After already showing that the future is bright, Los Angeles Dodgers rookie right-hander Bobby Miller will get another big test when he faces the New York Yankees on Sunday night in his second home start.
Miller, 24, made his major league debut May 23 on the road against the Atlanta Braves and gave up one run on four hits in five innings while earning the win. Six days later, at home against the Washington Nationals, Miller was solid again, giving up one run on four hits over six innings.
With injuries to left-hander Julio Urias, the National League ERA champion a season ago, and right-hander Dustin May -- expected to be a rotation mainstay of the future -- Miller (2-0, 1.64 ERA) has more than given the Dodgers a reason to dream about the future.
With a 100-mph fastball, Miller is providing help now, helping to steady the club during a rash of key injuries.
"When he's on the mound, he's a bulldog out there, you can tell," the Dodgers' Freddie Freeman said of Miller. "He has a plan with what he's doing out there, and he's executing it."
With Urias close to a return, somebody will have to go soon. Miller is a candidate to get bumped, along with fellow rookie Michael Grove and veteran Noah Syndergaard, but he can help make a case for himself Sunday.
"I think that conversation is gonna happen," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said about adjusting the rotation. "But right now, obviously we know that Michael (started Saturday) and we'll see what happens in his next start. Outside of that, it's gonna be Tony (Gonsolin) on Tuesday, then Noah and Clayton (Kershaw) on Thursday. So once we get to that point, we'll have to make some decisions."
The obvious tests for Miller on Sunday will come from Yankees sluggers such as Josh Donaldson, who hit two home runs Friday, as well as Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, who also have gone deep in the series. But other challenges await from players like Jake Bauers, a Southern California native who hit two home runs Saturday in a 6-3 Yankees win.
"Right now, I'm just in a frame of mind where I'm just grateful to walk into the building every day," said Bauers, who has five home runs in 26 games with the Yankees after spending all of last season in Triple-A with two different organizations.
"I think that's translating into just enjoying myself more on the field which is allowing me to play free."
After hitting four home runs in Friday's series-opening 8-4 victory, the Dodgers didn't go deep at all Saturday as Yankees right-hander Gerrit Cole kept Los Angeles in check. The Yankees now will send right-hander Domingo German (3-3, 3.98) to the mound Sunday.
German earned the win Monday on the road against the Seattle Mariners when he gave up four runs on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings. Before that outing, he had tied a career-best run of four consecutive starts with two runs or less, but did not earn the win in any of those.
German has faced the Dodgers once, in 2019, giving up one run on five hits over six innings to earn the win.
--Field Level Media