Padres @ Dodgers September 11, 2021: Buehler looks to bounce back and help the Dodgers keep pace with SF

Dodger Stadium
Photo by: Cody Bashore

Julio Urias and the rest of the Dodger pitching staff shoved last night, shutting out the Padres and snapping a tiny two-game losing streak. The Dodgers look for their 90th win of the season tonight and a fifth consecutive victory over the Padres, who have been free-falling for quite a bit now. The Padres and Reds are tied for the second wild card spot right now and are both 14 games behind the Dodgers, who head into tonight three back of the Giants (who blew out the Cubs earlier today).

6:10 P.M. Los Angeles
CF Grisham (L) RF Betts
2B Frazier (L) 1B Muncy (L)
3B Machado 2B T. Turner
SS Tatis Jr. SS Seager (L)
1B Hosmer (L) 3B J. Turner
RF Myers C Smith
LF Pham CF Bellinger (L)
C Caratini (S) LF Lux (L)
P Paddack (R) P Buehler (R)

Walker Buehler gets the start tonight and looks to bounce back after one of the worst starts of his career. Buehler recorded only nine outs last time out in San Francisco and allowed seven hits and six runs while striking out only one batter. It was easily Buehler’s worst start of the season, and it came at an inopportune time for many reasons. Not only was it against the Giants, but a trainwreck start this late in the season impacts his Cy Young chances even more. His ERA ballooned from 2.05 to 2.31, the second-best in the NL behind teammate Max Scherzer.

Buehler has seen the Padres three times this season. He faced the Padres in consecutive starts back in April and allowed two runs in each game, tossing six innings in San Diego and seven innings in LA. Buehler started that 16 inning shitshow a couple weeks ago, and he allowed a run and three hits in 6 2/3 innings.

Chris Paddack gets his 23rd appearance (22nd start) of the season tonight and his first look at the 2021 Dodgers. Paddack has struggled this season, with a 4.95 ERA in 103 2/3 innings. Paddack missed about a month with an oblique injury he suffered in July and this will be his third start since returning from the IL. Last time out Paddack needed only 63 pitches to get through six innings against the Astros, but allowed three runs and didn’t strike out or walk any batters.

Paddack struggles despite a 4.5 percent walk rate, tied with Clayton Kershaw for the fourth-lowest among pitchers with 100 or more innings pitched. However, Paddack also boasts the sixth-highest hard-hit rate (36.9 percent) and the third-lowest soft-hit rate (12.0 percent) according to FanGraphs. Paddack is a weird three-pitch pitcher. He throws a four-seamer 61.5 percent of the time and it averages 94.8 MPH. His weird quirk is that his changeup is his second-most-thrown pitch and he throws it to both lefties and righties (188 to righties, 276 to lefties). Paddack’s best pitch has been his curveball, with hitters hitting .167 with an expected batting average of .198 against it (.167 SLG and .260 xSLG).

Cody Bellinger is back in the lineup today. Chris Taylor aggravated his neck injury last night and is out of the lineup today, meaning Bellinger gets the start in center with Gavin Lux starting again in left.


Kershaw’s return and Tony Gonsolin‘s return last Thursday means David Price is back in the bullpen. Price was dealing with some arm soreness and only pitched once in the last two weeks, so (knocking on all the wood in my house) this means the Dodgers actually have a rotation right now?


AJ Pollock was running on the field earlier.

Danny Duffy reportedly suffered a setback in his bullpen yesterday. With only a few weeks left this season, it’s looking unlikely that he’ll get much action (if any) this year.


First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 PM PDT 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.