Dodgers @ Giants September 11, 2017: Oh good, AT&T Park

Photo: Sarah Wexler

The skidding Dodgers (92-51), after dropping 10 consecutive games, have headed north for three games with the Giants (56-89). The Dodgers may be a historically bad 1-15 in their past 16 games, but the Giants, whose .386 winning percentage is the second-worst in baseball, are 4-12 in their past 16 games, which is also not great. The Giants haven’t been above .500 all season, and remain 37 games back of Los Angeles.

In spite of all this, the season series between the two teams is close, with the Dodgers barely holding the advantage at 7-6. Doesn’t it seem to be the case that, no matter how bad the Giants are in a given season, they always give the Dodgers a hard time?

They’ve been giving the Dodgers a hard time in San Francisco, anyway, as AT&T Park certainly has not been kind to the Dodgers in recent memory. Per Eric Stephen, since the start of 2015, they’re just 7-20 there, and they haven’t won a series there since September of 2014. All really encouraging numbers for a frustrated team that can’t seem to do anything right at the moment.

Good luck, boys!

Dodgers
Giants
7:15 PM PT
San Francisco
LF
Granderson
RF
Pence
SS
Seager
2B
Panik
3B
Turner
CF
Span
CF
Bellinger
1B
Posey
RF
Puig
SS
Crawflrd
1B
González
LF
Parker
C
Grandal 3B Sandoval
2B
Utley
C
Hundley
P
Maeda (R)
P
Stratton (R)

Kenta Maeda (4.02 ERA, 3.89 FIP, 3.89 DRA) has been delivering mixed results for the past month or so. In four of his past seven starts, he’s given up either zero or one run; in his other three starts, he’s given up at least three earned runs, including his disaster three-inning, seven-run effort in Arizona. Maeda’s biggest issue, however, may be how deep he’s going into games. In four of those seven starts, he’s failed to get through six innings. In fact, that’s the case for 17 of his 23 starts this year.

Maeda has yet to pitch against the Giants this season. He faced them four times last season, and has allowed 10 earned runs in 19.2 IP against them. His one career start at AT&T Park was one of the worst of his MLB career, as he gave up five runs on nine hits and two walks in just two and two-thirds innings.

Chris Stratton (4.10 ERA, 4.05 FIP, 4.61 DRA), on the mound for the Giants, has spent the season going back and forth between Triple-A and the majors. The 27-year-old righty has made nine MLB appearances this year, six as a starter and three as a reliever. Stratton relies predominantly on his fastball, which averages 92 MPH and tops out around 95 MPH. His secondary pitches include a curveball, a slider, a changeup, and the rare sinker. John Sickels of Minor League Ball describes Stratton’s stuff as being “generally average but not weak” and “adequate.”

Stratton, who debuted last season, has pitched against the Dodgers just once, and that was one inning of relief in a game in June 2016 at AT&T. He allowed a solo home run to Adrián González in the tenth inning (before Kenley Jansen gave up two runs to lose the game in the bottom of the tenth).

Speaking of González, after receiving an epidural three days ago, he’s starting at first base tonight and batting sixth. Cody Bellinger gets yet another start in center field. Chris Taylor, 9-for-40 (and without a single walk) in September, gets the day off. Curtis Granderson, 8-for-70 as a Dodger (with 13 walks), is batting leadoff. Dave Roberts offered this insight as to why:

Roberts also says he views Taylor primarily as a center fielder, if you want to start looking towards possible postseason defensive alignments.

——

The Dodgers went into this series with Wednesday’s starter to be announced. Turns out it’ll be Yu Darvish:

This rules out Darvish for this weekend’s series against the Nationals. Here’s who will be pitching in Washington:

Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lasted started September 5, will throw a four-inning sim game tomorrow.

In other news, longtime baseball scout and executive Mel Didier has passed away at the age of 90:

Didier provided the scouting report that helped Kirk Gibson hit his famous home run off of Dennis Eckersley. Team historian Mark Langill has more details about Didier’s life and career in the above link.

——

Update

Welp!

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.