The Dodgers look to rebound in game two against the Pirates.
Last night’s game went pretty much exactly how you would expect a Nick Tepesch start to go. Tepesch was not good and only went four innings. The bullpen was asked to throw another four, and they were real shaky as well. The Dodgers did put up six runs. The pitching has been fine for the most part and the hitting has been the issue, so it makes me happy when the Dodgers score runs, even if their pitching gives up more. I’m more concerned about the offense than I am about the pitching, and usually when the Dodgers score more than four runs, they’ll win the game. One weird thing I noticed, and I’m not sure if this means anything, but the Dodgers are 8-18 in the first game of a series this year.
Kenta Maeda gets the start tonight. He’s one of a few Dodger starters that has shown the ability to go semi-deep into a game, and he’s working on an extra day of rest since the Dodgers opted to use a fifth starter instead of the off day. Maeda hit a rough stretch, but has readjusted and hasn’t allowed three runs in any of his last five outings. He’s pitched into the seven inning in three of his four starts in June, so with a rotation scuffling to give the bullpen a break, Maeda could help a lot by getting deep into the game.
Lefty Jeff Locke gets the ball for the Pirates. In 14 starts, Locke has a 5.44 ERA/5.03 FIP, but is somehow 6-5. Maeda has a 2.64 ERA/3.14 FIP and is 6-4. So remember that next time someone tries arguing for the win stat.
If you throw out Locke’s 16 innings in 2011, his first year in the majors, Locke is in the middle of the worst season of his career. His per/9 numbers are all really bad, especially his 4.7 SO/9. He has 43 strikeouts in 82.2 innings pitched, so this honestly should be someone the Dodgers should tee off on. Locke was an all-star in 2013 and has been a passable back-of-the-rotation guy for most of his career, but there’s no reason the Dodgers shouldn’t put up some runs tonight. He is coming off a fine performance against the Giants, where he kept them off the board through 6.2 innings and handed Madison Bumgarner a complete-game loss. Eight of his 14 starts have been “quality starts” (six innings, three or fewer runs), but he’s allowed 34 runs in the other six starts.
A typically weird lefty on the mound lineup. Enrique Hernandez hits leadoff, but he hasn’t quite been the lefty-killer he was last season. Trayce Thompson starts in center for Joc Pederson and bats cleanup, moving Adrian Gonzalez down to the five-hole. Scott Van Slyke gets the start in left, while A.J. Ellis catches Maeda for the seventh time this season. With Ellis behind the plate, Maeda owns a 1.49 ERA in 36.1 innings and has a 38:7 K:BB ratio.
The Dodgers designated Tepesch for assignment and called up recently acquired Chris Taylor. The Dodgers will need someone to start on Wednesday in Milwaukee. Mike Bolsinger is a possibility as it will have been more than 10 days since he was optioned. Jharel Cotton and Brock Stewart are probably better options, but that decision probably won’t come until the Dodgers get to Milwaukee late Monday night/early Tuesday.
First pitch is scheduled for 4:15 PST and will be shown on Fox (no blackouts).