Tonight is the last home game for the Dodgers against the Diamondbacks this year. They’ll face each other for three more games next weekend at Arizona. Last night’s win against the Diamondbacks sealed their ninth consecutive playoff spot, and the Dodgers will hope to go for the sweep before a day off to face the tougher Cincinnati Reds.
Julio Urías will start for the Dodgers, currently sitting at 17-3 for the season, and with wins the last four starts. If he seals the win tonight, he’ll be the first pitcher to hit 18 wins this year. In 2021, he has posted a staggering 0.77 ERA against the Diamondbacks and tonight should be another treat to watch. And though he’s personally slowed down production on the hitting side lately (see note: Urías had an .875 OPS in June?!), we can hope there will be some activity on that front as well. It’s truly fun to see him get hits.
The last couple of nights have been promising for the Dodgers offense as well. They’re hitting .232 over the last 7 days — and yes, that’s improving over the abysmal offense seen in the last month. While no one would say the bats have come alive consistently down the line, there are several bright spots. Mookie Betts and Corey Seager have been on track, and Trea Turner rarely disappoints. Hits from the likes of Lux, Bellinger, and Barnes mean the bottom of the order is contributing as well.
Importantly, the Dodgers are consistently giving Urías run support this year, scoring an average 6.14 runs per game when he starts. Earlier in the year, Urías tipped his hat to his teammates’ offense on nights he takes the mound, saying he thinks “the confidence the team gives me is something that has me on the right path.”
RHP Merrill Kelly will take the mound for the Diamondbacks in the starting spot. He has been sidelined on the Covid-19 IL since August 14 and has been ramping back up since being cleared on Aug 25. He could go up to 80-90 pitches after pitching a bullpen game on Monday for an Arizona affiliate. Kelly is 7-9 this year, with an ERA of 4.30. He hasn’t pitched a full game since August 11 against the Giants, who got 11 hits and 5 earned runs off him that day.
Teams: Dodgers (93-53) vs. Diamondbacks (47-98)
Location: Dodger Stadium
Start time: 7:10 p.m.
Network: SportsNet LA, ESPN (out of market)