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Dodgers bullpen could use a rest after the last 2 games

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Christian Petersen/Getty Images

As is usually the case with a 16-inning game, the impact goes much deeper than the results of the contest itself. For the Dodgers and Cardinals, after the pitcher usage of Friday night, will have the rest of their weekend series affected. The Dodgers' bullpen is especially taxed after its unprecedented use of pitchers over the last two days.

After Julio Urias lasted four innings in his spot start Thursday in Washington D.C., the Dodgers used seven relief pitchers for the final five innings. They used eight relievers on Friday night, including starter Bud Norris for the final two.

Norris allowed the walk-off winner for St. Louis but after 23 pitches he will still start for the Dodgers on Tuesday at home against Tampa Bay, manager Dave Roberts told reporters after Friday's game.

But with eight pitchers on Thursday and nine on Friday, the Dodgers have used eight pitchers in consecutive games for the first time since at least 1913, and likely in franchise history.

Six of the eight relief pitchers in the bullpen have pitched each of the last two days, including J.P. Howell and Louis Coleman, who have each pitched in the last three days.

Grant Dayton didn't pitch the last two days, but he did throw two innings on Friday in his major league debut. Luis Avilan was the only relief pitcher who didn't pitch Friday, but that was after he pitched the previous two days.

Avilan and Pedro Baez were both scheduled to be down on Friday, Roberts told Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet LA during Friday's game, but Baez ended up pitching a scoreless inning anyway. In other words, expect several relievers to be unavailable or with limited usage on Saturday night for the Dodgers.

For the Cardinals, the biggest effect of Friday was using Tyler Lyons for 4⅔ innings. Lyons was a candidate to start on Sunday, but that obviously won't happen now. But before Sunday, we have Saturday to deal with.

It's safe to say both teams would like extended outings from their starting pitchers in the middle game of the series.

Mike Leake has lasted at least six innings in each of his last four starts and in 12 of his last 13 outings. In his last two, Leake has racked up the strikeouts at an unprecedented rate for him, notching the third and fourth double-digit strikeout games of his career, allowing two total runs in 13 innings.

The Dodgers will turn to Kenta Maeda, who has been a Jekyll and Hyde of late. After lasting at least six innings in each of his first six major league starts, Maeda has gone six or more innings just five times in his last 13 starts, averaging 5.38 innings per start since May 11.

Maeda's three July starts have been 4, 7 and 4⅓ innings.

Game info

Time: 4:15 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA