The Los Angeles Dodgers, the hottest team in the majors with nine straight wins, will visit the Miami Marlins on Monday night for the start of a four-game series.
Los Angeles beat Washington 5-1 on Sunday, completing a four-game sweep.
“Great series all the way around,” manager Dave Roberts said after his Dodgers improved to a season-best 22 games over .500.
Monday’s pitching matchup is a good one: Marlins lefty Trevor Rogers (7-5, 2.14 ERA) against Dodgers righty Walker Buehler (8-1, 2.35 ERA).
Buehler is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in four career appearances — all starts — against the Marlins. In Miami, Buehler is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in two starts. He hasn’t faced Miami this year.
The Dodgers are 11-5 when Buehler starts, earning seven wins in his past nine appearances. Buehler has an impressive 14 quality starts this year, pitching at least six innings in each of his 16 appearances.
Rogers, who has yet to face the Dodgers, is considered the National League Rookie of the Year favorite. Rogers has nine quality starts, and he has been just as good at home (2.18 ERA) as he has been on the road (2.12 ERA). He also has a sub-3.00 ERA in each month so far — April, May and June.
The Marlins are just 8-8 when Rogers starts, but that has more to do with a lack of overall support.
Los Angeles took two of three games from Miami in May, when the Marlins made the trip out west.
Miami, which is in last place in the National League East, is just 6-12 in its past 18 games. But the Marlins have also battled lately, going 2-3 in their past five games, with all three of those losses coming by just one run.
The latest example of Marlins heartbreak happened on Sunday, when they took a 7-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth against the Atlanta Braves. Unfortunately for the Marlins, the Braves rallied to win that game 8-7 in 10 innings.
“It’s a punch in the gut,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of the loss. “It’s not an easy (loss) to take.”
Miami is expected to have rookie Jazz Chisholm back in the lineup as its leadoff man and second baseman. Chisholm did not start on Sunday due to an ankle injury, but he entered the game in the ninth inning.
Another factor in Monday’s game is the state of Miami’s bullpen. Marlins starter Pablo Lopez was ejected one pitch into Friday’s game against the Braves, forcing Miami’s bullpen to cover eight innings.
It is unlikely that the Marlins will have closer Yimi Garcia or set-up man Richard Bleier available on Monday. Bleier has worked in three straight games. Garcia has worked two straight, including a highly taxing ninth inning on Sunday. Ross Detwiler and Anthony Bender, who each tossed three innings this past weekend, may be available.
Garcia wouldn’t say when he would be ready to pitch again, but he did promise to have a short memory following his blown save on Sunday.
“Every loss hurts,” Garcia said in Spanish. “But (that loss) happened, and we have to move on.”
–Field Level Media