LOS ANGELES DODGERS NOTES:
HOMERUN DERBY: The Los Angeles Dodgers were thumped last night, dropping the opener to the Cardinals 16-8 as St. Louis clubbed seven homers in the win. The Dodgers had their chances, scoring two runs in the first and five in the sixth, but a six-run third inning and a seven-run eighth inning by the Cardinals put the Dodgers away as they dropped their first game to St. Louis this season and snapped a five-game winning streak over the Red Birds. The Dodgers continued their road trip (0-1) with game two of the four-game series tonight at 7:15 p.m. Following the series conclusion on Sunday morning, the Dodgers will head south as they will have matchups with the first place Atlanta Braves (May 22-24) and Tampa Bay Rays (May 26-28). The nine homers last night set a new Busch Stadium record for homers in a game (previous high, 7, Cardinals vs. Reds on April 15, 2016). The Dodgers allowed 6+ runs in an inning twice last night, which was the first time they have allowed two 6+ run innings since May 14, 2014 vs. MIA.
ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Dodgers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning, but the lead did not hold as the Cardinals clobbered starter Julio Urías (3 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 1 K) for four homers in the third inning and chasing him out of the game. The four homers in the frame were the most allowed by a Dodger pitcher in the same inning since Ben Wade on May 28, 1954 at New York Giants (eighth inning). Down 9-2, the Dodgers showed signs of life in the sixth inning, scoring five runs, which were capped off by Freddie Freeman’s 300th career homer. His Grand Slam made it 9-7 in the sixth inning and Max Muncy clubbed his team-leading 15th homer of the year to make it 9-8 in the seventh inning. However, the Cardinals would score seven in the eighth and put the game away. The bullpen was forced to cover five innings of relief last night and they allowed a season-high 10 runs. Andre Jackson was solid was in his effort, tossing three scoreless innings before he was tagged for three runs in the eighth inning.
The right-hander was optioned this afternoon as the Dodgers selected the contract of Tyler Cyr. He appeared in 15 games for Triple-A Oklahoma City, posting a 2-1 record with a 4.86 ERA (9 ER/16.2 IP) and 24 strikeouts. Last season, the righty made 12 appearances in the Major Leagues with Philadelphia and Oakland, allowing four runs in 13.1 innings with 16 strikeouts. He posted a 1-0 mark with a 2.08 ERA (3 ER/13.0 IP) and 16 strikeouts with Oakland. In eight minor league seasons, he is a combined, 19-13 with a 3.08 ERA (102 ER/298.1 IP) and 358 strikeouts in 233 games (three starts). He was originally drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 10th round of the 2015 First Year Player Draft out of Embry-Riddle University.
THE GLUE: Dodger catcher Will Smithwent 0-for-4 with a run scored yesterday and snapping his hitting streak at seven games. He batted .414 (12-for-29) with three homers, two doubles, seven RBI and three walks during his hitting streak. The Dodgers had their eight-game winning streak snapped and dropped to 20-7 (.741) when Smith is in the starting lineup this year. The backstop’s .741 winning percentage while in the lineup leads the National League and is third in the Majors:
Winning Percentage in the Lineup – MLB
Ryan McKenna BAL .750 (24-8)
Yandy Diaz TB .744 (29-10)
Will Smith LAD .741 (20-7)
FABULOUS FREDDIE: Freddie Freeman extended his hitting streak to eight games, finishing with two hits, four RBI and two runs. He is batting .444 (14-for-32) with three homers, three doubles, one triple, 13 RBI and seven runs scored during the streak and has hit safely in all but two games in May. Freeman is tied with Alex Verdugo for four in the Major Leagues with 36 runs scored, trailing just Ronald Acuña Jr. (40) and Marcus Semien (37). He clubbed his 300th career homer and became just the fifth player in franchise history to accomplish that feat in a Dodger uniform:
PLAYERS TO HIT HOME RUN NO. 300 IN A DODGER UNIFORM
DATE LOCATION PITCHER/TEAM
Duke Snider JULY 7, 1957 Ebbets Field Dick Drott, Cubs
Gil Hodges April 23, 1958 L. A. Coliseum Dick Drott, Cubs
Gary Sheffield July 21, 2001 Coors Field Denny Neagle, Rockies
Adrian Gonzalez Aug. 8, 2016 Dodger Stadium Junichi Tazawa, Red Sox
Freddie Freeman May 18, 2023 Busch Stadium Genesis Cabrera, Cardinals
LONG BALLS: The Dodgers connected for two more homers last night and have 74 on the season, which is tied for second in the Majors with Atlanta, behind only the Tampa Bay Rays (87). Los Angeles’ sixth Grand Slam of the campaign leads the Majors, ahead of Tampa Bay and Texas, who each have four. Los Angeles is also second in the Majors with 37 games with at least one homer, behind the Rays (40), who have homered in all but five games this season.
