LOS ANGELES DODGERS NOTES:
SHAKE IF OFF: The Dodgers dropped the opener on Tuesday night as the Guardians scored eight unanswered runs to beat the Boys in Blue, 8-3. With the loss, the Dodgers now trail the Atlanta Braves by 4.5 games in the race for best record in the National League. Despite the loss, the Dodgers are still 17-3 in the month of August and have a Major League best 25-10 record since the All-Star break. The Dodgers continue the road trip (0-1) with game two of this three game set tonight at 7:10 and wrap up the series with the Guardians on Thursday afternoon before they head to Boston for a three-game set against the Boston Red Sox (August 25-27). With the loss and the Diamondbacks win last night, the Dodgers now hold an 11.5-games lead over Arizona in the National League West division. The Dodgers are 21-14 (.600) in interleague play this season, which is the fourth highest winning percentage in interleague play behind the Philadelphia Phillies (.605), Cincinnati Reds (.606) and Toronto Blue Jays (.650). After starting off interleague play with an 11-9 mark, the Dodgers are 10-5 in their last 15 interleague games. Dating back to 2012, the Dodgers own the best mark in interleague play in the Major Leagues with a 151-98 mark (.606), ahead of the Boston Red Sox (.602, 157-104). The Dodgers have lost three of their last four to the Guardians and are now 8-8 against the Guardians all-time. Los Angeles is 5-5 vs. the AL Central this season.
KARMA: The Dodgers had their mini two-game winning streak halted on Tuesday night as former Dodger Noah Syndergaard stymied the offense for three runs in six innings of work. The Dodgers got on the board early as Will Smith belted his 16th homer of the season in the first inning to give the Dodgers an early 2-0 lead. Freddie Freeman added an RBI single in the third to make it 3-0 but it would be all the runs the Dodgers would score as the Guardians roughed up the Dodgers staff for nine runs. Bobby Miller suffered the loss as he allowed four runs in 6.1 innings. He began the game retiring his first 8 batters, extending the streak from his last start to 26 straight set down before a Myles Straw single in the 3rd ended the run…According to Elias, his 26 straight batters retired is the longest streak by a Dodgers rookie starting pitcher since at least 1958 when the team moved to Los Angeles, passing Orel Hershiser, who retired 23 straight on July 29, 1984 vs. Cincinnati…is the first Dodgers rookie pitcher to retire 26+ straight hitters since Evan Phillips from Aug. 6-30, 2022
the ONE: Future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw will make his third start since returning from the injured list on August 10 against the Rockies. Since returning from the injured list, he is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA (2 ER/10.0 IP) and six strikeouts against two walks. He recorded his 207th win of his career in his last start against the Brewers (5 IP, 1 ER) and he is now one win shy of tying Don Drysdale for second all-time on the Dodgers franchise win list. He is currently 106th on the all-time win list in Major League Baseball and could join Drysdale, Vida Blue, Eddie Cicotte and Milt Pappas in a tie for 102nd on the all-time win list with a win.
THE MAN: All-Star Mookie Betts went 2-for-3 last night with two runs, a double, a walk, two stolen bases and a strikeout, bringing his batting average for the season to .300. Betts is now slashing .384/.480/.768 with 15 homers, 39 RBI, 46 runs scored and 30 walks in his last 43 games since June 28. Betts is first in the NL in OPS (.995) and slugging (.598), third in the NL in home runs (34) while ranking second in runs (103) and fifth in walks (71). Betts is hitting .419 (31-for-74) in the month of August. Since May 1, the 2018 American League MVP is hitting .318 (114-for-358) with 30 homers, 75 RBI and a 1.055 OPS. During that span, he is third in the Majors in homers (30), second in runs (86) third in OPS (1.055), tied for second in RBI (75) and third in extra-base hits (57). Betts is hitting .372 (35-for-94) with RISP, which ranks fourth in the Major Leagues. The Dodgers are 36-20 when Betts drives in a run and 20-9 when he hits a home runs this season.
