Reds @ Dodgers May 16, 2024: Dodgers return home to open four-game set against struggling Reds

(Photo: Stacie Wheeler)

The Dodgers dropped the finale in San Francisco to wrap up a .500 road trip. It’s not that surprising that they lost a Logan Webb vs semi bullpen game/major league debut matchup, despite the Dodger pitching plan going about as well as it could have. Elieser Hernandez was pretty good over his six innings of work. He allowed three runs, two of which came on a third inning homer that had an expected batting average of .090. Eduardo Salazar allowed an unearned run over his two innings, so they did their job of saving the Dodger bullpen and continuing the streak of 22 consecutive games allowing four or fewer runs. They’re three shy of the live-ball record, and today they open a four-game set against a Reds team in the middle of a downfall.

The Reds are 18-25, which seems bad but not abysmal until you realize they were 16-13 on April 29. They’ve lost 12 of their last 14 games and are coming off a tough series loss in Arizona, where they won the middle game 6-2 but got walked off in the opener and allowed the game-winning run to score in the eighth inning yesterday. This struggle has coincided with the NL West portion of their schedule. Since April 29, they’ve only played three games against non-NL West opponents (Baltimore). Seven of their next 10 games are against the Dodgers (four-game set in LA beginning tonight, three game set in Cincy next weekend) and they host the Padres in between those series.

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7:10 P.M. Los Angeles
CF Benson (L) SS Betts
SS De La Cruz (S) DH Ohtani (L)
DH Ford (L) 1B Freeman (L)
1B Steer RF T. Hernández
C Stephenson 3B K. Hernández
RF Fraley (L) 2B Lux (L)
3B Candelario (S) LF Taylor
2B Espinal CF Outman (L)
LF Capel (L) C Barnes
P Suter (L) P Glasnow (R)

Tyler Glasnow gets the ball tonight with an extra day of rest after yesterday’s pseudo-bullpen game. Glasnow leads baseball with 73 strikeouts, thanks in part to back-to-back 10 strikeout games to begin May. Glasnow was slightly outdueled by Michael King his last time out despite a 10 strikeout, one hit performance over seven innings. That hit was a Luis Campusano homer and while the Dodgers did tie the game late, San Diego walked off with a 2-1 win to open that series. In four starts since Glasnow’s rough start against the Nationals (where reports are he was under the weather), he’s allowed four runs and 15 hits over 28 innings and opponents are OPSing .450 against him.

Nick Lodolo was lined up to start tonight for the Reds, but he hit the IL yesterday with a groin strain. Lefty Brent Suter is opening the game for the Reds, but the expectation is Nick Martinez will get the bulk innings tonight. Suter’s worked multiple innings a couple times this season and maxed out at 51 pitches over 3 1/3 innings. Martinez has seemed to fair better out of the bullpen so far this season. He’s started four games for the Reds and allowed 16 runs in 21 innings. In 12 1/3 innings as a reliever, he’s only allowed two runs. Martinez has maxed out at 92 pitches this season, so this doesn’t figure to be a typical bullpen game. Martinez primarily pitched out of the bullpen for the Padres for the last two seasons and gave the Dodgers some issues. In 6 2/3 innings across five games against the Dodgers last season, Martinez allowed only three hits and two walks. The Dodgers fared better against Martinez in four games in 2022, where they scored four runs over 8 2/3 innings and walked more than they struck out (8-7).

Martinez has a six-pitch mix that he uses semi evenly. He throws three different kinds of fastballs and so far this season, it’s been the sinker (16.3 percent of the time overall) to righties and a four-seamer (20 percent) or cutter (21.7 percent) to lefties. He throws a changeup 20.7 percent of the time and throws it to both sides of the plate, and mixes in a curve (11.9 percent) and slider (9.4 percent).

Generally, I prewrite these threads and add the lineup and tweets a few hours later. I’ll put placeholders that are usually something like “LINEUP SHIT” in this area so I remember to remove it. Today, that’s an apt description of the Dodger lineup. Will Smith and Max Muncy both sit today with Austin Barnes starting behind the plate and Enrique Hernandez at third. Andy Pages sits for the first time since his call up, with Chris Taylor getting his first game action since May 7 and his first start since May 5.


Some unfortunate news regarding Emmet Sheehan.

Sheehan underwent Tommy John surgery yesterday, meaning his return probably won’t come until late next season at the earliest. Sheehan got shut down after his first bullpen of the Spring with forearm inflammation, and now any chance of a return in 2024 is out the window.

In positive update news, Jason Heyward is nearing a return.

Heyward went 0-6 with a walk on his rehab assignment, but is in LA and will be activated “soon”. Today’s lineup might be a Hunger Games contest to see who gets the axe for Heyward. Taylor and James Outman seem like the prime candidates with their struggles. Outman has shown more life than Taylor and brings the strong defense in center, but he can be optioned to the Minors where Taylor cannot (unless he goes the Jose Abreu route, which is my vote). Gavin Lux is also in the lineup and could be an option given Miguel Rojas‘ surprisingly strong start offensively, but Lux has been better of late and is apparently a really good defensive second baseman.


The Dodgers also made a bullpen move, with Salazar getting optioned and Nick Ramirez getting called up.

Ramirez has allowed one run in seven innings over five games this season. He’s only struck out two and issued three walks, but has given the Dodgers some nice bullpen depth while he’s been up.


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.