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Dodgers pitching is officially in scramble mode

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More bullpen roster moves afoot

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks
Expect a lot of Dave Roberts trips to the mound over the final two games of this series in Philadelphia.
Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Tuesday night’s nearly-two-hour rain delay forced the Dodgers into scramble mode a day earlier than planned.

The Dodgers used six relievers to cover the final 5⅔ innings in the series-opening win over the Phillies, of which only two were on the opening day roster. Two relievers used on Tuesday — Justin Bruihl and Conner Greene — weren’t even on the 40-man roster on Saturday.

That’s what happens with an injured list that currently houses nine Dodgers pitchers, including six relievers. That’s not even counting Jimmy Nelson, who was active last week but is out for the season, having both Tommy John surgery and flexor tendon repair today in Los Angeles.

“It’s just crazy, talking about the guys who are on the injured list on our roster,” manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday. “But it’s a great opportunity for guys, and guys are stepping in.”

There will be more guys stepping in later this week, likely as early as Wednesday.

David Price starts the second game of the series, having gone past 4⅓ innings twice in his five starts since joining the rotation on a regular, starter’s schedule. Mitch White, who was getting stretched out in Oklahoma City and pitched five innings last Thursday in Triple-A, will be called up to pitch bulk innings on Thursday, whether he starts or follows an opener.

The Dodgers have added at least one reliever to the roster in each of the last three games, and expect that churn to continue, with a stretch of 13 games in 13 days and 22 games in 23 days.

This is akin to the Dodgers’ road trip from July 1-8 in Washington D.C. and Miami, when they called up seven different relief pitchers amid a week when the rotation lost Trevor Bauer to administrative leave and Clayton Kershaw to the injured list. Dodgers starters are in similar disarray now, with Price instead of filling in as the temporary sixth starter is the much-needed fourth starter, and no fifth starter likely coming until September, with Kershaw, Danny Duffy, and Cole Hamels nowhere close. Tony Gonsolin in theory could return earlier than that, but he’s averaged three and a half innings per outing this year.

In other words, expect a lot of reliever usage over the next couple of weeks.

Of those seven relievers added to the active roster during the July 1-8 road trip, only one — Brusdar Graterol — is currently active. That’s the kind of turnover the Dodgers are dealing with.

Broadcast note

The middle game of the series will also be televised by ESPN, though that broadcast will be blacked out in the Los Angeles television market. Karl Ravech will call the game for ESPN, along with analysts Eduardo Perez and Tim Kurkjian.

Game info

Teams: Dodgers (68-45) at Phillies (59-54)

Location: Citizens Bank Park

Time: 4:05 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA, ESPN (out of market)