Fresh off a dramatic win, the Dodgers look to keep the momentum going at home against the Padres.
Wednesday’s game was almost the lowest moment of the series. Andrew Toles might have made it the highest point. His game-winning grand slam felt like one of those “moments”. It was just one win in the standings and we shouldn’t put too much stock in it, but a series loss never felt so good.
The Dodgers were off last night and now welcome the two worst teams in the division. Pretty good opportunity to expand on their two-game lead in the West. First, a weekend set against the Padres.
Julio Urias will get the start, possibly for the last time in 2016. Urias’ innings limit will reportedly be in the 120-130 range, and he’s currently at 108. In 12 starts and two relief appearances, Urias has a 3.71 ERA/3.15 FIP in 63 innings in the majors. Keep in mind how poorly his first two starts went, and these numbers are incredible. If we toss out those two starts in New York and Chicago, Urias has a 2.93 ERA/2.42 FIP. Obviously, the sample size is ridiculously small, but for a 19-20 year old, that is unheard of.
Urias will make his first start against the Padres tonight. Depending on how available the Dodgers want him to be in the postseason, this might be his final start of the season. Figure he goes 5-6 innings tonight, that leaves him with 8-18 innings left in their rumored innings limit. He only threw 80 innings last year and 87 the year before, so in following the usual “30 percent increase” rule, he’s already where he should be. The Dodgers are already being a bit aggressive with him, so after today’s start who knows what the rest of the season holds for Urias.
Clayton Richard will make his sixth appearance and fourth start for the Padres. Richard started the season with the Cubs and made 25 appearances out of the bullpen, but he was injured and later released. The Padres scooped him up and he’s been great in a limited sample size for them.
In his last three outings, all starts, Richard has allowed two earned runs in 18 innings. He’s not much of a strikeout pitcher, but Richard has looked solid as a Padre. In those three starts, the Padres have scored exactly three runs.
The lefty is primarily a sinkerball pitcher but also brings a four seam, curve and change to the hill. He occasionally throws sliders and cutters, but those are rare.
I guess there’s something notable there. Yasiel Puig has been called up and is in the lineup, batting fifth and starting in right field.
I try not to put too much stock in his minor league stats. He is obviously a talented hitter, and that’s more apparent when he’s facing AAA arms. He was dominating at AAA, but his expectations need to be tempered. Half of the issue with him is his crazy expectations as a .300 hitter with 30 home run power. He’s not that and probably won’t ever be that. If he can be a .260/.340 OBP guy with 15 home run power and great defense, be happy.
It’s a fairly normal lineup for a lefty pitcher. The only real differences are Chase Utley sitting, Howie Kendrick starting at second and Enrique Hernandez in left. Joc Pederson is miraculously in the lineup against a lefty.
This is just the first wave of call ups for the month. It likely won’t be the last. Anyone from the 40-man can be recalled. The Dodgers also have Andre Ethier, Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood and Trayce Thompson on the 60-day DL. People will have to be removed from the 40-man to make room for them. Jose De Leon isn’t in the first wave of call ups, but reports indicate he’s been scratched from his AAA start today. The Dodgers are starting a pair of TBD’s this weekend, so it could be his time.*
*EDIT- Rich Hill is expected to start Saturday, De Leon on Sunday.
Speaking of Kershaw. He will make a rehab start this weekend at Rancho. He probably should take two rehab starts, but he could only need one before returning to the Dodgers.
Finally, the Giants nearly got no-hit by Jon Lester and dropped game two to the Cubs. The Dodgers have a chance to take a three game lead in the West with a win tonight.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PST and will be shown on SNLA.