Diamondbacks @ Dodgers May 21, 2024: Gavin Stone looks to stay hot against Arizona

The Dodgers (33-17) won the first game of this three game set against the Diamondbacks (22-26) last night by a score of 6-4. Yoshinobu Yamamoto earned his fifth win of the year going 6.1 innings allowing two earned runs in a quality start. Elieser Hernandez gave up two runs in the eighth inning, making it a two run game and setting up Daniel Hudson to nab his third save of the year. The six runs provided by the offense in the third inning proved to be all the team needed in the end. Gavin Stone will be on the mound up against Brandon Pfaadt. Those two share quite a few similarities as they’re both 25 year-old right-handed, former top-100 prospects.

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7:10 P.M. Los Angeles
CF Carroll (L) SS Betts
2B Marte (S) DH Ohtani (L)
DH Pederson (L) 1B Freeman (L)
1B Walker C Smith
LF Gurriel Jr. RF T. Hernández
RF McCarthy (L) 2B Lux (L)
3B Suárez CF Pages
C Moreno 3B K. Hernández
SS Newman LF Vargas
P Pfaadt (R) P Stone (R)

The Diamondbacks will run out the same lineup as yesterday, while the Dodgers will move a few things around. Jason Heyward will be on the bench with Teoscar Hernández sliding over to right field, with Miguel Vargas starting in left field. Gavin Lux will get the start at second base with Miguel Rojas having the day off.

Freddie Freeman has “struggled” this year, to the tune of a 150 wRC+, the 15th highest mark in the league while his .873 OPS is 18th. The power seems to be on its way, and the grand slam was an encouraging sign. Kiké Hernandez will continue to play third base in the absence of Max Muncy. His slash line of .216/.287/.320 feels relatively lackluster resulting in a .607 OPS and 78 wRC+, but he’s been valuable in his role. He’ll play anywhere in the field, and his defense has been great this season. Against left-handed pitching he’s slashing .255/.314/.404 for a .718 OPS and 108 wRC+. Pretty much exactly what you’d hope for from him.

Ketel Marte extended his hitting streak to 19 games last night with a first inning single, and is strangely hitting just .266 over that stretch. He’s had a great year so far with an .860 OPS and 137 wRC+, but has absolutely feasted against left-handed pitching. He owns a 202 wRC+ and 1.095 OPS against LHP, compared to a 102 wRC+ and .723 OPS against right-handed pitchers. Christian Walker has been good as usual, with a .775 OPS, and a 123 wRC+ on the year.

Old friend Joc Pederson continues to be their best offensive player as a whole, with the asterisk being that he never faces a left-handed pitcher. He’s up to a .319/.419/.551 slash line this year for a 175 wRC+. He’s been everything they could’ve hoped for and more, but the rest of the lineup just really hasn’t brought much else to the table. Jake McCarthy has been great for them with a .771 OPS on the year, including his single and solo home run last night. Kevin Newman has also been good and owns a .750 OPS after three hits last night.


Here’s how Stone and Pfaadt match up.

Both Stone and Pfaadt had rookie seasons to forget, with Stone putting up a 9.00 ERA in 31 innings pitched and Pfaadt logging a 5.72 ERA over 96.0 innings. They’ve both been significantly better this year.

Pfaadt has made nine starts this year, and has quality starts in six of those outings. He went seven innings allowing one run on just two hits and two walks with nine strikeouts in his last outing against the Reds. He’s now made four quality starts in a row, and has a 3.13 ERA, 2.94 FIP, and 0.99 WHIP over his last six starts. He has a five-pitch mix, starting with a four-seam fastball sitting 92-94, with a mid 80’s sweeper as his primary breaking ball. He throws a sinker that is primarily used against right-handed batters to pair with the first two pitches, adding in a changeup and curveball against lefties.

Stone earned his fourth win of the year in his last time out, allowing one run on five hits and three walks with two strikeouts over six strong innings. The strikeouts still aren’t there for Stone, but you can’t argue the success he’s had. He now owns a 2.00 ERA, and a 1.08 WHIP with 18 strikeouts to twelve walks in 36 innings over his last six starts.

Stone seems to be all but scrapping both his cutter and curveball as of late. He’s thrown just two curves over his last two games, and didn’t throw a single cutter in his last outing. He threw double-digit cutters in four of his first five outings, so it’s a significant change over just a handful of games. He also threw a total of twenty sliders in his last outing, a season high.


Sounds like about a week left for for Max Muncy and around three weeks for Bobby Miller. Dustin May being healthy and ready to contribute this year would be huge, but the team is generally very conservative with pitcher recoveries, so that’ll be something to revisit later.


First pitch is at 7:10 PM PDT on SNLA.

About Allan Yamashige

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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!