SUPERMAN: Dodger first baseman Freddie Freeman went 1-for-4 last night and is slashing .384/.455/.648 with 13 doubles, six homers and 21 RBI in his last 32 games since July 17. Freeman was the first player in Dodger history with at least 20 homers and 35 doubles before the end of July and ranks third in the Majors with 102 runs scored, trailing only Ronald Acuña Jr. (110) and teammate Mookie Betts (102). He also leads the Majors with 45 doubles, ranks second with 70 extra-base hits, and third in hits (163) and batting average (.332). His career best in runs scored is 120, established in 2021. The All-Star is one of four players in the Majors with a .300+ batting average, .400+ on-base percentage and a .500+ slugging percentage, along with Yandy Diaz, Ronald Acuña Jr and Shohei Ohtani.
TONIGHT’S STARTER at GUARDIANS: LHP CLAYTON KERSHAW (11-4, 2.48 ERA in 18 GS)
2023 SEASON NOTES:
- In his last start against the Brewers on August 16, he tossed 5.0 innings, giving up three hits, one run, and two walks while striking out two earning his 11th win of the year
- Over 18 starts, the Texas native owns a 11-4 record with a 2.48 ERA (29 ER/105.1 IP) with 111 strikeouts against 26 walks and has generated a 1.03 WHIP
- Notched his 200th career win in his start on April 18 against the Mets, making him the only Los Angeles Dodger to win 200 games with the same franchise…joins Don Sutton (233) and Don Drysdale (209) on the Dodger all-time list
- Currently 21st all-time on the Major League strikeout list with 2,918…he needs 82 more to become the 20th player in Major League history with 3,000 strikeouts
- Has fired 6.0+ strikeouts in 12 out of his 18 starts this season
- He was named the National League Pitcher of the Month for April after posting a 5-1 record with a 1.89 ERA (8 ER/38.0 IP) and 41 strikeouts and a 0.76 WHIP
- Will face Cleveland for the fourth time in his career…is 1-0 with a 3.71 ERA (7 ER/17.0 IP) and 13 strikeouts against six walks
- Last faced the club on June 17, 2022, tossing 5.0 innings, giving up five hits, one run, and one walk while punching out four in the no decision
CLEVELAND GUARDIANS NOTES:
GUARDS BATS GO QUIET, DROP SEASON SERIES VS. DET
Prior to Monday’s team off day, the Cleveland Guardians dropped the finale of a 4-game set to the Detroit Tigers by a 4-1 final on Sunday afternoon at Progressive Field…Cleveland is 1-3 entering the back half of this 8-day, 7-game homestand against Detroit (1-3) and Los Angeles-NL (3 games)…club has gone 11-9-4 over last 24 series (+0G above .500/38-38 record since May 26).
Despite shouldering his sixth loss of the season, LOGAN ALLEN pitched effectively towards a quality start (6.0IP, 4H, 2R-ER, 2BB, 5SO, HR, 99 pitches)…the Guardians southpaw was tagged for a pair of 1st-inning runs – both coming on a 2-run shot by Spencer Torkelson (22), which followed Matt Vierling’s lead-off walk…Detroit added 2 more tallies in the 7th off ENYEL DE LOS SANTOS, the first on a lead-off homer by Kerry Carpenter (18) and the latter on Akil Baddoo’s RBI-single…Cleveland’s lone run scored in the 4th after STEVEN KWAN doubled to start the frame and then came home on RAMON LAUREANO’s RBI-single…Tigers left-hander
Eduardo Rodríguez kept the Guardians offense off-balance deep into the 7th to earn his ninth victory (6.2IP, 4H, 1R-ER, BB, 6SO, 105 pitches).
Cleveland (59-66) sits in 2nd place in AL Central standings, 6.0 games behind 2nd-place Minnesota (65-60) and 2.0 games ahead of 3rd-place Detroit (-8.0G, 57-68)…despite dropping 15 of last 22, Guardians have still won 34 of 68 and 38 of last 76…have also dropped 60 of last 110 overall since starting year 9-6.
IF YOU CAN DODGE A WRENCH, YOU CAN DODGE A BALL » The Cleveland Guardians welcome the Los Angeles Dodgers to Progressive Field for a 3-game set…marks the 6th series between the clubs with the Guards going 7-8 in 15 contests…Cleveland is 3-2 in series against Los Angeles-NL since the teams first played each other in 2003…the Dodgers have not played at Progressive Field since June 13-15, 2017, winning 2 of 3 games…the two clubs met last season from June 17-19 at Dodger Stadium, with the Guards taking 2 of 3 from the Dodgers…Los Angeles-NL has won 5 of the 6 contests between the clubs at Progressive Field.
