Dodgers played softball, not moneyball vs CIN pitcher, Tyler Mahle. CIN played a unique shift versus key left handed hitters with 4 outfielders and 3 infielders on the 2nd base side, and it was needed.
Mahle’s hard hit rate is one of the highest in the big leagues yet his strikeout rate is as well. The Dodgers only committed 1 strikeout, but averaged 93 mph exit velocity on 14 balls in play to the tune of 4 runs, including a Joc Pederson 2 run homerun. The offense was able to get 2 more runs across on an Alex Verdugo 2 RBI double against Zach Duke.
The story of the game belonged to Kenta Maeda who, without much help from his slider, was able to muscle through the Reds’ lineup without much more than his fastball and changeup. After giving up a run in the 3rd to Mahle, Maeda put down 9 of the final 10 batters he faced. His final line was 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 5 SO on 98 pitches.
Gametime is 12:10 PST tomorrow.
Walker Buehler will face Sony Gray in tomorrow’s noontime game. Both pitchers will look to find their groove on the mound as both have had marginal starts to the season.
Current Dodgers are hitting .245/ .333/ .302/ 6.35 vs Gray in 60 plate appearances with 4 RBI, 7 BB and 18 SO. Chris Taylor has shown the most success with an .800 OPS+. Gray has one start at Dodger Stadium where he was lights out. He will look to find confidence in his strong first two innings, where his BAbip = .286 is slightly below his average. Dodgers will look to their second at bat and the 3rd and 4th inning to do damage.
Buehler will look to gain control of his fastball. His success is determined on his ability to establish his fastball in order to get his offspeed to work. Buehler’s BAbip is .171, 9 SO:BBratio when he wins but his BAbip balloons to .318 and 3.75 SO:BB when he takes the loss. While Gray looks to the 3rd and 4th as most challenging, Buehler will focus on his odd innings. The first inning, his BAbip is .319, his second highest of any inning. In the 3rd and 5th innings, the tOPS slightly favors hitters, averaging 129.5.
Tomorrow will be warm and bright. Look for hitters to find balls over the plate and use the clear sky and warm weather to their advantage while Buehler will look to improve his 5-2 record and lower his 5.96 ERA and 2.61 SO/BB ratio.
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