Coming off a four-game sweep by the Marlins and former Dodgers Don Mattingly and Dee Gordon, it was another former Dodger in Matt Kemp that beat them today. The Dodgers dropped yet another series opener against the Padres, 5-1, and also dropped to .500 on the season at 12-12 and 4-7 at home.
Cesar Vargas, the pitcher with a grand total of 80.1 innings at the AA level as his top competition before hitting the majors, shut the Dodgers down over 5.1 innings. Vargas did allow four hits and three walks, but he managed to escape trouble over and over because the Dodgers are the Dodgers.
Unfortunately, the Dodgers didn’t score after that or manage much of a threat against the Padres bullpen.
Alex Wood was dominant over seven innings and 100 pitches, as he limited the Padres to five hits and a walk while striking out nine. Even the run he did allow was an unfortunate bit of sequencing, as he gave up his only extra-base hit of the night on a double, which was immediately followed by a single to drive in the run.
Chris Hatcher, on the other hand, was not so dominant. He entered in the eighth inning and promptly issued a lead-off walk, because why not? Then, because baseball is baseball, he actually made a quality pitch and got a double play ball but it glanced off his knee and bounced into left field to put runners on the corners with nobody out. That brought up Matt Kemp, who is still a threat despite whatever injuries have taken away from him, but Hatcher managed to get ahead of him 0-2 on the strength of a first-pitch slider and a fastball on the black outside. But he followed that with an 0-2 split that hung in the strike zone, and Kemp made him pay with a three-run homer to left.
Then because baseball is cruel, Kenley Jansen came into the came and promptly gave up a lead-off double. That led to him allowing his first run of the game on a couple bunts that followed, one of a sacrifice and one a suicide squeeze that ended up a hit.
So that gave us the final score of 5-1, but the game ended in the eighth given the current state of the offense.
The Dodgers play the Padres again tomorrow at 6:10 PST/9:10 EST, and the matchup will be between Ross Stripling and Colin Rea. Theoretically, the Dodgers should be able to hit Rea, but we all know how they’ve been doing lately.
-Grandal is not as quality a hitter from the right side, so I understand why he gets his days off against lefties, but he’s not a platoon player.
Grandal has 14% of his HR as a RH hitter. He had 22% of his PA RH. Power split not nearly as severe as 7 and 41 HR split makes it sound.
— David Young (@DavidYoungTBLA) April 30, 2016
The split isn’t even that significant.
-Results aside, the Dodgers always should’ve considered promoting Joe Blanton in the bullpen pecking order.
This should honestly be Blanton until Hatcher's command gets right.
— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) April 30, 2016
The pen have a bunch of quality arms but none have proven much, and while Blanton doesn’t have much experience as a reliever, he has been through a lot and is the only one with trustable command at the moment.