Cubs @ Dodgers: Series Thread (Games 12-14)
The Cubs took two out of three from the Mariners at Wrigley and depart for the West Coast a game over .500, at 6-5. A day off on Thursday will give Dansby Swanson and Seiya Suzuki 24 more hours to be ready for game action before the team begins the six-game road trip. See below for matchups.
Game 12: Friday, April 14, 9:10 pm central
CHC: LHP Justin Steele (1-0, 0.75 ERA)
LAD: RHP Noah Syndergaard (0-1, 6.30 ERA)
Steele has gotten great results in two starts so far this season. His second time around, he showed diminished control and was forced to go to the fastball almost 70% of the time. He pitched around four walks, however, and managed to surrender only one earned run in six innings.
Syndergaard had a strong first start and a terrible second. The decline in his velocity appears to continue early on in 2023. He's no longer striking out a batter per inning and has elicited very little contact on the ground in his first two starts. He has yet to allow a walk in 2023.
Game 13: Saturday, April 15, 8:10 pm central
CHC: RHP Jameson Taillon (0-2, 7.00 ERA)
LAD: RHP Michael Grove (0-1, 14.73 ERA)
Taillon showed improvement in his second start, striking out 7 and allowing only 7 baserunning in 5 innings. His results were no better, however as he allowed five runs, four earned. Hopefully, he can get to his curve more frequently again and achieve a more fortuitous spread of his hits allowed.
Michael Grove made six MLB starts and one relief appearance in 2022, his debut season. His slider is his best pitch, and he mixes it with a mid-90s fastball and a curve. He's gone only 4.0 and 3.1 innings in his first two starts of the season and has a WHIP of 2.32.
Game 14: Sunday, April 16, 3:10 pm central
CHC: LHP Drew Smyly (0-1, 6.52 ERA)
LAD: LHP Julio Urias (3-0, 1.50 ERA)
Smyly rebounded in his second start, striking out 7 and allowing only two hits and one walk. The contact he allowed was overwhelmingly in the air, but he managed to avoid any homeruns.
Having broke in with the Dodgers ay only 19 years old, Julio Urias has already made 104 MLB starts and 37 relief appearances. 2021 was his first complete season at the MLB level, and he's been dominant since then. In three starts so far this year, he's struck out 20 compared to 13 hits and two walks. He has three wins to show for those efforts.