Giants @ Dodgers September 21, 2023: Sheehan opens up the final home series of the regular season

Dodger Stadium Entrance
Photo: Cody Bashore

The Dodgers dropped the finale against the Tigers to snap a five-game winning streak, as the offense was stifled by Reese Olson. They remained 3.5 games behind Atlanta for the top seed in the NL, and now have a chance to play spoiler with a four-game set against the Giants. San Francisco has dropped five of their last six, as they lost three of four in Colorado and had a mini two-game sweep in Arizona. They now find themselves at .500 and are three games out of the final Wild Card spot, with both Cincinnati and Miami ahead of them. The Dodgers will have a lot to say about their playoff possibility, as they open up a four-game set at home tonight and then finish the season with three games up in San Francisco.

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7:10 P.M. Los Angeles
1B Wade Jr. (L) RF Betts
3B Flores 1B Freeman (L)
DH Pederson (L) C Smith
LF Conforto (L) DH Martinez
2B Estrada 3B Muncy (L)
RF Yastrzemski (L) 2B Rosario
SS Luciano LF Taylor
C Sabol (L) CF Outman (L)
CF Fitzgerald SS Hern√°ndez
P Harrison (L) P Sheehan (R)

Emmet Sheehan gets the start today after last being seen out of the bullpen. Sheehan looked excellent his last time out in Seattle, as he piggybacked with Clayton Kershaw and allowed one single over three innings. He struck out the heart of the Mariner order in the sixth and got 15 swinging strikes in only 39 pitches. His season high is 16 swinging strikes, and that took him 76 pitches to get. Sheehan’s Major League debut came against the Giants and he did the Dodger rookie thing, forcing Dave Roberts to pull him from a no hitter. He threw six no-hit innings (but issued two walks), but needed 89 pitches to get through six and Roberts pulled him for Brusdar Graterol, who immediately allowed a single (and then a homer, and then the Dodgers lost in extras).

The Dodgers get their first look at Giants top prospect, Kyle Harrison. Harrison will be making his sixth Major League start and has struggled a bit so far. He allowed two runs in 3 1/3 innings in his debut, and in his three September starts he’s allowed 12 earned runs (15 total runs) in 14 2/3 innings. He did turn in one stellar start in August against the Reds, where he allowed three hits and two walks in 6 1/3 shutout innings and struck out a career-high 11. Harrison struggled a bit at Triple A this season as well, with a 4.66 ERA in 65 2/3 innings. He just turned 22 a month ago and posted a 41 percent whiff rate on his fastball in Double A.

It’s been a limited sample size, but so far he’s thrown his fastball 63.7 percent of the time in the Majors. Batters are hitting only .220 off it (with a .213 xBA), but of the 13 hits he’s allowed on the pitch, six have gone for extra bases (and three have left the park). He’s thrown a slurve 25.3 percent of the time and he’s also allowed three homers on that pitch. He’s mixed in a changeup 9.5 percent of the time, a slider 1.2 percent of the time and a cutter exactly once. Harrison’s gotten lit up a bit by the lefty batters he’s faced so far this season. He’s only faced 28 and has walked four, but has allowed 12 hits and three homers.

Despite his small-sample-struggles against lefties, the Dodgers roll out their usual lineup against lefties. James Outman gets the start in center, but Jason Heyward and David Peralta sit. Mookie Betts starts in right and Enrique Hernandez and Amed Rosario start up the middle.

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Kyle Hurt and Michael Busch got some hardware today.

Hurt made one appearance in the Majors and looked absolutely stellar, as he got through the heart of the Padres order in the eighth and struck out the side in the ninth for two perfect innings. Busch struggled a bit in the Majors with a .539 OPS in 81 plate appearances, but he raked in the Minors and should be a factor next season, either with the Major League squad or in a trade.

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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.