The Dodgers look to right the ship and stay in sole possession of first place in game two against Chicago.
Yesterday’s game was a frustrating one. The Dodgers had plenty of chances and let the Cubs hang around long enough for the future NL MVP to do MVP things. A game against the Cubs with Bud Norris starting should end in a loss. The result was there. The Dodgers just took an overly frustrating route.
The remaining two games shouldn’t be any easier, as the Dodgers send a pair of rookie pitchers to the mound. First, game two.
Julio Urias gets the ball. I still don’t really know what the Dodgers plan with Urias has been. He’s thrown 57 major league innings, meaning he has exceeded his rookie limits. He’s bounced around between the bullpen and rotation for the last month and has seen success in doing so. He struggled in relief at Coors Field, but since then he’s allowed one earned run in his last 13.2 innings. He’s thrown 102 innings this year between the majors and minors, so it’ll be interesting to see how active he is in September and October.
This is Urias’ second shot at the Cubs. The first came in Chicago during Urias’ second career start. It did not go well. He allowed five earned (and one unearned) runs in five innings and got taken deep three times.
Jason Hammel has a 3.07 ERA. In the Cubs’ normal, healthy rotation, that is the fourth worst ERA. The Cubs have only had five games started by pitchers not in their projected rotation. Kyle Hendricks leads baseball with a 2.19 ERA. Jake Arrieta fell back to earth with a still-great 2.62 ERA. Sunday’s starter Jon Lester has a 2.81 ERA. Hammel has a 3.07. And slacking John Lackey has a 3.41.
Basically, the Cubs’ rotation is really good and has been healthy all year. Hammel will make his 25th start today, and he had been hot before his last start. In his first three August starts, Hammel allowed 10 hits and no runs in 20 innings. Then, he went to Coors Field and allowed 10 hits and 10 runs (six earned) in 3.1 innings.
Hammel started against the Dodgers in May. He left the game after two innings with cramps, but the Cubs bullpen didn’t allow a baserunner in the final seven innings as the Cubs won 2-0.
Howie Kendrick gets his first off day of the homestand with Andrew Toles starting in left. With Andre Ethier on a rehab assignment, Kendrick might see less time in left field. His versatility should keep him in the lineup more often than not.
Other than that, the lineup is fairly normal. A righty is on the hill, so Joc Pederson is back in the lineup. In case it’s not perfectly clear, I hateeeeee that he’s a platoon player.
A weird day without a ton of roster moves. Hyun-jin Ryu reportedly threw off flat ground today. He hopes to return this season, but don’t count on that happening.
Alex Wood is close to throwing off a mound for the first time. If/when he returns, he’ll come out of the bullpen. This should help him return early as he won’t have to worry about building his stamina back up.
Scott Van Slyke will have wrist surgery. He was already shelved for the season when the Dodgers threw him on the 60-day DL on Thursday. He last played August 7th, so he’s eligible to return October 7th, which is the day of two NLDS game ones.
First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM PST and will be shown on SNLA and FS1.