Dodgers @ Padres August 4, 2023: Dodgers head to San Diego to open a four-game series

The Dodgers did what they were supposed to do against the A’s. After beginning the homestand with series losses against the Reds and Blue Jays, Oakland came to town and got pushed around a bit. The Dodgers outscored the A’s 25-6 in the three games and actually got 17 innings of solid pitching from their starting pitching. The sweep didn’t help much in the standings, as the Giants took three of four from Arizona and still sit only 2.5 games back. They’re off today and then get a two-game set against the A’s, so it would be wise of the Dodgers to continue winning.

Tonight, they open a weird Friday-Monday four-game set in San Diego, the last time they travel south this season. The Padres did not have a firesale at the deadline and actually made a few solid acquisitions, adding Garrett Cooper, Scott Barlow, Ji Man Choi and Rich Hill. Their mini-buying spree may have been motivated by arguably their strongest series of the season, as they swept the first-place Rangers and outscored them 16-4. They were in Colorado during the deadline and took two of three against the Rockies. A win today would put them at .500 for the first time since May 11, a day before the Dodgers began a sweep against them in LA.

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6:40 PM San Diego
2B Betts 2B Kim
1B Freeman (L) RF Tatis Jr.
C Smith LF Soto (L)
DH Peralta (L) 3B Machado
RF Heyward (L) SS Bogaerts
3B Taylor 1B Cronenworth (L)
CF Outman (L) DH Choi (L)
SS Rosario C Campusano
LF Hernández CF Grisham (L)
P Miller (R) P Darvish (R)

Bobby Miller is still a Dodger thankfully, and he gets the start tonight. Miller was stupidly included in a lot of trade rumblings despite being the best healthy starter right now (which is not a hard bar to get over). Miller didn’t have the best July, as he allowed 11 runs and 21 hits in 21 1/3 innings and only completed six innings once in his four starts. He did strike out 24 and only issued two walks (and hit two batters), but allowed four homers in those four games after allowing only two homers in his first seven outings. Miller’s last start came last Friday against the Reds, and in true Dodger fashion had an extremely rough beginning to his outing. He allowed a leadoff triple that scored on a groundout, then allowed a double and a homer for a three-run first. He then turned it around and allowed only two baserunners over the next four innings before giving way to the bullpen. Tonight will be his first look at the Padres.

Yu Darvish makes his 20th start of the season tonight. Darvish has a 4.53 ERA/4.11 FIP/1.286 WHIP in 107 1/3 innings this season and is coming into tonight off one of his strongest outings of the season. He held the Rangers to three hits and two walks over six shutout innings while striking out nine. The start before was not as friendly, as the Pirates hit four homers off him and scored seven in 4 1/3 innings. Darvish saw the Dodgers on May 5 and allowed a run in the first, but allowed only one more baserunner over the next five innings. The Dodgers got a second run off him (this one unearned) in the seventh before he got pulled, and the Padre bullpen held on for a 5-2 win.

According to Baseball Savant, Darvish has thrown eight different kinds of pitches this season with none of them being thrown over 20 percent of the time. His most-used pitch has been a sweeper, which he throws 18.8 percent of the time and has a 30.6 percent whiff rate. He throws a slider 18.2 percent of the time and it’s been getting hammered this season, with a .441 average and .780 slugging against it (expected numbers are a bit better but still not great, .330 and .539, respectively). He throws a sinker and four-seamer, 18.1 and 16.3 percent of the time respectively. He’s thrown a curveball 11.1 percent of the time and it has a 42.2 percent whiff rate. He’s thrown a cutter 9.7 percent of the time, splitter 7.7 percent of the time and he’s thrown two pitches tracked as changeups.

Max Muncy remains out of the lineup after being hit by pitch on the wrist and pulled from last night’s game. Chris Taylor starts at third with David Peralta at DH. Enrique Hernandez and Amed Rosario both get the start against a righty after starting the last three games against Oakland lefties.


A non-surprising roster move.

Emmet Sheehan got a four-inning save last night in relief of Julio Urias, and was rewarded by being optioned. He figured to be the odd man out of the rotation with two deadline acquisitions. Ryan Yarbrough was activated.


Potentially related.

Lance Lynn will start Sunday and Tony Gonsolin will start the weird Monday afternoon finale. Tomorrow’s starter is still TBD, and while it’s not revealed yet whether Yarbrough will be used as a starter or reliever, he last pitched on Sunday, so it seems pretty easy to slot him in.


Some injury updates.

J.D. Martinez is out of the lineup as promised yesterday, and should be back tomorrow. He should be able to hit tonight if needed. Muncy can run but will also seemingly be out tomorrow. Clayton Kershaw played catch today and will likely throw a bullpen. He might return next week.


First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 PM PT 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.