Dodgers @ Giants May 13, 2024: Yamamoto opens the series in the Bay as the offense looks to bounce back

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

I picked a pretty good weekend to not be able to watch much baseball. The Dodgers dropped two of three in San Diego and scored six runs over the three games. Five of those runs came on Saturday, and yesterday they were shut out for the second time this season. It was an ugly series coming off a seven-game winning streak, and now the Dodgers travel up the 5 to San Francisco for the first time in 2024.

The two teams met in LA during the first homestand and the Dodgers swept the series, but it was slightly closer than that as the final two games were both 5-4 Dodger wins. The Giants recently had a 1-6 stretch (including getting four-game-swept in Philly), but took two of three in Colorado and returned home and took two of three against the Reds. The series win came at a price, as Michael Conforto pulled his hamstring on Saturday and Jung Hoo Lee dislocated his shoulder yesterday.

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6:45 P.M. San Francisco
SS Betts RF Yastrzemski (L)
DH Ohtani (L) 2B Estrada
1B Freeman (L) 3B Chapman
C Smith 1B Wade Jr. (L)
3B Muncy (L) DH Flores
LF T. Hern√°ndez LF Ramos
2B Lux (L) C Sabol (L)
RF Pages CF Matos
CF Outman (L) SS Schmitt
P Yamamoto (R) P Hicks (R)

Yoshinobu Yamamoto gets his first look at the Giants tonight. Yamamoto, like most of the Dodger pitching staff, has been on a heater of late. The Dodgers haven’t allowed more than four runs in a game since April 20 (and have only allowed four runs in three of the 19 games in that time). Yamamoto lost his scoreless inning streak in the first inning of his last start against Miami, but managed to complete eight innings for the first time in his career. 73 of his 97 pitches went for strikes, his highest percentage so far this season (75.3 percent). He lowered his ERA to 2.79 on the season (and if we exclude the Seoul start, that’s 1.76). Pretty good. He’s only struck out 10 batters in 14 innings this month, but has yet to walk more than two batters in a game and currently has the 14th-best walk rate among qualified starters.

The Dodgers get their first look at Jordan Hicks as a Giant. The longtime Cardinal reliever transitioned to being a full-time starter this season, and so far so good. He has a 2.30 ERA/3.14FIP in 43 innings despite being on a bit of a cold streak of late. He only allowed seven runs (six earned) in his first six starts, but in his last two he’s allowed seven runs (five earned). He took his first loss of the season in Philly two starts ago, as he only completed four innings. He allowed four runs (two were unearned) and four hits, but only struck out three and issued four walks. He needed 88 pitches to complete those four innings. Last time out, Hicks allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings, but that was in Colorado so it’s at least slightly excusable. Despite this being Hicks’ first season as a regular starter, this is his second start against the Dodgers. He was an opener eight times in 2022, one of which came against the Dodgers. He went 1 2/3 innings and walked three of the eight batters he faced, but kept the Dodgers off the board.

Hicks was one of the hardest throwing relievers in the game, but his velocity has (obviously) declined as a starter. He averaged 100.1 MPH on his sinker last season, but that’s down to 95.4 MPH this season. He throws that sinker over half the time (51.8 percent). He’d thrown 41 splitters between 2018 and 2023, but this season it’s been his second-most-used pitch (23.3 percent). It only has a 920 spin rate and opponents are hitting .083 off it with a .111 slugging (with expected numbers of .193 and .298, respectively). He also throws a sweeper 20.4 percent of the time and has mixed in what’s been charted as a four-seamer on occasion.

Shohei Ohtani returns to the lineup after missing yesterday’s game in San Diego with back tightness. Gavin Lux hits seventh, ahead of Andy Pages today. Pages has cooled off a bit, as he’s 3 for his last 22 with 10 strikeouts and four walks since May 5.

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I don’t see any updates at the time of scheduling this post, so if something happens it’s not my fault.

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First pitch is scheduled for 6:45 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.