Dodgers Padres Game One Preview
By Alex Campos
Following an unsuccessful Freeway Series, the Dodgers look to get back on track in San Diego.
The Dodgers lost three of four games against the Angels, including the final two at Angels Stadium. It was a rough series for the whole team, as the offense, defense, starting pitching and bullpen all seemed to falter at times. Except for Clayton Kershaw.
The Dodgers lost three of four to a last place team (even though that last place team came into the series off a sweep of their division’s first place team, the Mariners). They head farther down the 5 to San Diego to take on another last place team, before returning home for a three game set against another last place team (Cincinnati). This should be the stretch of the schedule where the Dodgers step up and claim the division lead, but while they’ve lost four of their last five, the Giants are riding high on an eight-game win streak and now have a 3.5 game lead. Still too early to worry, but the Dodgers need to get going before they find themselves in a huge hole.
Scott Kazmir looks to get the Dodgers back in the win column and is coming off arguably his best start of the season. He had held the Cardinals to a single run through 8 2/3 innings before he was unable to get the final out, allowing a home run to turn a 5-1 game into a 5-3 game. Kenley Jansen got a three-pitch save, but the story of the game was Kazmir, who looked exceptional until that final out. He did throw 120 pitches in the game in his attempt for the CG, so hopefully the extra day of rest will do him some good.
His second-best start of the season came against these Padres in the second game of the season, as Kazmir threw six shutout innings and held San Diego to an infield single. Following back-to-back short outings by Mike Bolsinger and Ross Stripling, Kazmir going at least six would be helpful with a worn out bullpen that has seen better days.
Lefty Christian Friedrich gets the ball for the Padres and is making his second start of the season. Friedrich held the Brewers to a run in six innings last week, but threw 116 pitches in doing so. The Dodgers have been aggressive swinging early in the count, so some patience could drive Friedrich’s pitch count up and bring in the Padres’ lackluster bullpen.
Corey Seager is the only lefty in the lineup against a lefty bat. Trayce Thompson makes his fifth consecutive start, this time platooning with Joc Pederson in center. Can’t say I love that move as Joc as been one of the few bright spots in the offense, but it does give Enrique Hernandez his first start in about a week.
Adrian Gonzalez is still out of the lineup, and it’s not clear whether that’s a move for the platoon or if it’s still due to his back injury. Yasmani Grandal is at first, with A.J. Ellis behind the plate. The latest update is that Gonzo is scheduled to return to the lineup tomorrow, according to True Blue LA.
Next: The Good and Bad of the Dodger Offense
In other news, Hyun-jin Ryu is making his second rehab start today in Rancho Cucamonga and is expected to throw around 45 pitches. Frankie Montas also hit triple-figures on his fastball in his extended spring training and will begin a rehab assignment tomorrow in Tulsa, according to Ken Gurnick. The Dodgers haven’t announced what his role will be, but his fastball-slider combo could make him a great relief option to bolster their struggling bullpen.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:40 PM PST and will be shown on Sportsnet LA