Cardinals hit 7 homers, blowout Dodgers, 16-8

The St. Louis Cardinals hit seven home runs at home for first time in 83 years in a 16-8 drubbing of the Dodgers.

After allowing a total of 23 home runs in 2022, Julio Urias is already over halfway to that point through 10 starts this year. The left-hander allowed four home runs tonight, all in the 3rd inning, including back-to-back-to-back homers by Juan Yepez, Nolan Gorman, and Paul DeJong. This year has not gone as planned for Urias. His ERA has risen to 4.39, higher than it was at any point after his second start in 2022. Following May 14 of last year, his ERA was below 3.00 for the remainder of the season. If Urias is able to limit the homers, the ERA problem will fix itself. Either way, the Dodgers can’t give up 16 runs and expect to win, even with how good their lineup is.

Here are three takeaways from this game from The Sporting Tribune’s Brandon Deutsch:

Dodgers Bullpen is Exhausted

The Dodger bullpen is absolutely taxed. Over the last four games (the Twins series plus tonight) the bullpen has thrown a total of 24 innings. Tony Gonsolin starts tomorrow, so ideally the Dodgers would love to get a lengthy start and give their relievers a rest. Here’s where things get tricky. Gonsolin is coming off of an injury and the Dodgers are trying to keep his pitch count at a reasonable number. He threw a season-high 85 pitches in his last outing and will need to have an efficient start (meaning hopefully he throws 6-7 innings) despite keeping his pitch count somewhat low.

Gonsolin will need to get ahead in the count and limit walks to be able to accomplish this, otherwise another long day for the Dodgers could ensue. Nolan Arenado has now homered in five out of his last six games and is the hottest hitter in baseball at the moment, meaning the Cardinals offense is not going to just go away, especially when you add in reigning MVP Paul Goldschmidt and one of the best catchers in baseball in Wilson Contreras (who homered twice on Thursday). It won’t be easy, but let’s see if the Dodgers can step up tomorrow and pitch well.

Muncy hits yet another home run

Max Muncy continued to hit the ball over the fence, launching his 15th long-ball of the year, but his average of .222 and strikeout rate is still concerning despite his OPS of .943 (13th in baseball). Some nights, you can lock in Muncy for a “Golden Sombrero”, which is when a hitter strikes out four times in a game. Other nights, Muncy looks unstoppable launching multiple extra base hits and helping lead the Dodgers to victory. Nonetheless, after an ultra disappointing 2022 campaign where Muncy hit just .196 with 21 homers, it is encouraging that he is off to a blazing start.

Dodgers need more production out of the bottom of the lineup

The Dodgers have gotten consistent performances from the top of the lineup, but Miguel Vargas, David Peralta, Jason Heyward, and Miguel Rojas have been atrocious as of late. Vargas is hitting .234 with 4 homers and 22 RBI’s, Peralta is hitting an abysmal .204 with 2 homers and an OPS of .547, Rojas is hitting .187 with 0 homers and just 2 RBI’s, and Heyward (who got the day off on Thursday) is batting just .192 with an ops of .722. Despite the Dodgers winning 15 out of their last 19 games, they are going to need more production out of the bottom half of the lineup to continue to build a lead in the NL West. The Padres haven’t had a good start but they’ll start to go on a run at some point, and the Diamondbacks aren’t going to go away that easy as well.

The Dodgers will have a shot at redemption against the Cardinals Friday in St. Louis. First pitch is at 5:15 PST.