TONIGHT’S STARTER at CARDINALS: RHP TONY GONSOLIN (1-1, 1.42 ERA in 4 GS)
2023 SEASON NOTES:
- 2022 All-Star tossed his first win of the season on Sunday against San Diego after firing five scoreless innings and giving up two hits, one walk, and tying a season-high six strikeouts
- In his rehab start with Triple-A Oklahoma City on April 20th, he hurled three innings, allowing one hit, two earned runs, two walks while sitting down seven
- Made one Spring Training start, tossing 2.1 innings, allowing no runs on three hits, while walking two and striking out two
- Last faced St. Louis on July 13, 2022, tossing five innings and giving up seven hits, five runs, one home run and one walk while punching out six in the no decision
- He is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA (6 ER/14.0 IP) and 16 strikeouts in three career games against the Cardinals
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS NOTES:
RECENT REDBIRDS: The St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers play the second game of a four-game series tonight at Busch Stadium … St. Louis opened it’s seven-game homestand by taking two-of-three from division-rival Milwaukee for its third consecutive series win.
FLIGHT PATTERN: The Cardinals enter today in fifth place in the NL Central, 6.0 games behind first place Milwaukee and 1.0 game back of third place Cincinnati and Chicago … Since May 6, St. Louis has won nine of their last 11 to improve 4.0 games in the division … The Cardinals have been in last place for 23 straight days (April 25-present).
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE: The Cardinals (+17), Cubs (+22, 19-24 record), and Mariners (+19, 21-22 record) are the only three MLB teams with losing records but positive run differentials.
ANGRY BIRDS: Since May 7, the Cardinals sport MLB’s best record (9-2) while leading the league in runs scored (85), runs per game (7.73), RBI (81), OBP (.357), slugging (.547), OPS (.904), extra-base hits (48), and total bases (214) … St. Louis also shares the league lead in hits (110) and home runs (27) and ranks 2nd in batting average (.281) and stolen bases (14) over that span.
RBI GUYS: Nolan Arenado has homered in six of his last seven games while hitting safely and recording an RBI in 11 of 12 games (.327/.357/.769, 7 HR, 20 RBI) since May 5 … Arenado’s eight-game RBI streak (May 10-present) is MLB’s longest this season and matches his career best (8, Aug. 30-Sept. 5, 2015) … The last Cardinal to drive in a run in nine straight games was Carlos Beltrán (June 22-July 2, 2012) … Ripper Collins (12, June 17-29, 1935) holds the Cardinals record.
BURGER PHONE: The Cardinals have homered in a season-best seven consecutive games (May 12-present), tied with the Rays for MLB’s longest active homer streak … The Cardinals rank 5th in MLB in home runs (65) this season and share the homer lead for the month of May (33) with the Yankees and Braves … This season, St. Louis sports a 16-13 record when it homers, but 3-13 mark in homerless games.
TRIPLE BURGERS: The Cardinals have gone yard 3+ times in six of their last 11 games (6-0 record) … Overall this season, St. Louis has connected on 3+ homers in 11 games (10-1 record), tied with the Braves for MLB’s 3rd-most behind the Dodgers (13) and Rays (14).
DIRTY DOZEN: The Cardinals’ 16-run explosion last night marked the 4th time this season St. Louis has plated 12+ runs in a game, tied with the Pirates and Cubs for 2nd-most in MLB behind the Rangers (6) in MLB … The quartet of 12-run+ games are the most by a Cardinals team through their first 45 games since 2016 (5) … The 1937 and 2000 Redbirds share the franchise record (6) through their first 45 contests.
