Padres @ Dodgers September 4, 2022: Ferguson opens for Pepiot

Dodger Stadium Entrance
Photo by: Cody Bashore

After a 7-1 loss in the series opener, the Dodgers (91-41) responded with a 12-1 blowout win over San Diego (74-60) last night. After losing by six runs, the team figured they needed to add back to their run differential, and put up 12 runs on 13 hits and four walks. In the final game of this series between the two, the Dodgers will go for the series win before San Francisco (63-68) comes to town. Caleb Ferguson will open the game as Ryan Pepiot is slated to pickup in the second inning and pitch the bulk of the innings today, while the Padres will send out the right-handed Mike Clevinger.

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4:08 PM Los Angeles
SS Kim RF Betts
RF Soto (L) SS Turner
3B Machado 1B Freeman (L)
DH Bell (S) C Smith
LF Profar (S) 3B Muncy (L)
2B Cronenworth (L) DH J. Turner
1B Myers LF Gallo (L)
CF Grisham (L) 2B Taylor
C Nola CF Bellinger (L)
P Clevinger (R) P Ferguson (L)

After an interesting lineup yesterday that managed to put up a ton of runs, the Dodgers put a more traditional lineup out today against Clevinger. Mookie Betts is back in right field, Will Smith will be catching, and Cody Bellinger and Joey Gallo will be in the outfield as Chris Taylor plays second base in lieu of Gavin Lux. Freddie Freeman went 3-3 yesterday with a walk, Betts went 2-4 with a three run homer and a leadoff triple, Trea Turner added a home run of his own, while Smith added two hits himself and four RBI.

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Here’s how Pepiot and Clevinger matchup.

Clevinger earned the win over the Giants his last time out, going five innings and allowing two runs on five hits and one walk while striking out three. He wasn’t overpowering in the outing, but he allowed only one extra-base hit, (a fourth-inning homer by Joc Pederson). He hasn’t been striking out many batters recently and has posted a career-low 7.7 K/9 this year, but he’s managed a respectable 3.59 ERA and 1.16 WHIP despite that. He had one of his worst starts of the year against the Dodgers about a month ago, going 4.2 innings allowing five earned runs on seven hits and a walk. He’s had a rough go of it since then, with a 4.68 ERA, 6.16 FIP, and 1.36 WHIP over his last five starts with just 14 strikeouts to 11 walks in 25 innings.

Meanwhile for the Dodgers, Ferguson has not worked more than 1.1 innings in any appearance this season, so it’s likely he only gets the first inning, but if he’s efficient it would behoove the team to get past Josh Bell as well. Pepiot’s last start came on 8/21, where he allowed two runs on four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in six innings, his longest outing of the season. The only damage came on a two-run home run by Lewin Diaz in the fourth inning. The seven strikeouts were a season high, while the two walks were his second-lowest mark in his seven appearances.

He’s been pretty lights out against right-handed batters this year, with a slashline of .153/.219/.322 allowed against RHB, compared to .245/.452/.472 against left-handed batters. I would assume the Dodgers’ gameplan here is that Ferguson will get through Juan Soto, Manny Machado, and hopefully Bell, making Pepiot’s life much easier for the remainder of his outing.

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Unfortunate, but if Walker Buehler did make a return in the 2023 season, best case scenario would likely be a September bullpen addition.

Sucks to see David Price injured in what has been his best season with the club. He’s on the IL with Pepiot back up.

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The Giants will have three tough lefties to face in the next few days.

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Should be fun to hear Betts during the game.

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First pitch is at 4:08 PM PDT on ESPN.

About Allan Yamashige

Just a guy living in Southern California, having a good time writing about baseball. Hated baseball practice as a kid, but writing about it rules. Thanks for reading!