FAMILIAR FACES, NEW PLACES
On July 26, the Cleveland Guardians sent shortstop Amed Rosario to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for starting pitcher NOAH SYNDERGAARD…Rosario hit .277 (451-for-1631) with 28 home runs and 180 RBI in 407 games after joining Cleveland in 2021…Rosario has faced Cleveland in one series in his career, going 4-for-13 across 3 games from August 20-22, 2019 while with New York-NL…marks his first time playing at Progressive Field as an opponent…Syndergaard made 12 starts for Los Angeles-NL this season, going 1-4 with a 7.16 ERA (44ER/55.1IP) before being put on the Injured List with a blister on June 8…he did not appear for Los Angeles-NL after the injury.
The Guardians claimed catcher ERIC HAASE from the Detroit
Tigers yesterday…Haase, 30, returns to Cleveland after 4 seasons with Detroit…he was originally drafted by Cleveland in the 7th round of the 2011 draft and debuted with the club in 2018…he was later traded to Detroit in January 2020…owns a career average of .225 (222-for-987) with 37 doubles, 3 triples, 41 home runs and 137 RBI in 320 games…was recently designated for assignment by Detroit on August 19.
START ME UP! I’ll NEVER STOP.
Cleveland’s starting rotation currently possesses a 3.90 ERA (295ER/680.0IP) this season, ranking 6th in the AL/7th in MLB…the pitching staff’s 13 shutouts this season are 1st in the AL and 2nd in MLB, trailing Atlanta (14)…in the second half, the Guardians starting rotation has held opponents to 2-or-fewer earned runs in 27 of their 35 starts since July 14 and have lasted 5.0-or-more innings in 29 of their 35 starts since the All-Star break, with 3 of those 6 outings being XZAVION CURRY’s spot starts…the 2.93 ERA from the rotation (62ER/190.1IP) to start the second half is the lowest in MLB, 22 points lower than the next-best team (Toronto, 3.15)…the table above shows how Cleveland’s starting pitching ranks among MLB teams since the All-Star break.
THE MAN AT THE TOP
STEVEN KWAN has hit safely in 8 of his last 10 games, batting .308 (12-for-39) with 2 doubles and 3 triples…his 134 hits this season rank 8th in the American League…Kwan (302) is the fourth Guardians hitter since 1966 with 300+ hits in their first 270 career games, joining Rick Manning (313, 1975-77), Grady Sizemore
(303, 2004-06) and Francisco Lindor (322, 2015-17)…in 34 games since the All-Star break, Kwan is hitting .294 (40-for-136) with 7 doubles, 4 triples, 3 home runs and 15 RBI…his 4 triples since the break are T1st in MLB with Kansas City’s Drew Waters.
After seeing 4.05 pitches per plate appearance in the first half, he has seen 3.62 pitches/PA in his 34 games since the All-Star break, the largest difference on the club…he’s currently hitting .389 (14-for-36) with a .905 OPS on the first pitch…with the count 0-1, he owns a .288 (21-for-73) batting average…most notably, when the count is 1-0, Kwan is hitting .500 (13-for-26) with a 1.269 OPS.
Entering today, KOLE CALHOUN is on a 7-game hit streak and has registered a base hit in 10 of his 12 games played with Cleveland this season…the 35-year-old is hitting .370 (10-for-27) with 4 runs scored, a double, a home run, 4 RBI and a .970 OPS during his 7-game run…Calhoun’s most recent hit streak of 7-ormore games lasted from July 30-August 8, 2021 (8 games) when he was with the Diamondbacks…the 35-year-old Calhoun is the oldest Cleveland hitter to post a hitting streak of 7-or-more games since Jim Thome (8 games, September 7-23, 2011) when he was 41 years old.
JOSÉ RAMÍREZ FIELD OPENING
Earlier this morning, Cleveland Guardians Charities opened JOSÉ RAMÍREZ Field at Clark Field, the third turf field opened by CGC in the city of Cleveland…CGC started with the opening of CC Sabathia Field at Luke Easter Park and Talty Field at the Jim Thome Complex…José Ramírez Field is located in the ClarkFulton Neighborhood.
