Dodgers Team News

Dave Roberts Says Dodgers Starting Pitchers Will Go Deeper Into Games This Year

One of baseball’s emerging maxims is to not let a starting pitcher face an opponent’s lineup three times in one game. The Los Angeles Dodgers tend to follow that guideline more strictly than other clubs. They’ve used it to limit innings and pitch counts, while also giving pitchers extra days off between their starts.

However, the Dodgers aren’t paying their starters to only throw five innings.

Tyler Glasnow has already shown glimpses of what kind of ace he will be this year. After pitching five innings against the San Diego Padres in South Korea in his Dodgers debut, Glasnow went six innings against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Against the Padres, Glasnow faced two batters the third time through the order and retired them both. He extended his start to six innings against the Cardinals, facing four batters the third time through the order. He retired them all.

On Wednesday against the San Francisco Giants, manager Dave Roberts wanted Glasnow to get to the seventh. He got the first out in the sixth holding a 4-1 lead but then LaMonte Wade Jr. walked, Jorge Soler doubled, and Michael Conforto singled home both runners to narrow the Dodgers’ lead to one.

He finished the inning but hit 100 pitches on the night. He hasn’t thrown more than 103 in a game since 2021.

Moving forward, Roberts said he will begin stretching out each of his starters, building their stamina to go deeper into games.

“We are going to push these guys in the games that they start,” Roberts said. “They are going to have to go 23, 24 hitters. That is my expectation every time they take the mound.”

The maximum number of batters a pitcher can face in a game is 27, if they retire every batter for nine consecutive innings. As of last May, the average starting pitcher was facing 22.2 batters. Twenty years ago, it was 25.4. Thirty years ago, it was 26.2.

Roberts isn’t completely turning back the clock to an earlier period in baseball history. But he’s letting it be known the Dodgers don’t intend to exacerbate the trend toward shorter starts in 2024.

Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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Maren Angus

Maren Angus-Coombs was born in Los Angeles and raised in Nashville, Tenn. She is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and has been a sports writer since 2008. Despite being raised in the South, her sports obsession has always been in Los Angeles. She is currently a staff writer for Dodgers Nation and the LA Sports Report Network.

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