Last week, we talked about how the Los Angeles Dodgers pitching staff was going to have a big test ahead of them on their current road trip. As with everything else this season, some unexpected things happened in that regard, good and bad.
The Dodgers started their trip in St. Louis, and lost the last three of that four game series. Clayton Kershaw, still dealing with his mother’s recent death, only lasted 3.2 in the finale of the series, one of the shortest outings of his entire career. Tony Gonsolin was the only one who allowed no runs that series. However, he only lasted 5.0 innings because his pitch count got too high in the process.
The bullpen had to cover at least four innings of every game in St. Louis and at some points, the west and tear definitely showed.
The Dodgers fared better in Atlanta as far as outcomes, but needed to cover 13 innings. Bobby Miller had a spectacular debut, going 5.0 innings and allowing only one run against a dangerous Braves offense.
The offense was what helped the Dodgers be in contention for the win in all of those games. They scored 42 runs across the six games, and multiple times had a chance to take the lead in the ninth.
After a much needed day off in Tampa Bay, the Dodgers now face the top team in all of baseball. The Rays are 37-15, four games better than any team in the majors.
Tampa leads the majors in home runs, runs, stolen bases, one base percentage, slugging, and OPS, all while their pitching staff is top five in the majors.
But the Dodgers may be catching a break with regards to Tampa’s pitching. On Friday, they will face left hander Jalen Beeks, who will act as an opener. He is 1-2 in 18 games with a 4.68 ERA. Right hander Cooper Criswell is then expected to handle the bulk of the innings. In 11.1 innings of work, he has allowed 10 runs and 15 hits.
Noah Syndergaard will start for the Dodgers on Friday.
Saturday will see the return of Tyler Glasnow to the Rays rotation. Glasnow has been on the injured list dealing with an oblique injury. He threw four and six innings in his first two rehab starts with the Rays Triple-A team, and the team looks for him to throw about 80-90 pitches.
The Dodgers will counter with Clayton Kershaw, who on Friday was reinstated from the bereavement list. Before the short time away from the team, Kershaw said he had been dealing with some fatigue. He said on Friday that although he did not get to throw a bullpen this week, he feels fresh and ready to go.
In the corresponding move, Tayler Scott was optioned back to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Sunday’s game will be very early for fans in the Pacific time zone, as the game starts at 8:35am there, and 11:35am in Tampa. Gavin Stone is slated to make his third big league start, and Tampa has not yet announced who their starter will be.
Before Friday’s game, the team announced that they had claimed RHP Zack Burdi off waivers from the Rays, whom they DFA’d earlier this week. Burdi has an option year left, and was a teammate of Will Smith’s at Louisville. Tyler Cyr was moved to the 60-day IL in the corresponding move.
If the offense can stay as hot as it’s been, the Dodgers have a good chance of winning two out of three from the hottest team in baseball.
5 thoughts on “Dodgers Look to Finish Road Trip Strong in Tampa Bay”
This could turn into a pretty ugly game.
As you mentioned, the Rays lead the majors in OBP and stolen bases.
This means they’ll probably have lots of base runners and Thor couldn’t keep Tommy Lasorda from stealing second (or third for that matter).
The Rays pitchers you mention aren’t exactly future Hall of Famers either.
I predict a final score of 18-15, but I haven’t yet determined who the winner will be.
Unfortunately looks like we are stuck with Thor for now. Miller was impressive and Stone once he gets over the jitters has shown to have good stuff. A lot of rookies have first inning yips in their first starts I think Pryor will coach that out of him. So later this season we hopefully have a starting rotation of Urias, Kershaw, Gonsolin, Stone and ? Miller? May? or ??.
Miller and Stone will become solid starters either this year or next. Does Urias re-sign I doubt it he will go for the big money I think. Do the Dodgers suck it up and sign Ohtani? If Urias goes elsewhere they probably will.
I don’t expect both Stone and Miller to continue in the rotation for the rest of the year.
One? Maybe. But both I think would be too much to ask. I do expect both to be regulars in the rotation by next year.
I still expect the Padres to win the division. Yeah, they got off to a miserable start but they played a bunch of games without Tatis and now they don’t have Machado. I also expect Preller to include his star shortstop prospect, Jackson Merrill, in a July trade to bring back a top of the line starter such as one of the Brewers’ guys.
Ohtani will be interesting this winter. None of us knows how important it is for him to stay on the west coast. If it isn’t that important, the Mets will outbid everyone. If he wants to stay on the West Coast, I think both the Padres and Giants will quite possibly outbid us. I believe Ohtani is friends with Darvish and that might be the decider.
Ohtani isn’t repped by Boras but Julio is, so you’d better believe that Boras will wait for Ohtani to sign in order to set the market. If AF really wants to bring Urias back, at least he’ll have the benefit of waiting to see if he gets Ohtani before deciding how much $ to throw at Julio.
Off topic. Anyone wonder why kersh pitched 2 games after his moms death, rushed home for the funeral then rushed back to Florida to pitch again. Not normal.
Seemed especially strange since they were supposedly very close. She raised him as a single mom.