Dodgers @ Padres September 16, 2020: West Series Game 3

After having last Friday off, the Dodgers are now forced to play the deciding game of the West Series on a Wednesday afternoon as they will be immediately heading out to Colorado for another pointless four-game series in the absolute hellscape that is Coors Field.

Win or lose, the Dodgers are leaving San Diego with the NL West lead, but a series victory would put Los Angeles in a pretty commanding position. Entering Wednesday afternoon’s game up 2.5 games, the Dodgers could lead by 3.5 with 10 games left on the schedule to 9 for the Padres. While the Dodgers have the tougher schedule remaining thanks to three games next week against the A’s, a 3.5-game lead is clearly much more impressive than 1.5 games.

With that said, Dave Roberts seemed to make clear how little they team was concerned with that at this point and honestly can the Dodgers just play the Marlins instead of the Giants?

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After sending the Dodgers’ fanbase into a panic this morning with the news that Brusdar Graterol would start, it was revealed that Dustin May is still pitching today as well.

With that said, I wrote most of this game thread last night, so I am going to leave it pretty much as it was.

On the mound for the first time since taking a ball off of his foot in Arizona, Dustin May will make his third appearance of the season against the Padres. In back-to-back starts on Aug. 4 and 10, May held the Padres to four runs in 12 innings. His season-high of 8 strikeouts (and 28.6% of his Ks for the season) came in the start at Petco.

While his last outing is a bit of an anomaly given that he pitched just one inning, it’ll be interesting to see if a small trend in May’s pitch usage continues.

May’s cutter, which he has thrown to left-handed batters 31.6% of the time this season, tailed off a bit in Texas before really seeing a dip against the Rockies on Sept. 4.

Colorado started five lefties in that game, but May threw just two cutters out of 84 pitches. Instead he went with 49 four-seamers (58%) and 21 sinkers (25%), with lefties specifically seeing 57% sinkers, 18% fourseamers and 16% curveballs.

Granted he’s only pitched in 23 career games, but that start in Colorado was easily the lowest percentage of cutters used in his career, until he threw 0 in his one inning against the D-backs.

All four cutters put in play against the Padres on Aug. 4 resulted in outs, three one groundouts and one on a lineout. Aug. 10 went a bit differently with the Padres scoring both of their runs off of cutters, first on an Austin Hedges homer and then an Eric Hosmer single.

While the cutter trended down, May’s fourseamer usage picked up. Having thrown just 30 all season, 28 fastballs have been to left-handed batters. A third of that total came in that start against Colorado earlier this month, with nine coming against lefties.

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Opposing the Dodgers is Adrian Morejon as Chris Paddack is pushed back to Friday for a start in Seattle.

The 21-year-old lefty has been a mainstay in Top 100 prospect rankings over the past few seasons and has just 10 career games pitched between 2019 and 2020.

The Dodgers haven’t seen Morejon this season, as he’s thrown just 10 2/3 innings in his five appearances. Two of those outings were 3 IP with a 40-pitch maximum this season and the rookie has started two games this year. Assuming Morejon goes about 3 innings again, it’ll be a bullpen game for the Padres.

Morejon wrapped up an 8-2 victory for the Dodgers in August, pitching two innings while allowing two runs on five hits. Morejon last pitched on Sept. 10 against the Giants, throwing the 3rd and 4th innings of a 6-1 victory. He’s allowed a run in just one of his five games this season when he gave up three runs in 1 2/3 IP against the Astros.

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Image Image
1:10 p.m. San Diego
RF Betts CF Grisham (L)
SS Seager (L) SS Tatis
DH Turner 3B Machado
3B Muncy (L) 2B Cronenworth (L)
C Smith RF Myers
1B Bellinger (L) 1B Moreland (L)
CF Pollock DH Ona
LF Taylor CF Castro (L)
2B Lux (L) LF Profar
P Graterol (R) P Morejon (L)

There’s plenty of roster news to update given what happened last night.

Caleb Ferguson is undergoing an MRI today, Zach McKinstry is headed to San Diego to join the team, Joe Kelly is activated and Kenley Jansen won’t be available today after his workload last night.

Also, this:

Let’s hope that’s the case.

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MLB released the Spring Training schedule for 2021, so go check it out and make your plans I guess.

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Happy Birthday to Orel Hershiser. Let’s hope the Dodgers can with a title for him today.

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About Cody Bashore

Cody Bashore
Cody Bashore is a lifelong Dodger fan originally from Carpinteria, California (about 80 miles north of Dodger Stadium along the coast). He left California to attend Northern Arizona University in 2011, and has lived in Arizona full-time since he graduated in 2014 with a journalism degree. He now works for the university’s athletics department after spending seven years with the local newspaper.