Dodgers Padres Game Three Preview
By Alex Campos
The Dodgers look to keep their bats going in game three against the Padres.
Last night’s game finally ended, and at least the Dodgers won this marathon. The offense, particularly Yasmani Grandal, exploded and bailed out Scott Kazmir, who had one of his worst outings of the season. Considering how few innings Dodger starters have been throwing lately, the bullpen is clearly getting overworked. They’ve still been more good than bad, but there’s a lot less room for error when the bullpen is being counted on for 4-5 innings a night.
Concern aside, the Dodgers still got a nice win and they can become the seventh team in baseball with 50 wins this season with a win today. Brandon McCarthy makes his second start of the season after returning from Tommy John surgery. His first start could not have gone better, as he went five very strong innings and allowed two hits and one walk while striking out eight Rockies. McCarthy was pulled after striking out the side in the fifth and only using 72 pitches, so Dave Roberts clearly wanted to get him out on a high note before having to face Rockie hitters for a third time.
McCarthy and Hyun-jin Ryu are still in the process of coming back from long journeys, but if they can stay healthy, they immediately become upgrades at the back end of the Dodger rotation and as they get stretched out, they could become the solid number two/three starter the Dodgers so desperately need.
The Padres counter with Luis Perdomo. The 23-year-old former rule 5 draft pick has shown spurts, but has struggled for much of the season. He’s made six starts and appeared in relief 15 times, and while the Padres are 4-2 when he starts, he holds a 6.75 ERA in those six starts. He’s also played a large part in a few of the Dodgers’ more memorable games of the season. He allowed six runs in one inning of relief on opening day, and allowed four runs in five innings in the 17-inning game in San Diego in May.
Andrew Toles makes his second straight start in center, which makes me think there might be something wrong with Trayce Thompson. He could just need days off to regroup during his huge slump, and it’s nice to see what the Dodgers have with Toles. He showed off his speed on offense and defense last night, and that’s definitely something the Dodgers have been lacking this season.
Other than that, a normal lineup including Grandal behind the plate again. He raised his batting average .21 points with a 5-5 day yesterday, and his three dingers helped raise his wRC+ from 84 to 104. Grandal has mostly been a disappointment at the plate with stretches of power hitting, but any offense you can get from a catcher is just a bonus. He’s struggled at throwing runners out this year (and keeping the ball in front of him at times), but he’s the second-best pitch framer according to StatCorner. Yes, Jonathan Lucroy would be an upgrade, but that upgrade likely wouldn’t be worth the prospect cost. Grandal has stretches where he’s every bit as good as Lucroy, and if the rest of the offense was performing the way they should, Grandal’s struggles wouldn’t be as noticeable.
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On the injury front, Brett Anderson threw a second bullpen session, Alex Wood is scheduled to throw a bullpen today and Clayton Kershaw is throwing from 120 feet like normal. The Dodgers have survived thus far, and if those three can get back this team will look completely different.
First pitch is scheduled for 4:15 PST and will be shown on Fox.