Dodgers Set to Take on Cardinals; Plus Some Injury Notes

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The Dodgers somehow managed to take three of four from the San Diego Padres over the weekend. Two strong wins on the backs of Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler, a missed opportunity in Dustin May‘s debut, and another come from behind win due to a poor outing from Kenta Maeda on Sunday.

Kenta has not been as good on the mound as previous seasons, and it’s leading fans to wonder if he’ll even be good out of the bullpen come playoff time. Some are also leaping ahead to wonder if he should be moved there now, and if May or Tony Gonsolin should be taking his place in the rotation until Maeda either figures it out, or becomes just a bullpen piece. Something to keep an eye on as the season progresses.

The Dodgers now turn their attention to the St Louis Cardinals. The last time the Dodgers saw the Birds was in St Louis in April, and the Cards beat them all four games. The Dodgers entered that series at 8-2, after a very hot start. They left 8-6, and went on to lose the next to games to the Milwaukee Brewers as well. It was their longest losing streak of the season to date. Their only other losing streak of more than two days was four games surrounding the All-Star break, between San Diego and Boston.

The Cardinals then went on a skid of their own, losing 31 games in May and June. However, they had made it back atop the NL Central, tied with the Chicago Cubs, until they lost the last two games. They are now in second, 1.5 games behind the Cubs, and first place in the Wild Card race.

Tonight, Tony Gonsolin will make his second start of the season. He is coming off a great outing in Coors Field against the Rockies, throwing four scoreless innings to close out the game. He will be going up against Michael Wacha, who is 6-4 on the season with a 5.15 ERA and 69 strikeouts over 85.2 innings. He hasn’t gone longer than 4.2 innings in his last three games. He has been used out of the bullpen as well as a starter this season.

Tuesday will see Clayton Kershaw and Miles Mikolas. The righty is 7-11 with a 4.00 ERA and has 90 strikeouts across 126 innings. He last went 5.2 scoreless against the Chicago Cubs.

Wednesday’s matinee will see Dustin May’s second start of the season, and he will face off against Jack Flaherty. The young right hander is 5-6 with a 3.93 ERA and 140 strikeouts over 121.1 innings.

In some injury news and notes, word today broke that Keibert Ruiz, the Dodgers’ catching prospect, broke his finger and will have surgery that will keep him out for the rest of the season. The news was first reported by the minor league writer for Dodgers Nation.

Rich Hill stated yesterday that he should be throwing a bullpen session in about three weeks. Both Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez could also be out on rehab assignments this weekend. Newly acquired Jedd Gyorko has begun his rehab in Double-A Tulsa. No timetable is yet set for his debut with the Dodgers.

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25 thoughts on “Dodgers Set to Take on Cardinals; Plus Some Injury Notes

  1. Well at least it was not a serious injury for Ruiz and he will be ready for spring training next year. Should be quite the tandem with Smith and Ruiz. The Cards come in here cold. They have not been playing well after finally taking the division lead, and then giving it back the last few days. Read about this kid Gonzalez who has pitched at RC, Tulsa and is now at OKC. Lefty with some nasty stuff. Strictly a reliever. AF said the kid could possibly be a bullpen option for LA.

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  2. The Blue Jays, who claimed Brock Stewart off waivers a few days ago, have apparently called him up. One more indication of how strong the Dodgers farm system is compared to some others. I really hope the change of scenery works and that he has a decent career from here on out. At least he’s getting another chance which would never have happened here.

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    1. Stewart got chances. He just was not that good. He pitched 84 innings as a starter and had an ERA over 5. He was always 7 or 8 on the depth list. Nice prospect who never achieved success at the MLB level with the team that drafted him. AL east is a pretty tough test for a guy with a career 5.46 ERA. I wish him well, but he was not that big of a help here in any of his call ups. Won a couple of games simply because the Dodgers bludgeoned the opponent. He is only a .500 pitcher at the minor league level. At OKC this year, he was abysmal with an ERA north of 7.

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      1. I agree, he doesn’t exactly need to start working on his HOF acceptance speech, but I think the FO totally ruined him the year they sent him back and forth to OKC 13 times and kept moving him from the bullpen to starting and back again. Maybe he’ll have a little better sense of security in Toronto and at some point reach some of the potential the Dodgers saw in him when they drafted him.

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  3. I remember Stewart back in 16 shutting out the Cubs in a 1-0 game and he was throwing 94-95. I thought he would be a solid starter. From there he lost some zip on his fastball and was never the same. Wishing him well tho. Always rooting for Dodger family! Been a while since Smith hit a game winning HR. He’s due tonight!

