers .343 and .513), and allowed a .395 average and .651 slugging on his four-seamer (expected .362 and .546). Not great. His offspeed stuff has been better, but he throws his slider 24.9 percent of the time and curveball 19.8 percent of the time.

Austin Barnes catches for the Dodgers, with Will Smith getting the day off. James Outman also sits, with David Peralta starting in left and Jason Heyward in center.


Dylan Covey was designated for assignment yesterday, and today he was claimed.

Covey bailed the bullpen out after May left Wednesday’s game after one inning, and was rewarded with a DFA. He’s been claimed by the Phillies.

The Dodger bullpen might have a new contributor later this season.

The Dodgers signed Ken Giles, whose career got a bit derailed by injury over the last couple years. He’s only thrown eight Major League innings since 2019. He appeared in five games for the Mariners last season and allowed one hit and four walks in 4 1/3 innings. He threw a showcase on May 11.


Michael Grove joined the Dodgers in St. Louis in case the Dodgers needed an arm, but he’s been sent to OKC to begin a rehab assignment. Wander Suero joined the club today and could be activated if the Dodger bullpen is heavily used today.


First pitch is scheduled for 4:15 PM PT and will be shown on FOX.

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.