Dodgers @ Rockies September 28, 2023: Yarbrough starts as the Dodgers wrap-up penultimate series

By: Stacie Wheeler

The Dodgers (98-60) lead this four game series in Colorado (57-101) two games to one after an 8-2 victory last night. They’ll go for the series win with Ryan Yarbrough on the mound against the right-handed Chris Flexen. With a record of 98-60, the Dodgers trail the Baltimore Orioles (99-59) by two games as the Orioles own the tiebreaker, but lead the Tampa Bay Rays (97-62) by a game and a half while owning the tiebreaker.

Image Image
5:40 PM Denver
2B Betts DH Blackmon (L)
1B Freeman (L) SS Tovar
3B Muncy (L) 2B Rodgers
DH Martinez LF Jones (L)
RF Heyward (L) 1B Montero
SS Taylor RF Bouchard
LF Peralta (L) 3B Trejo
CF Hernández C Wynns
C Barnes CF Doyle
P Yarbrough (L) P Flexen (R)

Tonight’s lineup features a few of the projected postseason starting position players on the bench. Resting a few starters for the season finale in Coors Field is a great idea in my opinion, as injuries and fatigue always seem to set in there. Chris Taylor will be at short stop over Miguel Rojas, Austin Barnes will be behind the plate, and Enrique Hernandez will be in center field over James Outman.


Here’s how Yarbrough and Flexen matchup:

Yarbrough will be making just his second official start for the Dodgers, but he’s been throwing plenty of pitches his last few appearances anyways. He threw 67 pitches in his previous outing after 89 and 78 in his two prior appearances. He’s worked three or more innings in nine of his ten outings with the Dodgers, down to a 3.12 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in that time. It’ll be interesting to see his role in October, but this will be his last outing of the regular season. Something noteworthy about Yarbrough’s time with the Dodgers is that his strikeout rate has exploded. With the team, he has an above-average strikeout rate at 25.5%, as well as a below-average walk rate at a minuscule 2.2%, with 36 strikeouts to just four walks since being acquired at the deadline. His best marks over an entire season are a 20.8% strikeout rate and 3.6% walk rate, both in 2019. His 3.7% walk rate on the year is the sixth lowest of 170 pitchers with at least 80 innings pitched.

Ryan Pepiot, Bobby Miller, and Emmet Sheehan have all set career-highs in strikeouts in the first three games of this series, but Yarbrough will have some work to do to match that feat. His season high in strikeouts is seven against the Mariners two appearances ago, but his career best is ten strikeouts in 2019 against the Tigers. I wouldn’t expect 11 strikeouts, but stranger things have happened.

Flexen didn’t factor into the decision in his last outing, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks over five innings against the Cubs with just one strikeout. That outing was the first time in Flexen’s five September starts where he managed to hold the opposition to less than three earned runs. He has a 7.23 ERA in the month, upping his season ERA to 7.01, just absolutely not having a good season.


Long story short, the Dodgers seem to prefer the cutter-sinker combo against right-handed hitters, and love the curveball against lefties, both more than the Royals did.


Seems like a decent idea to get more engaged and prepared for the postseason.


First pitch is at 5:40 PM PT on SNLA.

About Allan Yamashige

Avatar photo
Just a guy living in Southern California, having a good time writing about baseball. Hated baseball practice as a kid, but writing about it rules. Thanks for reading!