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  4. Just another prospect. They come and go, rarely are they here for long, especially pitchers. May, gonsolin are 2 more in the long line of super prospects. Past 10 years only Bueller has made it out of that long line. Why I don’t get very excited about prospects. Even Bueller still has questions about his consistency. Ace one night. Bottom of the rotation the next.

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    1. I do not agree with that assessment of Buehler. He has some serious stuff, unlike Stewart did. And he has had some very good outings and a couple of stinkers. Put it this way, his first 6 years in the majors, Koufax was a very mediocre pitcher. He was wild, and did not pitch very well at all. Had they given up and traded him they would have never won the 2 world Series they won in the 60’s. May has very good stuff. He is young and they are brining him the right way, Gonsolin not as dominant as May is, but the kid looks good. If he and May keep it up, they both will be around a long time. Buehler though is a special pitcher right now.

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  5. I agree with you bear on Buehler. Gordon check out what Buehler did in the playoffs last year. That was beyond ace like! The kid is a star!

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  6. Buehler has once in a decade type stuff he’s still trying to master how to control it. Too often his pitches move TOO MUCH and he misses his spot or leaves one over the plate. He will continue to improve and one day win a Cy Young. I’m more excited to see Urias in the rotation next year.

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  7. And how about Gonzo and May Alex! Are you kidding me with these youngsters. Our second team next year might win the West! This is fun!

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  8. Must be something in the water down there at OKC. Austin Barnes homered for the 4th game in a row. Lucroy released. Dodgers announce that they plan to use Julio Urias as a starter next year. Not good news for Rich Hill who I doubt they will even try to re-sign. Not sure they track down Ryu either. Kersh, Buehler, Urias, for sure next year. Other 2 will be anyone’s guess.

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  9. We have an embarrassment of starting pitching riches there’s no question about that. I expect Gonsulin will win out over Dustin May to be one of the 8 members of the playoff bullpen. He’s older and has much more experience in relief than May plus his fastball/splitter combo is the type swing and miss stuff you need in big games. I think it’s better to leave May to just starting instead of messing with his routine to move him to relief. He reminds me a lot of Derek Lowe with a better arm. Both are tall, athletic sinkerballers. May just happens to throw his 94-99 versus Lowe’s 88-91.

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  10. On this day in Dodger history…By winning the 43rd game in their last 50 the Dodgers had the most wins in any 50 game stretch in MLB history….2017. Dodgers had home field that year against the Astros and that did not help. But I would rather see them have that in any playoff series. They are that good at home this year. 9 walk off wins. Kimbrel to the IL. Guys dropping like flies out there.

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    1. Astros beat us when we had home field. What do you suppose might happen this year if we don’t? That team is stacked. I don’t see anybody in the NL better than us, but both the Yankees and the Astros concern me.

      One step at a time. For us it’s to remain standing as a team until October.

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      1. Yankee starting pitching is a disaster. Their bullpen is solid and the bludgeon teams. But the Dodgers have more homers, a huge advantage in run differential, and over all more depth. The Yankees are seriously banged up. The Dodgers get to see how well they stack up when the Yanks come to town in a couple of years.

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  11. Although I think the Uni’s on players weekend are cool with the nicknames on the back, I am not down with it happening the weekend that the Yankees are here to play the Dodgers. I would much rather see the Yankee road grey’s and the Dodger Blue on the field. May’s will have Big Red on the back. Hill went away from Dick Mountain. Some have stayed the same.

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  12. If they get completely healthy the Yanks will be a scary team! Hopefully Astros and Yanks will wear themselves out before they play us in a knock down drag out 7 game series!

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    1. No need to be scared. The Dodgers are better offensively than both of them, the Stros and the Yanks. Yanks starters no where near as good as ours. BP is pretty good though. Astros on the other hand have a deep starting staff…and pretty good bullpen. But, the Dodgers have owned Greinke the last few years. They beat Verlander in the series in 2017. It all will come down to who is hot at the time. Dodgers need to keep the pressure up on everyone. They do need to shore up their defense. Joe Panik DFA’d by the Giants today…..figured that was coming when they traded for Scooter Gennett.

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      1. If we face the Yankees it will mean they got through the Astros, or through the team that beat the Astros, so they will obviously be on a roll. The Yankees have some left handers that could give us a problem. Too early to be nervous. That series is a long way off.

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  13. The Dodgers have a target on their backs. No one is going to just lie down for them. They are lefty heavy power wise which is why some teams loaded up with lefty relievers. The path to the playoffs is pretty well laid down. Winning in the playoffs is not going to be a cake walk.

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    1. Yes, the Dodgers are the team to beat in the NL. Everyone agrees on that. They’ve also shown a vulnerability to left hand pitching.

      We should be good enough to prevail in the NL bracket, especially if all our RH hitters are back. I’m curious how Gyorko will play for us. His career OPS vs LHP is over .800.

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