Dustin May has an electric arm and is highly valued by the Los Angeles Dodgers. But the young right-hander is not three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, so when planning out the rotation schedule, manager Dave Roberts took care of the ace’s needs before those of May.
The result was some extra rest for May and a home start against the Rockies on Wednesday night. May will take the mound in the second of the three-game series with Colorado, which will send righty Jon Gray to the rubber to try to stop a four-game skid.
The Dodgers won the first game of the series, 7-0, on Tuesday night behind a strong outing from Trevor Bauer.
May’s first and only start of the season was a good way to kick off his 2021. May (1-0, 0.00 ERA) tossed six scoreless innings and struck out eight in a win over the Oakland A’s on April 5. Despite that outing, Roberts chose to go with Kershaw against the Washington Nationals last weekend and push back May’s second start of the season.
“It’s a long season, so Dustin to kind of curtail some days and get him back in there, that was kind of the impetus behind that,” Roberts said of his decision. “It’s just kind of pushing him back a little bit to keep Clayton on line.”
May has learned to be flexible in his young career. He was a spot starter as a rookie in 2019 and then started 10 of his 12 games last season. During the 2020 postseason, he started three of the seven times he took the mound.
Wednesday will be his fourth career game – third start – against Colorado. He hasn’t recorded a decision against the Rockies but holds a 2.31 ERA in 11 2/3 innings.
If Gray pitches like he has in his first two outings, Wednesday’s game could be a low-scoring one. Gray (1-0, 1.54) took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in his last start, Thursday against Arizona, before settling for his first win of the season.
Gray was a power pitcher when he first joined the Colorado organization but he has developed his off-speed pitches, and the growth has shown.
“It’s been piecing together lots of things, kind of evolving as a pitcher,” Gray, 29, said recently. “I’m nothing like I was when I was signed. I mean, I think I’m still a power pitcher, but the way I use my stuff is totally different.”
Wednesday will be his 17th career game — all of them starts — against Los Angeles, and his second of the season. He had a 2-0 lead against the Dodgers at Coors Field on April 3 when full-body cramps forced him out of the game in the sixth inning.
Gray is 5-6 with a 4.45 ERA in his career against Los Angeles, which he has faced more times in his career than other team other than the San Diego Padres.
While Gray has had success at home against the Dodgers, he has struggled at Dodger Stadium, where he is 1-5 with a 6.84 ERA in six starts.
—Field Level Media