Dodgers: Dustin May breaks out the curveball in his third start
Dustin May took the mound for his third start with the Dodgers on Tuesday. May finally dusted off the curveball in his latest start.
Through his first two starts with the Dodgers, Dustin May looked every bit like the top pitching prospect that he is. With a power sinker in the high 90s and a sharp cutter that hits the low 90s, May has made a strong case for the fourth spot in the Dodgers’ postseason rotation. On Tuesday Dustin made his first road start in Miami and it was another strong outing.
Although he did not make it through six innings for the first time in his career, he allowed just one run to the Marlins. Dustin May pitched 5 2/3 innings allowing just three hits and recorded five strikeouts. As he did in his first two starts, May pounded the strike zone with his sinker and used his cutter to induce weak contact.
The one difference in his third start in the Major Leagues is that Dustin finally dusted off his curveball. In his first two starts, May threw a total of sixteen curveballs which accounted for just 8.9% of his pitches. Against the Marlins, he threw the sharp curveball sixteen times. It is a good sign for the Dodgers as the curve helps give batters another pitch to keep in the back of their mind.
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Opposing batters had a .292 wOBA against Dustin May’s curveball in his first two starts and on Tuesday the Marlins fouled off seven of his sixteen curveballs. The pitch helped May record plenty of strikes and set up his sinker and cutter to induce weak contact if they didn’t miss bats. If May can make the curve a bigger part of his pitch mix going forward, it should only make him better.
Dustin May left the game with two outs in the sixth inning and Joe Kelly stranded a runner on third to close the book on May’s third career start. After three starts, Dustin’s ERA stands at 2.65 and the Dodgers have no reason to stop sending him out there every fifth day going forward. He is the leading candidate for the fourth playoff rotation spot.
Walker Buehler burst onto the October scene last year after one bad start, and Dustin May appears primed to do the same this year. Outside of Walker Buehler, there isn’t a starting pitcher on the Dodgers who has the kind of electric stuff that May does. Everything he throws is hard and his sinker makes it difficult for opposing batters to square up the ball.
After a pitcher-friendly matchup in his first road start, Dustin May will take on the Atlanta Braves on Sunday for his next start. That will be another big test for May as he faces the team many consider the second-best team in the National League. It’ll be fun to watch how he does against big-time sluggers like Ronald Acuña Jr. and Freddie Freeman.