With attrition depleting the pitching staff, the Dodgers are probably looking forward to the four days off during the All-Star break more than most. They just have to get through three more games with the worst team in baseball at Dodger Stadium first.
On the eight-game road trip the Dodgers used two bullpen games, and have another one coming Friday night. David Price will likely start the series opener against the Diamondbacks, but at the very least will be the bulk guy, which for now means three innings or so. The Dodgers have plans to stretch him out, but that will come over time. Not Friday night.
During the road trip, Dodgers starters pitched 30⅓ innings. Relievers — which include Garrett Cleavinger and Jake Reed starting bullpen games, and Victor Gonzalez opening for Tony Gonsolin on a rainy Thursday in Washington D.C. — pitched 37 innings.
Because they technically started the road trip with five starting pitchers and ended with only three, the Dodgers needed fresh arms to keep the bullpen engine humming. They added seven relief pitchers to the bullpen in the last seven days.
In 2020, a season with expanded active rosters, the Dodgers used 15 relief pitchers during the 60-game season. They used 13 different relievers over the last seven days.
Julio Urías lasting seven innings on Thursday morning in Miami helped quite a bit. The two relievers used on Thursday didn’t pitch Wednesday, so the Dodgers head into a bullpen game Friday with no pitchers having thrown more than once in the last two days. Only four of the 11 — yes, eleven — active relievers have pitched in two of the last three days — Blake Treinen, Phil Bickford, Garrett Cleavinger, and Jake Reed.
Arizona comes to town with the worst record in baseball at 25-64, on pace for 116 losses. But they just won a series, taking two of three games against the Rockies in Phoenix. It was the Diamondbacks’ first series win of any kind in 10 weeks, back when they also beat the Rockies at home.
|Mon, May 17||Dodger Stadium||LA 3, AZ 1|
|Tue, May 18||Dodger Stadium||LA 9, AZ 1|
|Wed, May 19||Dodger Stadium||LA 4, AZ 2|
|Thu, May 20||Dodger Stadium||LA 3, AZ 2|
|Fri, Jun 18||Chase Field||LA 3, AZ 0|
|Sat, Jun 19||Chase Field||LA 9, AZ 3|
|Sun, Jun 20||Chase Field||LA 9, AZ 8|
On the road is where Arizona has crumbled this season. They are just 10-36 away from home this year, but amazingly that isn’t the worst road record in MLB. The Rockies are an astonishing 7-33 on the road, which helps explain those two series losses in Phoenix.
Colorado hasn’t had the gaudy losing streak on the road this season; they’ve just been consistently bad when not at home. Arizona, meanwhile, has dropped like a rock. The Diamondbacks lost an MLB-record 24 consecutive road games, a streak that included getting swept in four games at Dodger Stadium from May 17-20.
Arizona has lost 28 of their last 29 road games. And even with the series win at home this week against the Rockies, the D-backs have still lost 45 of their last 53 games overall.
The Dodgers are 7-0 against Arizona this season, outscoring them 40-17. But as we saw with Los Angeles dropping three of four games in Miami, playing a last-place team does not mean automatic success. That said, the Dodgers are 15-5 against the four current last-place teams they’ve played. Against teams that currently have a win percentage under .450 (this adds the Rockies), the Dodgers are 21-6.
LA has mostly taken care of business when playing the bottom of the barrel teams this season. They have a chance to do the same this weekend, trying to head into the All-Star break on a high note.
Teams: Dodgers (54-34) vs. D-backs (25-64)
Location: Dodger Stadium
Time: 7:10 p.m.
TV: SportsNet LA