Dodger pitching finds the footing just in time
The Dodgers went into the weekend against the Nationals without Clayton Kershaw and came away with three victories as Ross Stripling saved the rotation and the bullpen saved the rotation when Rich Hill ripped off a blister and didn’t record one out in his start.
Kenta Maeda got the pitching rolling with a fantastic getaway game on Thursday in which he recorded a game score of 86 and in a minute I’ll know if that was the best game score of his career.
Ross Stripling and Alex Wood bookended the crazy bullpen game in game two of the doubleheader on Saturday with excellent starts.
Last year when I did the monthly stats Kenley Jansen was always number one in SO9 (strikeouts per 9 innings) but even as he has found his footing the strikeout is still elusive for him. His SO9 rate is a paltry 6.3 which is normally Ross Stripling territory. Ross, however now has a 12.1 SO9 in May, just a tick behind the team leader Walker Buehler at 12.2. Ross also leads the team in SO/W ( strikeouts per walk) with a Clayton Kershaw type number of 11 to 1.
We are twenty days into May and I think Ross Stripling would be the Dodger pitcher of the month if the month ended last night. Even with all due respect to Walker. Normally losing Hill for a month might be a concern but with the way Ross has been pitching, frankly, I’d rather have Ross Stripling than Rich Hill. At least I know Ross isn’t going to say his blister if fine before it tears off one batter into a start.
When I felt the Dodgers had plenty of rotation depth at the start of the year, I wasn’t really considering Ross Stripling as part of that depth. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Right now the Dodgers are missing 3/5 of their opening day rotation but Clayton is looming on the horizon, Walker Buehler has filled the big shoes of Ryu, and Ross might be able to fill the shoes of Hill. It does get dicey after that. I think the Dodgers are going to give Brock Stewart a start on Wednesday, and hopefully, he can provide them with a quality start.
Who knows, we might see Dennis Santana sometime this month.
Eric Goeddel made his Dodger debut this week and picked up a win in that debut. Scott Alexander came back from AAA and has been fantastic giving the Dodgers a stronger bridge to Jansen. I can’t keep track of who is here and who is not but the key guys remain Fields, Baez, Alexander, Cingrani, Hudson, and Chargois.
Kenley leads the team with nine games in May, but the real problem is that Clayton Kershaw has only been in one game in May. Lots of pitchers have been used in May, I didn’t even include everyone.