Dodgers @ Giants May 15, 2024: Elieser Hernandez makes his Dodger debut as they look to sweep the Giants

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

The Dodgers handled business last night, as they had as many extra-base hits (nine) as the Giants had hits. They pushed their streak of games without allowing more than four runs to 21, which is tied for the fifth longest such streak since 1920 and only four behind the record (25 by the 2017 Cleveland Baseball Team). The Giants are incredibly injured right now (and last night’s starter Keaton Winn was removed with forearm tightness), but the Dodgers have already opened up a 10-game lead over them and look for a second sweep of the season.

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) LF Ramos
LF T. Hernández CF Matos
2B Lux (L) DH Sabol (L)
RF Pages SS Schmitt
CF Outman (L) C Casali
P El. Hernández (R) P Webb (R)

Today was slated as a bullpen game, but Elieser Hernandez was called up to start tonight. The 29-year-old pitched in parts of five Major League seasons in Miami and posted a 5.04 ERA/5.51 FIP in 287 2/3 innings spread over 90 appearances (48 starts and 42 in relief). He hasn’t seen the Majors since 2022 and was traded that offseason to the Mets, where he battled with shoulder and pec issues and only threw 9 1/3 minor league innings. The Dodgers signed Hernandez in January and he’s pitched well in AAA. He made five starts (and one five-inning relief appearance after Blake Treinen pitched the first inning in a rehab assignment) and allowed nine runs in 28 2/3 innings. Hernandez is coming off back-to-back strong starts where he’s combined to allow one run and six hits in 10 2/3 innings. He’s thrown 80+ pitches in three straight outings and topped out at 83 his last time out.

The blowout allowed the Dodgers to avoid using any key relievers in back-to-back games headed into tonight. J.P. Feyereisen, Gus Varland and Nabil Crismatt each took down an inning last night and threw 11, 13 and 18 pitches, respectively. Feyereisen got the save on Monday, so he’s almost definitely unavailable tonight. The other two are no longer on the team (more on that in a bit). Ryan Yarbrough figures could get a bulk role today as he usually does in bullpen games (even though this isn’t really a bullpen game. Idk I prewrote this). He pitched Saturday and Sunday in San Diego in a more traditional one-inning role. When the Dodgers used a bullpen game against the Giants during their first homestand, Yarbrough allowed four runs in four 1/3 innings.

The Dodgers used that bullpen game to beat Giants’ ace Logan Webb, which they hope to do again today. It helped that the Dodgers lit up Webb on April 2. He needed 96 pitches to record 11 outs and allowed seven hits, five runs and a Mookie Betts homer. Webb bounced back from that game with a very strong four-game stretch. He went seven innings three times and eight innings in the other start and allowed three runs over the four games. He went on to allow four runs in back-to-back starts in Boston and Philly. Last time out, Webb was much more Webb-like as he allowed three runs (one unearned) in seven innings against the Reds. Despite that stronger start, Webb’s taken the loss in each of his last three starts. He’s only allowed two homers this year (to Betts and Bryce Harper, who are two p good guys to give up homers to), but has allowed 10 steals in 11 opportunities.

Webb throws a changeup 38.8 percent of the time and throws it to both sides of the plate. Both homers he’s allowed this season came off the change and he’s allowing a .299 average and a .421 slugging against it. The expected numbers are even worse (.346 and .519, respectively). He throws a sinker 34.4 percent of the time, and his 59.8 percent ground ball rate is the second highest among qualified pitchers. In his first start against the Dodgers this season, only one of the batted balls against Webb was a grounder. He allowed 12 fly balls and eight line drives in that start. Webb also throws a sweeper 22.3 percent of the time and has been tracked with a four-seamer on Savant 4.5 percent of the time.


Hernandez wasn’t the only addition to the pitching staff today, as Eduardo Salazar was also recalled.

Varland was optioned and Crismatt was designated for assignment. Salazar was called up on April 16, but sent down a day later before appearing in a game. If he gets in a game this time, it would be his Major League debut (and if he doesn’t, that’s kinda fucked).


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.