Diamondbacks @ Dodgers August 28, 2023: Dodgers return home to begin a tough homestand

The Dodgers continued to roll on the road, as they went 4-2 in Cleveland and Boston last week. They took the finale in Boston yesterday behind bulk boi Gavin Stone, who turned in his best Major League outing (despite being left in too long and allowing two homers to sour his final line). While the Dodgers have been insane in August (21-4), they didn’t gain a lot of ground in the last week. They swept a tropical storm doubleheader last Saturday, to go 12 up in the division.

Today, they’re still 12 up in the division. They were up 12 on the Giants, who have cooled off and are now 13.5 back. However, the Diamondbacks have heated up again and leapfrogged the Giants for second in the West. Arizona also swept a tropical storm doubleheader in San Diego last Saturday to kick off a six game winning streak, which snapped on Saturday. They’ve won 12 of 15 and hold a 1.5 game lead for the final wild card spot in the NL. Today, Arizona comes to LA for the second time this season. The Dodgers and Diamondbacks played eight times in the first 10 games for some reason. They split a four-game set in LA to open the season, and a couple days later Arizona took three of four at home. The Dodgers swept a two-game series earlier this month in the middle of their 11 game winning streak.

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7:10 PM Los Angeles
RF Carroll (L) 2B Betts
2B Marte (S) 1B Freeman (L)
DH Pham C Smith
1B Walker 3B Muncy (L)
CF Thomas (L) LF Peralta (L)
LF Gurriel Jr. RF Heyward (L)
C Moreno CF Outman (L)
3B Peterson (L) SS Hernández
SS Perdomo (S) DH Busch (L)
P Gallen (R) P Miller (R)

Bobby Miller opens up the homestand for the Dodgers. Miller had a good start that ended unfortunately last time out in Cleveland. He allowed a couple runs in the fourth, but nothing else through the sixth. He allowed a single and issued a walk in the sixth before giving way to Caleb Ferguson, who allowed two singles and a homer to turn a 3-2 lead into a 7-3 deficit. That gave Miller four earned runs over 6 1/3, which looks a lot less nice than two runs over six. It was still Miller’s third consecutive six+ inning start, the first of which came in Arizona on August 9. Miller kept Arizona off the board over six innings and only allowed four hits, but only struck out four and issued a career-high four walks.

The Dodgers get to face the two Diamondback aces this series, starting with Zac Gallen today. Gallen made his first All-Star team this season and finished fifth in NL Cy Young voting last season. Gallen actually had a rough start to this season, which began against the Dodgers. Gallen allowed five runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings on Opening Day. He followed that up with a six inning start in San Diego, where he allowed four earned runs (five total runs) and two dingers. He then went on an insane four-start run, completing seven twice, pitching into the seventh the other two times and allowing a total of 11 hits. He didn’t allow a run in those four starts and struck out 11 twice and 12 to close out April (the other start was only seven strikeouts, slacker). Gallen has shown flashes of dominance this season, but has had his share of rough starts (the roughest being a 3 2/3 inning start where the Pirates scored five runs off him). Gallen has been great of late, as he’s allowed two runs over his last three starts (18 1/3 innings) and he struck out 11 Rangers the last time out.

Gallen’s 26.8 percent strikeout rate is the 15th-best among all qualified pitchers, just ahead of tomorrow’s starter Merrill Kelly. His 5.1 percent walk rate is the ninth-best. However, when Gallen does get hit he gets hit hard. He’s tied with Framber Valdez for the highest average exit velocity against (91.6 MPH) and he has a 46 percent hard-hit rate (the third-worst among qualified starters). Gallen primarily throws a four seamer (48.7 percent of the time, 93.6 MPH average velo), curveball (23.8 percent) and changeup (13.4 percent), and also mixes in a cutter, slider and sinker.

Michael Busch serves as the DH tonight. Enrique Hernandez gets the start at short with Mookie Betts at second.


Speaking of Betts:

In one of the least surprising pieces of news imaginable, Betts was named NL Player of the Week. Betts posted a .615/.655/.885 triple slash last week, which by my math is #good. Betts has catapulted himself into the MVP race alongside (and arguably/probably ahead of Ronald Acuna Jr.) and is essentially a shoe-in for player of the month in another week or so.


The Dodgers made a couple Tyson Miller related roster moves.

On Sunday, the Dodgers announced that Tony Gonsolin was being placed on the 60-day IL and that they’d claimed Miller back from the Mets after the Mets claimed Miller a few weeks ago. Today, Miller was called up and is back in the bullpen, as Stone was optioned back to the minors. Miller made one appearance for the Mets, as he issued two walks but no other baserunners over two innings.


Some unfortunate Gonsolin news.

Gonsolin will undergo Tommy John surgery this week and likely miss most of, if not all of 2024. The Dodgers had stated that he didn’t risk further injury to his arm by pitching through some arm issues, but now it seems like it did.

Not what you want.

Gonsolin did hit the 20 start mark before being shut down. This reportedly gives him an additional $2M onto his 2024 salary.

On the positive injury front, Shelby Miller could return this week.

Miller is expected back this homestand. Blake Treinen is not yet close to returning, and there’s no update on Jonny Deluca.


First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 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.