The Dodgers continued to roll over the weekend, as they completed a four-game sweep against the Rockies on Sunday. Julio Urias looked a bit more like his old self, as he struck out a season-high 12 batters in another good and lengthy start from a Dodger pitcher. It gave the Dodgers an eighth straight win and moved them 8.5 up in the NL West, which grew to a nine game lead last night as San Francisco, Arizona and San Diego all lost.
Today, the Dodgers open up a series against another first place team, the Brewers. Milwaukee’s won four in a row as they’re coming off a sweep of the completely functional White Sox. The Dodgers visited Milwaukee back in May and dropped the opener 9-3, but took the other two games of the series by a combined 14-3 score.
|7:10 PM||Los Angeles|
|CF||Frelick (L)||3B||Muncy (L)|
|2B||Turang (L)||CF||Outman (L)|
|P||Houser (R)||P||Miller (R)|
Bobby Miller starts tonight for the 14th time this season. Miller finally got his ERA back under 4.00 (for the first time in nearly two months) with his last start, as he shut out the Diamondbacks over six innings last Wednesday. Miller did issue a season-high four walks, but stranded six while he was in the game. Miller began the sixth inning but started with a single and a walk, which ended his night before Caleb Ferguson came in made an incredible play on a bunt for a double play before ending the inning with a groundout. It was Miller’s fifth time completing six innings in his Major League career and since his back-to-back blow-up starts in mid-June, he’s been mostly solid (3.68 ERA in 36 2/3 innings over seven starts).
Adrian Houser gets the ball for the Brewers. It’s his 17th game (15th start) of the season, and somehow only the second time he’s faced the Dodgers in his seven-year career despite spending all of it in Milwaukee. That first start came last season, and did not go well for Houser. The Dodgers scored four on three hits and three walks in the first inning and added a fifth run on an RBI groundout after Houser left a pair of runners on in the third. Houser has struggled this year, with a 4.38 ERA/4.22 FIP/1.500 WHIP in 78 innings. He’s sprinkled in some good starts throughout the season including shutting Tampa Bay and Houston out in back-to-back starts in May, but is coming off a start where he allowed four runs in five innings at home against the Rockies.
Houser’s struggles aren’t a complete surprise. His hard-hit rate (per Baseball Savant) is in the eighth percentile among pitchers (45.5 percent) and he’s never been a big strikeout guy. His 18.1 percent strikeout rate is in the 16th percentile, yet is his best strikeout rate since 2019. Houser primarily throws a sinker (46.2 percent of the time) and has a 46.8 percent ground ball rate, the 26th-highest among pitchers with over 70 innings thrown. Opponents are hitting .307 and slugging .409 off it. He’s also thrown a four-seamer (24.7 percent), slider (16.1 percent), curveball (8.1 percent) and changeup (4.9 percent) this season.
The Dodgers return to a normal lineup, as J.D. Martinez starts for the first time since August 6. Max Muncy returns to third and the three lefties start in the outfield against a right-handed pitcher.
The Dodgers made a bullpen move after playing shorthanded Sunday, when Joe Kelly was placed on the IL just before gametime.
#Dodgers have selected the contract of right-handed pitcher Gus Varland and placed him on the active roster. In order to make room on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers transferred Jake Marisnick to the 60-day injured list.&amp;amp;mdash; Kirsten Watson (@kirsten_watson) August 15, 2023
Gus Varland was called up, as was first reported yesterday. Jake Marisnick was moved to the 60-day IL to clear up a 40-man spot. The Brewers snagged Varland in the Rule 5 Draft in the offseason, but lost him after demoting him after some early-season struggles. Varland allowed two runs and nine hits in eight innings over his first seven outings, but has an insane eighth outing. Varland entered an 8-1 game and exited two outs later and the score was 14-1, which became 18-1 after a grand slam led to nine earned runs on Varland’s line. Varland appeared in 30 games for OKC and allowed only eight earned runs.
Shelby Miller‘s rehab assignment continues.
Dave Roberts didn’t have an exact timetable for Shelby Miller, other than that he’ll probably need 2-3 outings with OKC, including pitching back-to-back days&amp;amp;mdash; Eric Stephen (@ericstephen) August 15, 2023
40-man move would be needed to activate Miller off 60-IL. First day eligible to return is Sunday https://t.co/5qhDvauPyH
Miller has joined OKC and will likely be there until he’s proven himself in back-to-backs. Another 40-man roster spot will be needed when he returns (and potentially more in September, with Marisnick and potentially Walker Buehler and Blake Treinen returning as well).
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PT and will be shown on SportsNet LA.