Dodgers @ Padres July 2, 2017: Maeda vs. Chacin

(Via)

In search of a sweep of the Padres, Kenta Maeda returns to the site of his debut home run. Maeda was outstanding in his last outing, with his command looking as good as it has since his return from the disabled list. Maeda quietly had an excellent June, which has lowered his ERA down to almost exactly league-average (with better peripherals). He hasn’t offered the consistency that the Dodgers surely want from him, but the summation of this year’s results (other than innings) match any reasonable expectation. Something to watch for is that Maeda has been missing a ton of bats this year, which as of yet has not resulted in an increase in his strikeout rate. Maeda ranks in the top 10 in nearly all contact/whiff metrics, which needs more investigation than what can be offered in a game thread on a holiday weekend.

Dodgers
Padres
1:40 p.m.
San Diego, CA
2B
Utley
LF
Pirela
SS
 Seager
CF
Margot
3B
Turner
3B
Spangenberg
1B
Bellinger
RF
Renfroe
CF
Pederson
1B
Sanchez
C
Grandal
SS
Aybar
LF
Taylor 2B Asuaje
RF
Puig
C
Torrens
P
Maeda (R)
P
Chacin (R)

Attempting to prevent that sweep will be Jhoulys Chacin, who has had mixed results this season. Chacin’s ERA of 4.76 isn’t much to be proud of (110 ERA-), but his FIP is close to league-average and his DRA is better. Chacin is riding a streak of five good outings coming into this one, with an ERA of 3 in 33 innings between them. His peripherals are almost the same in that stretch as they have been throughout the rest of the season, so there’s a component of BABIP luck in there, but he’s not necessarily the punching bag you’d expect him to be based on the reputation he built in Colorado.

After facing two straight left-handed pitchers, the Dodger lineup is closer to normal this afternoon. One notable exception to this is Logan Forsythe, who is off after having eight hits in the previous two games. Sitting a hot batter has never particularly bothered me, since it’s hard to know when hot streaks actually end. Yasmani Grandal is back at catcher, Joc Pederson is back in center, and Yasiel Puig is back in right field.

Today’s pre-game press conference has come with bad news with respect to Hyun-Jin Ryu, whose foot still hurts after being hit by a comebacker in his last start. It will be examined further tomorrow. Monday’s off-day grants the Dodgers the flexibility to skip Ryu’s next start if required, and in the short term that’s what they appear to be doing.

Tomorrow will also be a big day for Brandon McCarthy, who will pitch a simulated game. I’d imagine that a simulated game is not the best place to test out the yips, but I’d also imagine that almost nothing else would be great either. McCarthy’s start last week was tough to watch from an empathy standpoint, and hopefully the road back from these issues is more smooth than it was last year.

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.