Dodgers @ Padres August 5, 2020: Stripling vs Richards in the series finale

The Dodgers evened up the series in San Diego last night, with Dustin May turning out a solid start and the bullpen shutting the Padres down over the final three innings. After it looked like the Dodgers were on their way to being no-hit, the bats finally woke up and put up five runs in the final four innings to secure a 5-2 victory.

Tonight, the Dodgers look to finish off the series strong before an off day tomorrow.

6:10 p.m. San Diego
DH Pollock SS Tatis Jr.
1B Muncy (L) CF Grisham (L)
3B Turner LF Pham
CF Bellinger (L) 3B Machado
SS Seager (L) 1B Cronenworth (L)
LF Taylor RF Myers
RF Pederson (L) DH Garcia (L)
C Smith C Hedges
2B Hernández 2B Profar (S)
P Stripling (R) P Richards (R)

Ross Stripling will make his third start of the young season tonight. After a stellar performance in his first outing, Stripling came back to earth a bit in Arizona. Stripling was charged with three earned runs over 5 1/3 innings, though the final earned run against him was scored off Adam Kolarek in the 6th. Stripling struck out only two Diamondbacks and issued two walks and four hits, one of which left the yard.

Through two starts, Stripling has thrown a fastball more than 50 percent of the time. He’s never done that in any of his first four Major League seasons. Over his career, Stripling usually hovers around a 20 percent usage rate on his slider, but he’s only thrown it 5.6 percent of the time so far in 2020. It’s too early to really read into stats, but that’s something to keep an eye on as the season progresses.

Garrett Richards gets the ball for the Padres tonight, a guy I definitely knew was still in the league. The 32-year-old righty has battled injuries throughout his 10-year MLB career including missing most of last season recovering from Tommy John surgery. Richards struggled in three appearances for the Padres last season, allowing eight runs in 8 2/3 innings in his first action in about 15 months. He’s fared better in his first two starts of 2020, as he opened with five innings of one-hit ball against Arizona before allowing four runs in 5 2/3 innings at Coors Field last time out.

Richards has always relied on his fastball-slider combo, and through two starts this year it’s been no different. He’s thrown a fastball 42.9 percent of the time and averages 94.8 MPH with it. His slider averages 88.5 mph, and he’s thrown that 38.7 percent of the time.

Mookie Betts remains out of the lineup for the Dodgers, missing his third straight game. Corey Seager is back at shortstop after DHing the first two games of the series. AJ Pollock leads off tonight and DH’s. I expected this to be a weird-ass season, but “Pollock being one of the best hitters on the team” was not a plotline I saw coming.

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The Dodgers called up an infield prospect.

Zach McKinstry has received his first call to the Majors, taking Victor Gonzalez‘s spot on the roster. The 25-year-old slashed .300/.366/.516 in the minors last year and hit 19 homers after hitting only 11 in his first three minor-league seasons combined. McKinstry gives the Dodgers a bat off the bench, which they might need for a few days with Edwin Rios leaving last night’s game after a foul ball off his foot.

McKinstry is not Gavin Lux, and Dave Roberts addressed why Lux didn’t get the call.

Lux had a late start to the season and struggled in his Summer Camp innings. Surely not service time related, he said cynically.

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Kenley Jansen might still not be at 100 percent after recovering from COVID-19.

Jansen has looked pretty good so far this season, so if he’s not feeling as strong as he can yet, that seems like a good sign.

Wear masks, people.

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The Dodgers set their rotation for the weekend series against the Giants.

Julio Urias will start Friday, with Clayton Kershaw going Saturday and Walker Buehler wrapping up the series on Sunday.

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First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 PST and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.

About Alex Campos

Alex Campos
I've been writing about the Dodgers since I graduated from Long Beach State, where I covered the Dirtbags in my senior year. I'm either very good or very bad at puns.