Los Angeles Dodgers Game Previews: Dodgers Go For Sweep in Series Finale at Petco Park


The Dodgers slugged themselves to a victory Saturday night. Four home runs, and 13 hits gave the Dodgers an 11-8 win, and a series win over the Padres at Petco Park. The park is normally known for being a pitcher’s park but on Saturday night it was anything but. The Dodgers also got more excellent work from their bullpen. The Dodgers have hit 25 home runs which ranks them second in the majors and first in the National League. The club is batting .275 ranking them fourth in Baseball. Their .356 OBP ranks them second only behind Kansas City.

The Dodgers bullpen ranks sixth in MLB with a 2.68 ERA in 53.2 innings pitched. They’ve held opponents to a .217 batting average against, with 70 strikeouts. The bullpen and offense has been carrying the club, considering the starting rotation is in some flux.

Update-We now get the decision. Puig and Joel Peralta have been placed on the DL. Scott Baker, and Carlos Frias called up. League has been moved to the 60-day DL.

Dodgers Lineup @ San Diego

Rollins SS

Ethier RF

Gonzalez 1B

Grandal C

Turner 2B

Crawford LF

Guerrero 3B

Pederson CF

Baker P

Scott Baker-0-0 vs. Brandon Morrow-0-0

Game Time – 1:10 PM

That’s ok though. You can win a lot of games with good offense and relief pitching. Right now the Dodgers are dealing with some injuries. Brandon McCarthy left Saturday night’s game early because of a tight right elbow. Apparently there is no ligament damage, according to Dylan Hernandez, but he is going to have an MRI done. We have no idea yet how much time he will miss, or if any at all.

Here’s Baker when he was with the Yankees earlier in spring-Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Hyun-jin Ryu is still out with a sore shoulder. Although the reports say he is not in any pain anymore, and could return sometime around Mid to late May.

The Dodgers have called up right hander Scott Baker from Oklahoma City to make a spot start Sunday afternoon at Petco Park against the Padres. Baker a 33-year old veteran made eight starts last year for Texas, and pitched in 25 games. He was 3-4 with a 5.47 ERA with a 6.1 strikeout per nine rate. This is his first start since September 27 of last season. There should be a roster move announced before the game to clear room for Baker.

Stat of the day- Carl Crawford is batting .309 (21 for 68) with two home runs at Petco Park.

Baker was a solid force within the Twin’s rotation from 2005-2011. Baker has had his fair share of elbow problems, and had to have Tommy John surgery in 2012. Since then he has bounced around Baseball. Baker had been pitching very well at Oklahoma City if that means anything. He was 1-0 in three starts, with a 1.06 ERA. During his latest start, he came within a strike of pitching a seven inning perfect game. He gave up a double in the doubleheader shortened affair.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Baker throws a two-seamer, four-seamer, slider, cutter, changeup, and curve. Normally he throws the four-seamer, and slider against righties, and mixes in the two-seamer when pitching to lefties. Although last year he stopped throwing his curve, and the cutter, and change are not thrown very often.

Baker has been a control pitcher throughout his career. He’s put up solid strikeout to walk ratios. His career walk per nine rate is 2.1, and he has a 3.5-1 strikeout to walk ratio. He’s pitched extremely well against the Padres in his two career starts. He is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in fourteen frames against the Padres. At Petco Park he is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA. He allowed three earned runs on six hits over six frames in his only start at San Diego. The Padres have had just 15 at-bats against him and are batting .200 (3 for 15) with one walk.

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Matt Kemp331100001.333.333.6671.00000000
Will Venable332000000.667.667.6671.33300000
Clint Barmes220000000.
Derek Norris110000000.

The Padres will counter with right hander Brandon Morrow. The 30-year old Santa Rosa, California native has been good for San Diego this year. He signed as a free agent with the Padres in December, and has given them a solid arm in their rotation. He’s had three no-decisions this year so far, but has posted a 3.15 ERA in 20 innings pitched. He’s whiffed 15, and walked five, and has allowed just one home run.

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  • Morrow has a bunch of pitches, but is considered to be a power pitcher. He once struck out over 200 batters for Toronto. His fastballs reaches speeds of up to 96, and he also throws several off-speed offerings. He has a slider, curve, and chance. A few seasons ago he added a cutter into the mix. Morrow is also a diabetic, and must use an insulin pump at night to regulate his blood sugar levels.

    Morrow has never made a start against the Dodgers. He does have a 1.69 ERA in six games at Petco Park. Only five Dodgers have ever seen him. The club is batting .192 (10 for 52) with no home runs against him. The only Dodger to do anything against Morrow is Adrian Gonzalez. The slugger is hitting .357 (5 for 14) with two doubles, and three runs batted in against Morrow.

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    Adrian Gonzalez17145200324.357.471.500.97100010
    Howie Kendrick14142100205.
    Juan Uribe430000001.
    Justin Turner330000001.

    Yasiel Puig’s status is still up in the air. We don’t know if his tight hamstring will land him on the disabled list. As usual Mattingly was being tight lipped about it. Expect Andre Ethier to start again in right field. We also learned that right hander Joel Peralta has dead arm. We had heard that he had a sore shoulder, but the club is being very hush hush with his injury. Technically he’s not on the disabled list, but is unavailable to pitch.

    Juan Uribe is expected to be out of the lineup to rest with a day game after a night game. Alex Guerrero is expected to start in his place at third base. Howie Kendrick gets a day-off as Justin Turner will start at second base. Yasmani Grandal will be moved up into the cleanup spot for Sunday.

    The Dodgers will return home after the game to begin a six-game home stand which will begin with a three game series against the Giants. With a win tonight, the club can split the road trip, and that irritating series against the Giants is just a blurry memory. Let’s keep it that way Dodgers. Happy flight home. Join us after the game here, and we’ll recap the series finale as best we can.  Go Blue!