Dodgers Pregame: Former Teammates Brandon McCarthy and Ian Kennedy Face-Off


It looks as if the pesky Padres are going to be in the mix in the N.L. West this season. The Dodgers and Padres, both under new general managers, have revamped their rosters during the offseason creating stronger teams on both sides. With the signing of James Shields and Craig Kimbrel, the Padres have very strong pitching. Their new outfield with Justin Upton, Wil Myers and Matt Kemp is certainly an upgrade as well.

It was a fantastic pitching duel between Zack Greinke and Andrew Cashner on Friday night, and with the help of some sensational defense from Jimmy Rollins and a big blast from Carl Crawford, the Dodgers halted their mini three-game losing streak. That fateful series sweep up in San Francisco will be long forgotten once the Dodgers clinch their third consecutive N.L. West title in September.

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Brandon McCarthy will be vying for his third win as a Dodger, and he’s coming off of a impressive win over Colorado in his last start which was perhaps his best to date in Blue. Although McCarthy has allowed 6 homeruns to the opposition already in his 3 starts, he has struck out 25 batters in 18 innings pitched.

Brandon McCarthy (2-0, 4.50) vs. Ian Kennedy (0-0, 0.00)

The tall and lanky right-hander pitched 6 shutout innings over the Rockies in his last start, and he only allowed 3 hits with 6 strikeouts and 2 walks. Brandon has only walked 3 batters this season, and he is always pitching around the zone hence the high strikeout rate (12.5/9).

He has pitched very well against the Padres over his career, and he is 5-1 with a 2.96 ERA in 7 starts against the Friars. He is 2-1 with a 4.38 ERA in 3 career games (2 starts) at Petco Park. Yonder Alonso, Will Middlebrooks and Justin Upton have all hit homeruns against McCarthy in the past, so a key to winning Game 2 will be keeping the ball in the park.

Ian Kennedy, who has a sordid history with the Dodgers, is making his first start for the Padres since landing on the disabled list earlier this season with a strained hamstring. Kennedy only made it through 2 1/3 innings in his only start of the year before he injured himself. Hamstrings sure are annoying…more on that in a bit.


Rollins SSEthier RFGonzalez 1BKendrick 2BGrandal CCrawford LFUribe 3BPederson CFMcCarthy P

Kennedy is 5-7 with a 4.08 ERA in 17 career starts against the Dodgers. Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier both have hit 2 homeruns against the right-hander, and Justin Turner is hitting .545 against Kennedy with 6 hits including 3 doubles in 11 at bats. Carl Crawford, who is hopefully heating up, is hitting .414 against Ian with 12 hits in 29 at bats.

Last night’s scary moment when Andrew Cashner hit Yasiel Puig with a fastball in the left knee sure made me think back to the epic 2013 brawl between the D-backs and the Dodgers when Kennedy hit both Puig and Greinke with pitches inciting a massive brawl and many ejections. Puig, who is day-to-day after re-aggravating his hamstring strain, most likely will not be in the lineup on Saturday. A D.L. stint is not out of the question, but luckily the Dodgers have a very deep outfield including Andre Ethier who is hitting .300.

The Padres currently lead the National League in runs (85), hits (174) and RBI (83).

The Dodgers are leading the N.L. in HR (21), walks (63), OBP (.351), SLG (.471) and OPS (.822).

These two teams will be battling all season, but the Dodgers would like nothing more than to defeat the new-look Padres at home and take the series win.

Let’s just hope Juan Uribe wears the correct jersey tonight…

Go Blue!