After sweeping the Colorado Rockies last weekend, the Los Angeles Dodgers enter play Thursday afternoon needing a win to avoid suffering the same fate in a four-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals. A loss would also leave the Dodgers with a losing record on their road trip.
L.A. arrived at Busch Stadium with a potent offense that propelled them to an 8-2 record behind an average of more than eight runs per game. They had a streak of one home run hit in each of the first 10 games, which broke the previous franchise record (six games).
Additionally, their 84 total runs tied for third-most in MLB history through the first 10 games to start a season since 1900. However, the bats have cooled off considerably in St. Louis, as the Dodgers have scored a combined five runs in the past three games.
They stranded 13 baserunners and went 2-for-11 with men in scoring position en route to being shut out Tuesday night.
The Dodgers will have to get back on track against Michael Wacha, who is pitching the best of any Cardinals starter. Wacha has reached the sixth inning in both of his starts this season, allowed just one run and recorded seven strikeouts in each outing.
However, Wacha doesn’t have a decision to show for it and the Cardinals have lost both of his starts.
The Dodgers counter with Walker Buehler in what’s also his third start this season. He’s working to settle into form after a Spring Training that saw a lightened workload.
Buehler held the Rockies to one run (on a solo homer) and scattered three hits over five innings. His velocity has not been an issue this season but command has been lost at various stretches.
The Dodgers swapped out relief pitchers ahead of the series finale, recalling Jaime Schultz and optioning JT Chargois to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
LF: Joc Pederson
3B: Justin Turner
SS: Corey Seager
CF: A.J. Pollock
2B: Max Muncy
1B: David Freese
RF: Kiké Hernandez
C: Rocky Gale
P: Walker Buehler
2B: Kolten Wong
1B: Paul Goldschmidt
SS: Paul DeJong
RF: Jose Martinez
LF: Tyler O’Neill
3B: Jedd Gyorko
CF: Harrison Bader
C: Matt Wieters
P: Michael Wacha