Many times over the past few years the only fields playable in the rainy Cleveland spring were the turf fields CGC has built…when refurbishing fields for the City of Cleveland, the focus has been on finding safe locations that can be routinely maintained…the field can be used by CMSD, Cleveland’s RBI program, and PlayBall!
TONIGHT’S STARTER – #34 NOAH SYNDERGAARD RHP
SYNDERGAARD AT HOME
W-L ERA G GS IP H R ER BB SO
2023 2-3 4.50 8 8 44.0 49 22 22 8 32
Career 37-21 3.43 87 85 513.2 479 207 196 109 505
SYNDERGAARD’S MLB CAREER
W-L ERA G GS IP H R ER BB SO
2023 2-6 6.57 16 16 76.2 96 57 56 15 49
Career 59-47 3.68 162 160 929.1 902 412 380 212 921
The 30-year-old right-hander is scheduled to make his 17th start of the season and 5th for Cleveland in Tuesday’s series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers…owns a 2-6 record with a 6.57 ERA (56ER/76.2IP) in 16 starts this season…he was originally selected by the Blue Jays in the 2010 MLB Draft (#38 overall) and later traded to the New York-NL in a package that sent R.A. Dickey to Toronto…is pitching on extended 5 days’ rest; is 0-4 with a 9.21 ERA (29ER/28.1IP) in 6 starts on 5 days of rest this season; is 19- 20 with a 4.24 ERA (155ER/328.2IP) in his career on 5 days’ rest.
LAST TIME OUT
Syndergaard last toed the rubber on August 16 in Cincinnati as the Guards fell to the Reds, 7-2…he lasted 4.1 innings while allowing 8 hits and 5 runs (earned) with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts… the first 2 Reds hitters reached base after a TJ Friedl single and Matt McLain RBI-double…after a hit by pitch put runners at the corners, Syndergaard escaped the one-out jam by retiring the last 2 hitters in the frame…after retiring 6 of the next 8 hitters in the 2nd and 3rd, he faced trouble in the 4th…after a Christian EncarnacionStrand leadoff single, Stuart Fairchild hit a 2-run shot…after a pair of strikeouts, Friedl reached base with a single, stole a base, then McLain brought him home with a 2-run home run…after allowing a single to Joey Votto, an Encarnacion-Strand walk and a Fairchild single to load the bases, his outing came to an end with one out in the 5th.
YOU CAN’T DODGE A CHANCE AT REVENGE
Syndergaard was acquired by Cleveland from the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 26 in exchange for Amed Rosario and cash considerations…he started the year 1-4 with a 7.16 ERA (44ER/55.1IP) in 12 starts for Los Angeles-NL before going on the Injured List due to a blister…since being traded to Cleveland, Syndergaard is 1-2 with a 5.06 ERA (12ER/21.1IP)…tonight will mark his 7th career start against the Dodgers, holding a 1-2 record with a 3.09 ERA (11ER/32.0IP) in those games…his last
outing against Los Angeles-NL came on June 14, 2022 with Los Angeles-AL…he suffered the loss despite allowing 2 hits and one run (earned) with 3 walks and 5 strikeouts in 4.2 innings of work.
In 30 career starts against the NL West, Thor has a 10-9 record with a 3.44 ERA (70ER/183.0IP)…in 126 games against National League opponents, he is 46-35 with a 3.60 ERA (294ER/734.2IP) and a 4.38 SO/BB ratio.
In 2023, Syndergaard has a six-pitch arsenal primarily relying on his sinker and changeup while using his cutter, 4-seam fastball, curveball and slider as secondary offerings:
Pitch #pitches RHB/LHB %usage AVG. velo BAA Sinker 319 167/152 26.2% 92.3 .378 (31-for-82)
Changeup 275 108/167 22.6% 87.3 .304 (28-for-92)
4-Seam FB 209 100/109 17.2% 92.4 .231 (9-for-39)
Cutter 173 75/98 14.2% 89.5 .349 (15-for-43)
Curveball 169 92/77 13.9% 77.9 .250 (10-for-40)
Slider 68 64/4 5.6% 85.2 .176 (3-for-17)
Per StatCast, in 2023, Syndergaard ranks in the 96th percentile in BB%…since his MLB career began in 2015, he has ranked in the 81st percentile-or-better in BB%…among MLB pitchers (min. 900.0IP) since 2015, he ranks 10th in SO/BB (4.39) and 11th in BB/9 (2.05).