After a distinctly unimpressive showing by the offense and bullpen in Tampa Bay on Wednesday, the Dodgers head north to the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to begin a weekend series with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Dodgers have already played the Pirates this season, sweeping them at home at the end of April. Pittsburgh currently sits at 25-22, 3.5 games out of first in the NL Central. They crushed four homers Thursday in their 14-6 win over the Colorado Rockies.
One of those home runs was off the bat of Josh Bell, who is having himself an incredible May. He’s currently tied for third with Pete Alonso of the New York Mets with 16 bombs, is batting .339 and has a whopping 1.125 OPS. He’s OPSing 1.339 in the month of May alone, good for third best in team history. The switch-hitting first baseman was NL Player of the Week ending May 19. He’s also second in batted ball exit velocity, higher than Cody Bellinger who comes in at number four.
He is the Dodgers’ version of Cody Bellinger, leading every offensive category for the Pirates except for triples, which is just tied for first. Over 20 games, he has a .410 BA with 10 homers and 26 RBI for May.
The first Dodger pitcher charged with quieting his bat will be Walker Buehler. The Dodgers’ flamethrower is coming off his first loss of the season at the hands of the Cincinnati Reds. He will be hoping that the Dodger offense gives him some support this time around, as they failed to score any runs that game. The Pirates’ pitcher for Friday night has yet to be announced and will most likely be a bullpen game.
Saturday evening’s matchup with see Hyun-Jin Ryu seeking to continue his scoreless streak, which currently sits at 31 innings. The Pirates will counter with righty Joe Musgrove, who now sits at 3-4 with a 3.67 ERA and 44 strikeouts over 54.0 innings pitched.
Sunday’s matinee will see the return of Kenta Maeda from the IL after taking a foul ball to the thigh in his last outing on May 15, an outing in which he was dominant. He struck out 12 while driving in the Dodgers’ only two runs of the game. He will square off against Chris Archer, whom the Dodgers smacked around on April 26, scoring six runs in four innings including a Bellinger home run.
Today in Dodgers transactional news, Joe Kelly was placed on the bereavement list, where he will be from anywhere from three to seven games. Kyle Garlick was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City for his second stint with the Dodgers. He had one at-bat with a flyout to center in his first time with the big club. He may only be in Pittsburgh for a couple days, as he might be replaced on the roster when Maeda is officially reinstated.