Padres @ Dodgers April 13, 2024: Gavin Stone on the mound in yet another rainy start

The Dodgers (10-6) opened their nine game homestand with an exciting slugfest against the Padres (8-8), yet couldn’t come through with the victory in extra-innings, ultimately losing 8-7. Their extra-inning woes of the last few years seem set to continue, off to an 0-2 start to the year in extras. That puts them at 18-30 (.375) in extras since 2021, which is puzzling to be honest. How a team that consistently wins 100+ games in the regular season manages to play like a 60 win team once it hits the tenth inning is almost unbelievable. The talent on the rosters alone over the last few years should’ve been able to get that close to .500 and it just hasn’t happened.

Hopefully they’ll kick that trend moving forward. Gavin Stone (9.00 ERA, 2.00 FIP, 2.13 WHIP) will be on the mound tonight making his third start of the season, up against the right-handed Knuckleballer, Matt Waldron (3.86 ERA, 2.72 FIP, 1.50 WHIP).

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6:10 P.M. Los Angeles
CF Merrill (L) SS Betts
RF Tatis Jr. DH Ohtani (L)
1B Cronenworth (L) 1B Freeman (L)
DH Machado C Smith
LF Profar (S) RF Hernández, T.
SS Kim 3B Muncy (L)
2B Wade (L) CF Outman (L)
3B Rosario LF Hernández, K.
C Higashioka 2B Lux (L)
P Waldron (R) P Stone (R)

The offense continues to be led by Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani, Freddie Freeman and Will Smith. Betts leads baseball in OPS at 1.202 with Ohtani seventh at 1.098. Ohtani leads baseball in extra base hits with 15, with Bobby Witt Jr. in second with twelve. Smith is second in baseball in batting average at .382, and while Freeman hasn’t quite found his power stroke yet, his .322 batting average is still amongst the best in baseball early this year.

Against right-handed pitching Max Muncy has been hitting fifth and Teoscar Hernández has been batting sixth, but they’ve been flipped in the order for the first time this year. With runners in scoring position, Muncy is slashing .208/.259/.333 with a 40.7% strikeout rate and just a 7.0% walk rate. He sports a 52 wRC+ and .593 OPS with runners in scoring position with two walks and eleven strikeouts, compared to a 177 wRC+ and 1.050 OPS with the bases empty with five walks and ten strikeouts. For Teoscar it’s been flipped, as he’s running a slashline of .318/.400/.682 for a 1.082 OPS and 187 wRC+ with runners in scoring position, compared to his performance with the bases empty, with a slash of .207/.258/.448 for a .706 OPS and 91 wRC+. Ultimately, this is why Teoscar has the second most runs batted in amongst all batters this year with 17 over 16 games.

Recently, Chad took a look at the issues plaguing the bottom of the lineup, as the team has had almost no offensive production past the sixth spot in the order. This trend continued last night as that stretch of the order went 0-14 with one walk over five different batters. Two or three hits from that part of the lineup likely changes the result of the game.

Stone had some tough luck in his last outing, going three innings in the cold and rain in Chicago. He was tagged with the loss after initially giving up five runs (one earned) on four hits and three walks with five strikeouts. However, within the last few days a previously recorded error was rescinded resulting in Stone being charged with all five earned runs. Tough break for him in a very forgettable day in Chicago. He has eleven strikeouts (26.8% strikeout rate) to four walks in eight innings which is encouraging to see, and is yet to allow a home run. He had just 22 strikeouts in 31 innings (14.5% strikeout rate) in the bigs last year, so it’s good to see his stuff gathering whiffs this season.

Waldron did not factor in the decision in his last outing, after yielding one unearned run on three hits and a walk over 5.1 innings. He had a rough season debut allowing four earned runs on nine hits over four innings, but had much more success in his second start. Through 9.1 innings he has twelve strikeouts to two walks, an encouraging start for him as he had just 31 strikeouts in 41.1 innings last year. Waldron features a five pitch mix, but is famous for his most frequently thrown pitch, a mid 70’s knuckleball. His four-seam fastball and sinker both sit in the low 90’s, and he infrequently mixes in a sweeper and cutter. I hope the Dodgers find a way to put runs on the board against Waldron, but I do hope he succeeds against all the other teams he faces. Knuckleballers are a rarity, and if a guy can succeed at the highest level with one, maybe it’ll lead towards a resurgence of the most interesting pitch in baseball.


Amidst everything going on with Ohtani off the field, he’s off to a blistering offensive start.


After a brief scare, it seems Walker Buehler is fine and is still on track to make his next start.


J.P. Feyereisen and Nick Ramirez are both with the team. The bullpen performance has been subpar to start the year, so it’s no surprise to see the team mixing things up.

Unfortunately, that comes at the cost of Bobby Miller and Connor Brogdon, who are headed to the IL. Brogdon going on to work out whatever the Dodgers see in him is fine, but Miller’s stint is definitely more concerning since he’s a young fireballer.

All you can do is hope, really.


First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 PT on SNLA, but will likely be delayed.

About Allan Yamashige

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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!