The Dodgers are wrapping up their road trip with a visit to Pennsylvania to play the Pittsburgh Pirates in a three-game set. In their previous meeting this season, the Dodgers swept the Pirates at Dodger Stadium.
The Pirates are currently on a National League West circuit, most recently playing the Colorado Rockies in a three-game set. They dropped the first two games to the Rockies and it can be attributed to their struggling pitchers. On Wednesday, Pittsburgh used Montana DeRapau as an opener for the second time, but it was not successful. DeRapau wasn’t able to get out of the first inning, allowing three runs to score. Since the Pirates only have four starting pitchers, it is likely they will use an opener in the upcoming series against the Dodgers.
They turned things around in the series finale to avoid the sweep, but it wasn’t all roses and daisies. Four different Pirates hit home runs in the 14-6 win, scoring nearly five times more runs than their previous two games combined. However, their starter did struggle, with Jordan Lyles allowing all six of the Rockies’ runs to be scored in the same inning.
The Pirates’ brightest hope right now is Josh Bell. Bell is the most recent NL Player of the Week, going .407/.484/.889 in 31 plate appearances with four home runs. He isn’t showing any signs of stopping, either. He hit a home run in each of the last two games, making 16 on the season.
Josh Bell is the first player ever to hit TWO homers out of PNC Park and into the Allegheny River on the fly! pic.twitter.com/UWbb99NZqo— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) May 22, 2019
The Dodgers are heading into the series with a confident staff of starting pitchers. Though the bullpen may be a huge concern, the offense usually compensates for the mishaps.
Game one: Walker Buehler (4-1, 3.83 ERA) vs. TBD
Friday, May 24 - 4:05 p.m. PDT
Walker Buehler will begin the series on the mound for the Dodgers for his tenth start of the season. His last start, though solid, resulted in his first loss of the season. With the Dodgers getting shutout, Buehler was automatically charged with the loss. He tossed six innings and struck out seven batters. The Reds scored total of four runs off of him, but he was only charged with one because of an error by Corey Seager.
He got off to a shaky start, but he has started to level out, providing the Dodgers with long starts and great outings. Buehler hasn’t earned more than three runs since Apr. 11.
The Pirates haven’t announced who will face Buehler, but it very well may be another opener situation.
Game two: Hyun-Jin Ryu (6-1, 1.52 ERA) vs. Joe Musgrove (3-4, 3.67 ERA)
Saturday, May 25 - 4:15 p.m. PDT
Carrying the Dodgers in the second game will be Hyun-Jin Ryu. Ryu has made his way to be (arguably) the best starting pitcher on the Dodgers roster. He leads the National League in ERA (1.52) and is currently at a 31-inning scoreless streak. In his nine starts this season, he has not given up more than two runs and he has only walked a total four batters. Ryu faced the Pirates on Apr. 26, throwing seven innings and allowing two earned runs from eight hits. The Dodgers offense backed him with six runs of support in the victory.
On the other side, Joe Musgrove will be pitching for the Pirates. Musgrove is the only Pirates starter who hasn’t seen time on the injured list this season and will see his tenth start of the season. He had some poor starts in the beginning of May, but has seemed to find his groove again. His most recent start was against the San Diego Padres where he threw 6 1⁄3 innings, allowing four runs to score from four hits and a walk. He was only charged with three earned runs and struck out four batters. The Pirates offense backed him with enough runs to help him earn his third win of the season.
Game three: Kenta Maeda (5-2, 3.51 ERA) vs. Chris Archer (1-4, 5.55 ERA)
Sunday, May 26 - 10:35 a.m. PDT
Kenta Maeda will be activated from the injured list to start Sunday’s game for Los Angeles. He was placed on the 10-day injured list on May 16 with a left adductor contusion after fouling a ball off of his thigh. His last start was a win, going 6 2⁄3 scoreless innings against the Padres. He was immaculate, only allowing three hits while striking out 12 batters to lead the Dodgers to a 2-0 victory.
Chris Archer will pitch against Maeda on Sunday afternoon looking for his second win of the season. He has earned four-straight losses, with his most recent against the Rockies. He tossed five innings and gave up four runs (three earned) in the shutout loss. Archer has allowed three or more runs scored in five starts this season.
How many games will the Dodgers win against the Mets?
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