Dodgers Padres Game Two Preview


After another annoying loss last night, the Dodgers look to get back in the win column in San Diego.

Mat Latos was awful again last night, the offense woke up, and then the bullpen was awful. I don’t ask for a lot, but I would be extremely happy if Latos never started a game again for the Dodgers. I don’t mind him being awful, which he has been in four of his five starts as a Dodger. But to criticize being pulled to the media because you miraculously threw two innings and didn’t give up any runs is idiotic. It is hard to get in a groove when you get pulled in the fourth inning, but it’s also hard to get in a groove when you give up four runs in the first two innings. You would think a 28-year-old free-agent-to-be with a bad reputation would try to not stir any trouble for two months and increase his value.

Aug 2, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher James Shields (33) delivers a pitch against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight’s game could go a long way in telling what the next couple months holds for Latos, as the pitcher he essentially replaced in the rotation, Mike Bolsinger, gets the ball for the Dodgers. The Dodgers essentially bought Bolsinger from the Diamondbacks in the offseason as pitching depth, and he was called upon when Hyun-jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy both suffered season ending injuries. In 16 starts, Bolsinger posted a 2.83 ERA (2.91 FIP). None of his other numbers look that impressive (except for a 0.3 HR/9 rate, aided by a 4% FB/HR rate, much less than average), but that doesn’t take away from how great Bolsinger was in his time as a starter.

Bolsinger’s start tonight is happening because Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke threw 132 and 114 pitches in back-to-back wins, respectively. His start gives each of them some extra rest and should essentially be a try-out to see whether he or Latos will get starts headed down the stretch.

Bolsinger has started twice against the Padres this year with mixed results. At Dodger Stadium, Bolsinger threw eight innings of one-hit ball (92 pitches, could have been a Maddux). In his start at Petco, Bolsinger allowed six hits and two runs in four 2/3 innings before being pulled in a game that the Dodgers ended up winning.

On the other side, the Dodgers will have to face the Padres’ big free agent signing, James Shields. Shields is having an underwhelming season (3.78 ERA, 4.19 FIP) and he has the highest strikeout and walk rates of his career. He has three starts against the Dodgers this season and has registered a quality start each time, but the Padres have only won one of those starts.

Corey Seager gets his second consecutive start, but is at third this time. Seager had an exciting debut yesterday, as he doubled and later scored in his second at-bat and singled in two runs in his third at bat. He also looked smooth enough at short, so now he gets to try out third, which might be his position long term.

Andre Ethier is still on the shelf with a bum knee, so Scott Schebler is making his second start in the outfield for the Dodgers. He pinch hit for Latos yesterday and struck out.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PST and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.