Dodgers Padres Game Two Preview

July 2, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Scott Kazmir (29) throws in the first inning against Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
July 2, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Scott Kazmir (29) throws in the first inning against Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dodgers look to snap their three game losing streak in game two against the Padres.

After Brandon McCarthy‘s triumphant return from Tommy John surgery, I feel like many (myself included) set the bar high for Hyun-jin Ryu‘s return. McCarthy looked great through six, but Ryu gave up a homer to the first batter he faced.

Ryu’s final line was ugly- 4.2 innings, 6 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 4 K. It easily could have been 5 innings, 4 ER, but Yasiel Puig lost a line drive that turned out number three into a two-run triple. This sounds counterintuitive given his final line, but Ryu looked better than I was expecting. His velocity early on was lower than it was before his injury, but I was expecting him to sit 88-89 and in the first he was sitting 91. That 2-3 MPH difference is huge if he can keep that up. His control was strangely fine as well, as he lost his fair share of pitches but hit A.J. Ellis‘ glove more than I expected him to. He got hit around by a team that’s swung the bat well for the last month, so while it wasn’t the perfect return McCarthy had, as long as Ryu’s arm is still attached today and tomorrow, yesterday was a success. Let’s be honest. A pitcher making his first major league start in 21 months against Drew Pomeranz, who has been a complete stud this year. The Dodgers were going to lose this game. If Ryu doesn’t have a setback in the next couple days, I’ll be happy all things considered.

Now, Dodgers need to win a game. Scott Kazmir gets the ball today and is coming off a great outing against the Rockies. Kazmir went six and struck out 10 while allowing three hits in his last start, so while the distance isn’t where you want it to be, the Dodgers would take six innings of shutout ball any day. The bullpen had been so overworked on this homestand, but Carlos Frias came up huge in yesterday’s game and threw four innings in relief, giving most of the bullpen the day off (Casey Fien threw eight pitches, but other than that it was all Ryu and Frias). While the Dodgers lost yesterday’s game, Frias’ performance helps them in a big way today.

The Dodgers last scored a run in the fifth inning of Wednesday’s 14-inning game. That’s 18 innings since their last run. Pomeranz dealt yesterday, so the Dodgers will have to get going against Andrew Cashner.

Casher has made 12 starts this season, but been on the DL twice this season. He came off the DL for his last start and allowed one run in six innings against the Yankees. He’s only given up more than three runs in one of his 12 starts, and that came in his first game of the season against the Dodgers. However, he’s allowed exactly three runs seven times, including six straight starts. Cashner has faced Adrian Gonzalez 37 times in his career, and Gonzo has 11 hits and four homers in the past against him.

The first seven names are pretty normal. Corey Seager‘s hitting streak came to an end yesterday, which was really the worst part of the game. Clearly he’s slumping because of the home run derby

Andrew Toles was called up to give the Dodgers a 12th position player on the roster. Toles was a name I hadn’t heard much about, but the former third round pick has a .330/.375/.507 line in 300 minor league at bats this season and has stolen 23 of 32 bases. The outfielder was out of baseball a year ago and working at Krogers and this is his first taste of the big leagues. True Blue LA had a writeup on Toles and Brock Stewart, and it seems like Toles has the tools to become a handy MLB player. He gets thrown into the fire as he gets the start in center for Trayce Thompson, who has seen his average plummet from .271 on June 7th to a season-low .227.

Next: Six Dodgers on Baseball America's Midseason Top-100 Prospect List

To make room for Toles, Frias was sent down and Cole Figueroa was designated for assignment.

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