It was the best of times, it was the worst of times for the Dodgers on their first road trip of the season. Los Angeles swept the Rockies in Denver and then all momentum sputtered and died in St Louis.
An interesting tidbit from Rick Krajewski, stats and info guy for Joe Davis and Orel Hershiser in the booth—Since 2013, after having played in Coors Field, the Dodgers have a 22-35 record. They played Sunday night and got into St Louis very late at night. Still, the Dodgers had a four game series and failed to win a single game while in Missouri.
The offense that was red hot suddenly went cold, starting pitching didn’t get very deep into games, Hyun-Jin Ryu left his start with a groin injury, and the bullpen again couldn’t keep the lead. Corey Seager was hit by a pitch in his hamstring, causing him to leave the game. Overall it was a series not worth remembering.
Things are not going to get any easier as the Dodgers are back at Chavez Ravine to start a three-game set with the Milwaukee Brewers. The Dodgers’ 2018 NLCS opponents currently are tied for first in the NL Central with the Cardinals with a record of 8-5. They are on a losing streak of their own, having just been swept by the Angels of Anaheim. It will mark the return of Yasmani Grandal to Dodger Stadium, after having signed with the Brewers over the winter.
Grandal is having a pretty good season so far, batting .343 with three home runs and sporting a 1.029 OPS. But. of course, the Brewers are led in almost every offensive category by reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich. He is batting .367, with five home runs and has walked 10 times. Lorenzo Cain is also having a good year offensively, batting .353 with three steals.
The pitching matchup for Friday night’s game will be Julio Urias taking the mound against the bespectacled Corbin Burnes. In 10 innings pitched, the righty has 18 strikeouts, but has a 9.90 ERA. A spot-starter has yet to be named for the Dodgers on Saturday, but the Brewers will send Zach Davies to the hill. Davies, also a righty, has fared better than Burnes, sporting a 1.69 ERA over 10.2 innings pitched.
Sunday’s pitcher has also not yet been announced, but it lines up to be Ross Stripling. Jhoulys Chacin, the third straight right-hander, will take the mound for Milwaukee. He is 2-1 with a 4.24 ERA over 17 innings of work, having issues eight walks and gathering 14 strikeouts.
The Dodgers need to get things going right again and home could be just the place to do so. While there’s no need to panic, or largely worry at this point, any more losing streaks or bad outings by the pitching staff could have some consequences down the line. It will be a struggle, with the pitching staff depleted and at least one spot-start needed this weekend. Hopefully, the offense will find all its previous firepower again and be able to pick up the pitching staff and some games along the way.