The Dodgers look to keep their hot play going in game two against the Phillies.
Yesterday’s game was pretty cool. Julio Urias pitched well save for one unlucky inning. The offense exploded, and the bullpen was mostly good. It could have been a better day, but the Giants outlasted the Marlins in 14 innings and all the Dodgers could do was keep pace.
The Dodgers can obviously only control the game they’re in, and they can win their fourth straight game today in the best pitching matchup of the series.
Kenta Maeda gets the ball for the Dodgers for his 23rd start. For all the talk about the Dodgers signing injury-prone starters, Maeda was probably the signing with the biggest red flag on his arm, so of course this will be his team-leading 23rd start. If shortstops were excluded, Maeda would probably be right in the mix for the NL Rookie of the Year. His 3.22 ERA/3.44 FIP combo is more than the Dodgers could have expected when they signed him. He’s gone six or more in 12 of his 22 starts, so while many pegged him as a back-of-the-rotation caliber guy when he signed, he’s been the most consistent piece of the Dodgers’ rotation all season long.
The Phillies counter with their best pitcher so far this season, Vincent Velasquez. Velasquez was the main piece the Phillies got back for Ken Giles (another reminder that holy crap trading for relievers is expensive). The 24-year-old is making his 20th start of the season and has a 3.33 ERA/3.47 FIP. He left his last start with a blister, but it clearly wasn’t that bad as he’s starting five days later. Velasquez racks up strikeouts in a hurry when he’s on his game, and he had a 16 strikeout performance in his second start of the season. He features a regular 4-seam fastball and a sinking fastball, and plays off that with a curve/change/slider combo.
Yasmani Grandal is in the lineup after taking a foul ball off his shoulder yesterday. He remained in the game for the last couple outs and all seems fine, but his bat getting going is a major reason why the Dodgers have been good lately, and if he’s dealing with issues again that would be terrible news. Grandal played the last half of last season with a bum shoulder and was close to an automatic out.
Some bad news on the Rich Hill front. He was scheduled to throw a bullpen session today after throwing off flat ground, but he won’t be doing the bullpen part of that. Ross Stripling would likely get the start Friday if Hill isn’t ready to go.
If Hill is ready to go, his debut will come against the Pittsburgh Pirates
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PST and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.