Chris Taylor went 2-for-4 with an RBI double and Noah Syndergaard earned his first win of the season, propelling the Dodgers to a 6-3 home win on Sunday against the Cardinals and securing the series sweep.
Aside from Clayton Kershaw’s sparkling performance on Saturday, there really weren’t any major signs that the Dodgers are changing course from an average-performing team to an excellent one. The Cardinals fell to 10-19 on the season and fifth place in the NL Central, suggesting that the Los Angeles sweep isn’t as significant as some pundits make it out to be.
However, a series sweep is definitely a step in the right direction for the Dodgers, especially after coming off a series loss to the Pirates on the road. There have been a few bright spots in an otherwise mediocre start to the year — see Kershaw and James Outman — but it’s going to take several winning streaks and some overall consistency before the Dodgers are once again considered a top contending team.
Even Max Muncy’s impressive 11 long balls have been the model of inconsistency, as the 32-year-old slugger continues to sandwich streaks of sluggish ABs around two or three games where he is virtually unstoppable.
Syndergaard was by no means great on Sunday, but perhaps a win could be a mental boost in the right direction. The 30-year-old righty threw 5-1/3 innings of work, allowing three earned runs on eight hits without a strikeout.
The good news is that the Los Angeles bullpen is showing minor glimpses of improvement, primarily after seeing how well Alex Vesia and Yency Almonte threw on Sunday. Five Los Angeles pitchers combined for just two hits and no walks over the final 3-2/3 frames while sealing the victory.
Up next for the Dodgers is a three-game set against the Phillies beginning Monday to conclude the current homestand. The big news of the upcoming series is that young righty prospect Gavin Stone could make his first major league start in Wednesday’s finale.
Stone got off to a slow start for Triple-A Oklahoma City early this season, but he has been brilliant lately, surrendering just one earned run and striking out 15 over his last two starts.
Skipper Dave Roberts hasn’t said much beyond confirming the rumors of Stone’s potential start. From what we can tell, it could be a move to give the current rotation a little breathing room, especially for Kershaw, who has averaged six-plus innings pitched over his six starts this season.
Regardless, Tony Gonsolin is slated to start Monday’s opener with Julio Urias taking the mound in the middle game.
As it stands, Dustin May would get the ball against the Padres when the Dodgers go back out on the road on Friday.
2 thoughts on “Dodgers Sweep Cardinals at Home, Prepare for Phillies to Finish Homestand”
Dodgers will not take off until Betts and Freeman get hot. Both have been disappointing at the dish so far.
Swept Cards and Phillies at home, let’s go to Dago and kick their butts.