Dodgers Week 7: More wins, but injuries to Corey Seager & AJ Pollock

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Last week for the Dodgers involved trying to get their ducks in a row and get back on track, only to find more setbacks even while the on-field play was stellar.

After over three weeks of a wildly inconsistent offense, consolidating 43 percent of their runs into just three games of a 21-game stretch, the Dodgers finally last week found a groove with the bats. The dam broke on Tuesday with Gavin Lux’s eighth-inning home run saving the Dodgers from falling to .500.

That sparked a four-game winning streak against the Mariners and Marlins, and a week that saw them average over six runs per game.

But while the only game defeat was a close one on Sunday afternoon — the Dodgers’ eighth straight setback in one-run games — the losses were still plentiful last week.

First came bad news on corner infielder Edwin Ríos, who needs surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder and is out for the year. AJ Pollock was limited by a mild hamstring strain from May 7, but reached base all three times last week with two hits and a walk, only to strain the hamstring again on Friday, this time necessitating an injured list stint.

The Dodgers took steps to address their depleted position player depth on the 40-man roster, acquiring both Travis Blankenhorn and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, both of whom were designated for assignment last week. They also added Albert Pujols, the 41-year-old legend expected to occasionally run into one, something that has been sorely lacking from the Dodgers bench most of the year.

But the bigger blow came after all these moves — though Pujols won’t be official until Monday — when Corey Seager was hit by a pitch that broke the fifth metacarpal bone in his left hand, and will miss at least four weeks and possibly longer.

Cody Bellinger and Zach McKinstry are expected to begin rehab assignments this week and should be back in the majors relatively soon, but it will be a while before the Dodgers get their expected full lineup back on the field.

Batter of the week

After snapping his power drought in the previous week, Max Muncy took things to a new level last week, homering in three straight games, and even when that streak broke he managed three hits in a game. Muncy for the week hit .500, and both scored at least once and drove in a run or more in each of the first four games.

Pitcher of the week

Trevor Bauer on the mound has been every bit as good as advertised so far with the Dodgers, including his seven scoreless innings against Miami on Saturday. Bauer retired his final 11 batters faced and allowed only two singles, the fifth time in nine starts he has allowed three hits or less. Bauer struck out 10 Marlins, and ends the week atop the National League in both innings (57⅓) and strikeout (77), to go with his 2.20 ERA. Maybe the most amazing facet of his Saturday start was that he had all 10 strikeouts through just four innings.

Bauer’s 77 strikeouts are tied for sixth-most by a Dodgers pitcher through 40 team games, and the most since Clayton Kershaw had 88 strikeouts at this point in 2016.

Week 7 results

4-1 record
31 runs scored (6.20 per game)
14 runs allowed (2.80 per game)
.811 pythagorean win percentage

Year to date

22-18 record
205 runs scored (5.13 per game)
156 runs allowed (3.90 per game)
.622 pythagorean win percentage (25-15)

Miscellany

Secondary to none: Julio Urías on Wednesday allowed two hits and a run in seven innings, which made for his worst start against the Mariners this season. His secondary repertoire, which accounts for nearly half (48.9 percent) of his his pitches, has been otherworldly so far this season. Batters are hitting .098 with 15 strikeouts in 41 plate appearances that end on his changeup, and .131 with 19 strikeouts in 62 PA that end on his slurve. That has helped Urías last seven innings in four of his eight starts — including both times out against Seattle — after never pitching longer than 6⅓ innings in a game as a professional through 2020.

Net positive: Muncy leads major league first basemen with five Defensive Runs Saved, something he partially attributed to being mostly entrenched at one position this year, making 34 of his 38 starts this season at first. Though his first base DRS was negative in two of the previous three seasons, he pointed out he’s been above average in DRS at both second base and third base in his career, too.

“I see him as a plus defender at first base,” manager Dave Roberts said. “Gold Glove caliber, and he’s showing it.”

I’m not sure how much these two plays specifically contributed to Muncy’s Defensive Runs Saved, but his catches while crashing into the protective netting down the first base line on both Tuesday and Wednesday were at least memorable.

“The nets are a little weird. The way it’s kind of curved, it still allows for some plays to be made. But at the same time you can run out of room real quick over there,” Muncy said. “It’s not like in the past, where you could possibly reach over and grab something out of the stands. Just understanding that you can almost go a little harder into the wall, because that’s going to stop you from causing real harm.”

A staff 10-K: Clayton Kershaw struck out 11 on Friday against the Marlins, his third straight start against Miami with double-digit strikeouts, and the 64th double-digit strikeout game in the regular season in his career. It also gave the Dodgers five pitchers with at least one 10-strikeout game this season (Bauer twice, Urías twice, Dustin May, Walker Buehler, Kershaw), joining the White Sox as the only MLB team with five such pitchers this season.

This Bud’s for you: Dodgers rookie left-hander Garrett Cleavinger had a rough start to his season, allowing at least a run in five of his first six appearances, and took the loss in three extra-inning games in an 11-day span. But on Tuesday against the Mariners, Cleavinger was the first call out of the bullpen in the eighth inning with the Dodgers trailing by a run, and he delivered his first perfect inning in the majors. After Lux’s home run in the bottom of the inning, Cleavinger notched his first career win, and was doused after the game with a beer shower in the clubhouse.

Transactions

Monday: Catcher Keibert Ruiz was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Tuesday: Luke Raley was recalled from Triple-A.