STORMIN GORMAN: Nolan Gorman, who has hit safely in a career-high nine straight games (13-30, .433/.514/1.033), ranks among NL leaders in slugging pct. (.629, 1st), RBI (36, 2nd), OPS (1.014, 2nd), OPS+ (176, 2nd), wOBA (.424, 2nd), and wRC+ (173, 2nd) … Only Ronald Acuña Jr. has a higher OPS (1.050), OPS+ (180), wOBA (.444), and wRC+ (180) than Gorman in the NL … Tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of Gorman’s Major League debut (May 20, 2022 at Pittsburgh).
THE HEAT IS ON: The Cardinals have swiped 19 consecutive stolen bases and now boast MLB’s top stolen base percentage (87.2, 34-for39), which currently is their best single-season mark in franchise history, topping the 2021 Redbirds (89-for-111, 80.2%).
TONIGHT’S STARTING PITCHER: LHP STEVEN MATZ (0-4, 5.62)
NL Ranks: Losses (4, T-9th), Hits (51, T-9th), Earned Runs (26. T-7th)
- Makes his 165th career appearance (155th start) and 19th start as a Cardinal.
- Facing the Dodgers for the first time since 2019 and first at Busch Stadium. Has made four of his last five starts at Dodger Stadium.
- Ranks 10th in MLB in Pitch Tempo with bases empty (12.0 sec/pitch) and 41st with runners on base (16.7 sec/pitch), leading all Cardinals.
- Limiting opposing left-handed batters to a .156 BA (5-32) with one home run.
- Did not allow a home run in his last start, the second start this season without serving up a longball and the first after allowing one in five starts, one shy of a career-high.
- Lifetime 9-7 with 3.41 ERA in May, his lowest ERA in any calendar month.
- Since joining the Cardinals in 2022, is 5-7 with a 5.42 ERA in 23 appearances (18 starts) while leading Cardinals starting pitchers in strikeouts/9 IP (9.13).
- Has not earned a winning decision as a member of the Cardinals since Sept. 17. 2022 vs. CIN, pitching one inning in relief. Last win as a starter was 7/23/22 at CIN.
- Only win as a Cardinals starting pitcher at Busch Stadium came on May 2, 2022, a rescheduled game tossing 6.0 scoreless innings in a 1-0 win.
- The Cardinals lost his first six games started this year, before posting a 12-6 win vs. Detroit (5/7).
- Missed 102 games on the Injured List with a left shoulder impingement (5/23-7/16) and strained left knee (7/24-9/16). Was activated from his second stint in mid-September and was added to the bullpen where he made five appearances.
- Prior to the 7/23/22 start at Cincinnati, Matz had missed approx. two months with a left shoulder impingement.
LAST TIME OUT
- Pitched 5.1 innings allowing three runs on a two-RBI double by Rob Refsnyder and an RBI single by Rafael Devers. Did not allow a home run for the first time in five starts and has not allowed more than four runs in six straight starts.
DATE vs. RESULT DEC IP H R ER BB SO HR NP-S
5/13 @BOS W 4-3 — 5.1 8 3 3 1 4 0 91-57
- Has pitched 5.0 innings or more in 7-of-8 starts.
- Suffered his 4th straight loss on 5/2 vs. LAA. All four of his runs allowed came in the opening frame, including a Taylor Ward 3-run homer.
- Surpassed 800 career innings pitched in his start at SEA (4/21).
- Surrendered a lead-off home run to Ke’Bryan Hayes, then settled in allowing just one run on two hits over the next 17 outs. Matched his career-high with five walks. Received a no-decision in a 6-3 Cardinals loss in 10 innings vs. PIT (4/15). Threw a season-high 110 pitches, 2nd most in MLB this season at the time (Ohtani, 111).
- Allowed a season-high six runs on nine hits in a 7-4 loss at COL (4/10). Allowed only three doubles of his nine hits for extra bases.
- Struck out a season-high seven batters over 5.1 innings in a 4-1 loss vs. ATL (4/4). Allowed a career-high 10 hits (6th time) for the first time as a member of the Cardinals. Surrendered two home runs, including a 479-foot blast to Austin Riley, the 2nd-longest opposing HR at Busch Stadium III in the StatCast Era.