Each season comes with difficult traits in the program.
What the Dodgers undertaken on Saturday, however, promises to be a particularly demanding test.
Over 30 days they will play 31 games in six cities. It only includes one day off and two double headers.
It will force management of workloads in the lineup. And it will test the depth and stamina of a throwing staff who have been strong in the first month but are facing key injuries in the rotation and bullpen.
“Even though yesterday was a great day to break free”, manager Dave Roberts he said Saturday morning, after the team’s rainout against the Chicago Cubs on Friday, “there’s always a cost.”
The strongest solution: efficient, reliable and deep pitching.
And in a doubleheader sweep against the Cubs on Saturday at Wrigley Field, the Dodgers’ rotation started the month-long marathon on the right foot.
during a Wins 7-0 in the afternoon game, Clayton Kershaw he shot seven innings without nets, clicking with hunter Austin Barnes – who also had a home run and three RBI – to efficiently mow down an aggressive Cubs formation despite only getting two strikeouts.
In the nightcap, the Dodgers won 6-2 behind a five-time RBI performance from Betting for beginnerswho went two out of five with a three-run double and a two-run homer, but also a solid five innings, two runs and seven strikeouts from Tyler Anderson.
“It starts with Clayton,” Roberts said of the Saturday sweep. “And the guys did a good job.”
The Dodger owners have pitched at least five innings and have not given up more than two points in eight consecutive games. They have an ERA of 1.20 in that range and a best major league ERA of 1.86 of the season.
They will need more or less the same in the next month. With such a small schedule, any series of poor starts could create aggravating problems for the rest of the staff.
“It will be a big effort for us,” Kershaw said. “We will need our starters to do their job.”
Barnes added: “They’ll need to dig into the games a little bit to save our bullpen in those 31 days. Kersh is proud to go deep into the games. All of our pitchers do. I think everyone has the ability to do that. So I think he will save our “pen” later, which is going to be huge.
Some discouraging news about Saturday’s injuries only underscored the point.
Roberts said by Blake Treinen the shoulder injury, which has kept him out since April 14, “still doesn’t feel well” and that the right-handed should see a doctor and do another MRI in Los Angeles on Monday.
Treinen has already had an MRI which Roberts said revealed no structural damage, but the pitcher has yet to progress.
Even with Tommy Kahnle returning from Tommy John’s surgery, David Price free from COVID-19 protocols, Caleb Ferguson and Victor González are nearing their return from the injury list and the rest of the bullpen have started off great – the team is at third place in the MLB in ERA bullpen – Roberts called Treinen “the most precious relief we have”.
“He hasn’t shown up yet,” Roberts added when asked how bad a Treinen long-term absence would be, “but it’s expensive.”
It also makes the tenant role even more important during this 30-day period.
Roberts said the Dodgers will likely use a six-man rotation sometime over the next month. Andre Jackson and Mitch White, who also cleared the COVID-19 protocols and are expected to start stretching as a starter, are both options. Top launch prospect Ryan Pepiot, who has an ERA of 2.05 in six starts with the Oklahoma City Triple A this year, is also in the conversation.
“We kicked some ideas around… to kick the ass [other] appetizers on an extra day [of rest]Roberts said. “Eventually it will happen, but I don’t know exactly when or who it will be.”
For now, the Dodgers are getting a lot out of their current group.
All five current holders have ERAs below 3.00. wound Andrea Heaney is set to begin a launch progression, although more than a month is likely to pass since returning. And on Saturday the rotation had one of its best collective days, strengthening the Dodgers’ hope of being able to anchor the team during one of the most difficult moments of the season.
“It’s a really good start,” said Roberts. “We have been careful with the workload of the rescuers, so now choosing points to extend the beginners will be really valuable.”