Dodgers @ Padres April 17, 2021: Kershaw and Darvish square off in round 2

After last night’s completely normal 12-inning Dodger win, the Dodgers find themselves on a seven-game winning streak and with a chance at another series victory. Both teams bullpens were eaten up last night, so surely today’s game will be normal as well.

5:40 P.M. San Diego
CF Betts CF Grisham (L)
SS Seager (L) SS Tatis Jr.
3B Turner 3B Machado
1B Muncy (L) RF Myers
2B Taylor 1B Profar (S)
RF McKinstry (L) 2B Cronenworth (L)
LF Raley (L) LF Pham
C Barnes C Caratini (S)
P Kershaw (L) P Darvish (R)

Clayton Kershaw gets the ball for the Dodgers today, and rumors of his demise have been exaggerated. Kershaw has been shoving in his two starts since Opening Day at Coors, as he’s allowed nine hits, one run and no walks over 13 innings in his last two outings. Kershaw threw six shutout in his last start against the Nationals and never allowed more than one baserunner in an inning. The Padres should be Kershaw’s biggest test so far this season. He only saw them once in the regular season in 2020, in one of the two times the Dodgers lost a Kershaw start. He allowed three runs and struck out nine in 6 1/3 innings, with two of those runs being inherited by Pedro Baez. Kershaw also saw the Padres in the NLDS and allowed three runs and six hits. He held the Padres to a run through the first five innings, but gave up back-to-back solo shots to start the sixth.

Old friend Yu Darvish starts against the Dodgers tonight. Darvish also got roughed up a bit on Opening Day, as the Diamondbacks scored four runs and tallied eight hits in 4 2/3 innings against him. Since then, Darvish has had two nearly identical outings: a six-inning, one-run three-hit start against the Giants and a seven-inning, one-run three-hit start against the Pirates. This is only Darvish’s second time seeing the Dodgers since his departure after the 2017 World Series, for which I feel like he’s been absolved for? Darvish dominated the Dodgers as a Cub in June 2019, striking out 10 over seven innings and surrendering only two hits (one of which was an Alex Verdugo home run).

Zach McKinstry gets the start in right field today, as Mookie Betts slides over to center and Luke Raley mans left field. AJ Pollock is not in the lineup but is reportedly available for anything in tonight’s game and should be in the starting lineup tomorrow. A bit surprisingly, Manny Machado is in the lineup for the Padres despite being in obvious pain in last nights game.


The Dodgers made a roster movie to bring in a fresh arm after last night’s marathon.

Alex Vesia is up from the taxi squad, with Matt Beaty being sent down to make room. Vesia debuted with the Marlins last year and had a rough go of it. He was charged with at least one run in four of his five outings and allowed nine runs and three homers in 4 1/3 innings. He was dominant in 100 minor league innings spread over 2018 and 2019, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Dodgers can spread their player dev pixie dust on him.


Vesia could definitely make his debut tonight, as the Dodgers are short a couple pitchers.

David Price and Kenley Jansen are both expected to be unavailable tonight. Price has finished each of the last two games, as he picked up the save in the finale of the Nationals series and got the win after throwing two shutout innings to end last night’s game. Jansen threw 26 pitches last night in his 1 1/3 innings. Brusdar Graterol is also on the taxi squad and while he wasn’t called up today, he could be back with the big league club tomorrow.


First pitch is scheduled for 5:40 and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.

About 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.