Padres @ Dodgers September 2, 2016: Welcome to September baseball

Padres
Dodgers
7:10 p.m. PT
Los Angeles
SS
Sardinas
2B
Kendrick
1B
Myers
SS
Seager
3B
Solarte
3B
Turner
LF
Dickerson
1B
Gonzalez
RF
Ramirez
RF
Puig
C
Norris
C
Grandal
2B
Rosales
LF
Hernandez
P
Richard (L)
CF
Pederson
CF
Jankowski
P
Urias (L)

After a difficult series capped by one of the most improbable comebacks we’ll ever see, the Dodgers return home to face the Padres. The Padres will send Cubs castoff Clayton Richard to the mound. Richard was released after the trade deadline, made obsolete by the acquisition of multiple left-handed relievers. He has bounced between the majors and the minors lately, but as the Padres close out the season, they need Richards’ innings. The bulk of Richards’ major-league success came in a San Diego uniform (his best being 218-2/3 innings of nearly league-average pitching in 2012), though since his initial departure he has been used mostly as a reliever. The Padres have moved him back to the rotation after signing him last month, and he’s making his fourth start of the year today. Richard hasn’t been that bad this year, posting an 85 ERA- and 104 FIP- in his limited set of work, though his 3.3% K-BB% rate is quite poor.

After some of the lineups the Dodgers put together against left-handed pitching in the past few days, tonight’s is a relief. The return of Yasiel Puig is obviously the highlight, but Adrian Gonzalez, Yasmani Grandal, and Joc Pederson are all getting starting nods as well. Chase Utley will get tonight off, with Howie Kendrick getting a relatively rare start at second in his place.

Julio Urias is starting tonight for the Dodgers, though whenever he pitches one can sense that the clock is ticking. Urias starts tonight with 108 innings pitched this season, already 20 beyond his career high. With Clayton Kershaw and Brett Anderson rehabbing for Rancho Cucamonga tomorrow and Jose De Leon getting called up for Sunday’s start, it’s not a matter of if Urias’ role will change, but when. This could well be his last start of the season. Rich Hill‘s health coming out of his next start (rescheduled for tomorrow) could have a major impact as well.

The Padre lineup (now sans-Matt Kemp) against Urias is quite strange tonight in one fashion: Alexei Ramirez is starting in right field. Ramirez has precisely one career game in right, last week against the Marlins. Before that, his last action in the outfield was in 2008, when he briefly played center for the White Sox. Baseball is weird.

The start of September has brought reinforcements from the minors, as always. Austin Barnes, Josh Fields, and Puig have been recalled. Louis Coleman and Josh Ravin have also returned from the disabled list. The players remaining on the 40-man roster who are not on the disabled list are Pedro Baez (eligible to return next week), Micah Johnson, Chris Taylor, Brock Stewart, and Carlos Frias. Taylor, Stewart, and Baez will likely be up at some point this season. It would be nice to see the rest as well, though some 40-man roster moves are potentially looming.

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Daniel Brim

Daniel Brim
Daniel Brim grew up in the Los Angeles area but doesn't live there anymore. He still watches the Dodgers and writes about them sometimes.