Padres @ Dodgers April 4, 2017: Maeda vs. Richard

(Via)

It’s Game 2 of 162, and the second start of the Dodgers’ 2017 season goes to Kenta Maeda. Maeda faced the Padres four times last season, and the Dodgers won three of those four games. His first MLB start was against the Padres, and he held them scoreless in six innings of work. Maeda’s best game of the season, by Game Score, also came against the Padres; on July 8, he allowed just one run in seven innings and struck out 13 (the only time he reached double-digit Ks all year).

Padres
Dodgers
7:10 p.m. PDT
Los Angeles
LF
Jankowski
2B 
Forsythe
CF
Margot
SS
Seager
1B
Myers
3B
Turner
2B
Solarte
LF
Gutiérrez
3B
Schimpf
RF
Puig
RF
Renfroe
1B
González
C
Hedges C Grandal
SS
Aybar
CF
Hernández
P
Richard (L)
P
Maeda (R)

Left-hander Clayton Richard will take the mound for San Diego. This is Richard’s second stint with the Padres. (You may or may not remember Richard as the guy who stepped in to stop Matt Kemp from wailing on Carlos Quentin following the brawl in which Quentin broke Zack Greinke‘s collarbone.) Shoulder injuries derailed Richard’s 2013, and he didn’t pitch in the majors at all in 2014. He performed decently as a reliever for the Cubs in 2015.

Richard started 2016 with the Cubs (congrats on that World Series ring, bud) before being traded to the Padres for the latter part of the season. Richard worked entirely in relief for Chicago, but resumed making starts when he returned to San Diego. In 53.2 IP for the Padres last year, Richard posted a 2.52 ERA, though his 1.528 WHIP and 4.19 FIP call his reliability into question.

With a lefty on the mound, we’re seeing a lineup that’s quite different from yesterday’s. Logan Forsythe is leading off, as some speculated he might against lefties. Franklin Gutiérrez makes his first start as a Dodger, batting cleanup. Dustin wrote about the Gutiérrez signing at the time, but the short version is that Gutiérrez has a history of doing very well against left-handed pitching — which, as I’m sure no one reading this needs reminding, was one of the Dodgers’ key weaknesses last season. Adrian González is batting sixth, the lowest he’s ever batted as a starter in his Dodger career. And Joc Pederson is not starting, with Enrique Hernández taking his place in center field — though if Dave Roberts is a man of his word, that won’t be the norm:

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In other Dodger news:

I’m sure Andrew Friedman and company have a perfectly logical reason for doing this, I’m just not sure what it is.

About Sarah Wexler

Sarah Wexler

Sarah Wexler is a native Angeleno and longtime Dodger fan. She began blogging about baseball in 2012 on her Tumblr, New Grass On The Field, where she covered an array of topics but especially enjoyed exploring baseball history. She now writes for The Hardball Times, FanGraphs and Sporting News, and co-hosts a podcast, The Hardball Times Audio. She recently earned her master’s degree in Sports Management from Cal State Long Beach. She graduated from New York University in 2014 with a bachelor’s in History and a minor in American Studies. She’s an avid Springsteen fan, which is a big boost to her baseball writer cred.