Friday: Infielder/outfielder Travis Blankenhorn was claimed off waivers from the Twins. To make room on the 40-man roster, Dustin May was transferred to the 60-day injured list.

Saturday: AJ Pollock was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain, and Edwin Uceta was recalled.

Saturday: The Dodgers acquired infielder Yoshitomo Tsutsugo from the Rays for cash considerations or a player to be named later, and transferred Edwin Ríos to the 60-day IL with the infielder out for the season after shoulder surgery.

Sunday: Corey Seager was placed on the injured list with a fractured right hand, and Ruiz was recalled.

Game results

Week 7 batting

Player AB R H 2B HR RBI SB BB PA BA OBP SLG OPS
Player AB R H 2B HR RBI SB BB PA BA OBP SLG OPS
Pollock 2 0 2 0 0 2 0 1 3 1.000 1.000 1.000 2.000
Muncy 18 6 9 0 3 7 0 3 21 0.500 0.571 1.000 1.571
Beaty 11 2 5 1 0 3 0 0 12 0.455 0.500 0.545 1.045
Taylor 13 5 5 0 0 2 1 3 16 0.385 0.500 0.538 1.038
Lux 18 4 6 1 1 5 0 2 20 0.333 0.400 0.556 0.956
Smith 11 1 3 1 0 0 0 2 13 0.273 0.385 0.364 0.748
Betts 21 2 5 4 0 3 1 2 24 0.238 0.292 0.429 0.720
Seager 15 1 3 0 0 3 0 1 17 0.200 0.294 0.200 0.494
Turner 20 4 4 0 0 0 0 2 22 0.200 0.273 0.200 0.473
Starters 129 25 42 7 4 25 2 16 148 0.326 0.405 0.488 0.894
Barnes 7 2 3 2 0 2 0 1 8 0.429 0.500 0.714 1.214
Peters 2 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 2 0.500 0.500 0.500 1.000
Neuse 11 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 11 0.091 0.091 0.182 0.273
Raley 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0.000 0.125 0.000 0.125
Ruiz 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Bench 28 5 5 3 0 4 0 1 30 0.179 0.233 0.286 0.519
Pitchers 12 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 12 0.083 0.083 0.083 0.167
Offense 169 31 48 10 4 30 2 17 190 0.284 0.358 0.426 0.784

Week 7 pitching

Pitcher G Record IP H R ER BB SO ERA WHIP FIP
Pitcher G Record IP H R ER BB SO ERA WHIP FIP
Bauer 1 1-0 7.0 2 0 0 0 10 0.00 0.286 0.34
Nelson 1 0-0 1.7 1 0 0 2 3 0.00 1.800 3.20
Urías 1 1-0 7.0 2 1 1 1 6 1.29 0.429 1.91
Buehler 1 0-0 7.0 4 4 4 1 8 5.14 0.714 6.91
Kershaw 1 1-0 6.0 6 5 5 1 11 7.50 1.167 2.70
Starters 5 3-0 28.7 15 10 10 5 38 3.14 0.698 2.99
Uceta 1 0-1 3.0 4 3 0 0 4 0.00 1.333 4.86
Jansen 2 0-0, 2 Sv 2.0 0 0 0 0 4 0.00 0.000 -0.81
Nelson 1 0-0 2.0 0 0 0 0 2 0.00 0.000 1.20
Kelly 2 0-0 2.0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.000 3.20
Cleavinger 2 1-0 1.7 0 0 0 1 2 0.00 0.600 2.59
Treinen 2 0-0 1.3 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.000 3.20
White 1 0-0 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0.00 0.000 1.20
Vesia 1 0-0 1.0 0 0 0 1 3 0.00 1.000 0.20
Gonzalez 1 0-0 0.3 0 0 0 0 1 0.00 0.000 6.20
Santana 2 0-0 2.0 3 1 1 1 1 4.50 2.000 3.70
Bullpen 15 1-1, 2 Sv 16.3 7 4 1 3 18 0.55 0.612 2.52
Totals 20 4-1 45.0 22 14 11 8 56 2.20 0.667 2.82

Previous reviews: Apr. 1-4 | Apr. 5-11 | Apr. 12-18 | Apr. 19-25 | Apr. 26-May 2 | May 3-9

Up next

The Dodgers run the Dante Powell gauntlet, finishing up the homestand with four games against the Diamondbacks, then hitting the road to face the Giants in San Francisco, the first time against both division foes this season. Technically, Arizona listed three TBA starters after Madison Bumgarner on Monday, so the remainder of that series is a guess based on recent starts.

Week 8 schedule

Mon, May 17 Tue, May 18 Wed, May 19 Thu, May 20 Fri, May 21 Sat, May 22 Sun, May 23
Mon, May 17 Tue, May 18 Wed, May 19 Thu, May 20 Fri, May 21 Sat, May 22 Sun, May 23
vs. D-backs vs. D-backs vs. D-backs vs. D-backs at Giants at Giants at Giants
7:10 p.m. 7:10 p.m. 7:10 p.m. 7:10 p.m. 6:45 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 1:05 p.m.
Buehler v. Urías v. Kershaw v. Bauer v. TBD v. Buehler v. Urías v.
Bumgarner Peacock Kelly Smith Wood (L) Webb Desclafani
SNLA/MLBN* SNLA SNLA SNLA/MLBN* SNLA Fox SNLA

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