Dodgers @ Padres September 15, 2020: Turner returns in Game 2 of the World Series*

Seriously guys, relax. The Dodgers had a disastrous seventh inning last night and dropped game one against the Padres. The lead is down to 1.5 games in the division, which is not ideal. The Dodgers are damn near guaranteed a playoff spot, whether that be the one seed or the four seed as the best non-division winner. Jon Weisman has been keeping track of playoff seedings in the NL.

Regardless of whether the Dodgers or Padres win the NL West, they would likely face a roughly .500 team before meeting up with each other in the second round (assuming both win their stupid three-game first round). There’s no home field advantage, as every round after the first round will take place in a bubble (NL in Texas, AL in LA/SD). Other than “getting to hit in the bottom of the inning more often”, there’s no benefit to winning the division this season other than bragging rights. No need to avoid a one-game wild card game, no home games.

Also stop being weenies about Trent Grisham‘s pimp job. Now, to the actual thread.

6:10 p.m. San Diego
RF Betts CF Grisham (L)
SS Seager (L) SS Tatis Jr.
DH Turner 3B Machado
C Smith 1B Moreland (L)
1B Bellinger (L) C Nola
2B Taylor RF Myers
CF Pollock 2B Cronenworth (L)
LF Pederson (L) LF Profar (S)
3B Rios (L) DH Garcia (L)
P Gonsolin (R) P Davies (R)

Tony Gonsolin starts for the Dodgers tonight. He took his first loss of the season last time out as he allowed three runs in five innings in emergency relief, finishing off the game Dustin May left early after taking a foul ball off his foot. Those three runs matched the number of runs he’d allowed in five starts prior.

Gonsolin has seen the Padres once this season, and shut them out over 4 2/3 innings. He matched a season-high with eight strikeouts and allowed only three singles and a walk.

Gonsolin edged out Zach Davies in that previous start, and Davies starts again today for the Padres. The Dodgers managed four hits and two runs against Davies in seven innings, but scored four on Craig Stammen in relief to run away with a 6-0 victory.

Davies hasn’t been quite as great as Dinelson Lamet this season, but he’s been pretty solid for the Padres. He’s allowed 15 earned runs (20 runs total) in 54 1/3 innings. Opponents are slashing only .191/.248/.330 against Davies, but he’s been aided by a .221 BABIP, the fifth-lowest in baseball. His underlying numbers also have not been great.

Those numbers don’t exactly scream “2.48 ERA” or “.578 OPS against”. Davies throws a sinker 42.1 percent of the time and opponents are hitting only .190 and slugging only .317 against it. The expected numbers tell a different story, as his sinker carries an xBA against of .284 and an xSLG of .546. His changeup (41.1 percent of the time) is also overperforming its expected numbers (.175 BA, .256 xBA, .350 SLG, .471 xSLG). This has the makings of an extremely frustrating game.

Justin Turner makes his return to the lineup, and will DH today. Will Smith starts behind the plate and hits cleanup. Max Muncy gets a much-needed day off with Cody Bellinger starting at first and A.J. Pollock starting in center.

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Turner’s return means the Dodger bullpen is a bit more shorthanded today.

Josh Sborz has been sent down to make room for Turner. With Joe Kelly serving the final game of his suspension, the Dodger bullpen is short an arm today. Turner is expected to DH for three to four games before returning to third base

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First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 PM PDT 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.