Padres @ Dodgers April 14, 2024: Darvish vs. Paxton on ESPN

The Dodgers (11-6) won the second game of their three game series against the Padres (8-9) last night by a score of 5-2. It was tight for awhile late, but the offense was able to put some runs on the board in the sixth inning to earn Gavin Stone the win. He had the best start of his professional career, going 6.2 innings allowing just two runs and was perfect through five. James Paxton will be on the mound up against old friend Yu Darvish on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.

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4:10 P.M. Los Angeles
2B Bogaerts SS Betts
RF Tatis Jr. DH Ohtani (L)
1B Cronenworth (L) 1B Freeman (L)
DH Machado C Smith
LF Profar (S) 3B Muncy (L)
SS Kim RF Hernández, T.
C Campusano CF Outman (L)
CF Merrill (L) LF Hernández, K.
3B Rosario 2B Lux (L)
P Darvish (R) P Paxton (L)

The Dodgers will run out nearly the exact same lineup as last night, with the sole difference being Max Muncy and Teoscar Hernández swapping spots in the order once again. Enrique Hernández added two hits while Gavin Lux and James Outman each added one of their own. The team had a bit of production from the bottom of the order and the Dodgers won. Easy formula for success.

The Padres switch things up a bit against the left-handed Paxton. Jackson Merrill goes from leading off to hitting eighth, Xander Bogaerts will be at second base instead of Tyler Wade, and Luis Campusano will be behind the plate instead of Kyle Higashioka.


Here’s how Darvish and Paxton compare. These are Paxton’s 2023 numbers compared to Darvish from this season. Darvish started in the Seoul series and now has a total of four starts this year, a decent enough sample to look at how his season has started, whereas Paxton has thrown just eleven innings over two starts.

Darvish went just three innings in his most recent outing, allowing four runs on four hits and three walks against the Cubs. He looked fine early, but eventually allowed six straight baserunners and was pulled early in his worst start of the year. He was coming off a strong seven inning outing against the Cardinals, so he’ll be looking to get back on track today. His first start of the year was against the Dodgers, going 3.2 scoreless innings on two hits and three walks. I couldn’t tell you what the game plan for hitters would be against Darvish. He throws six pitches, but up to eight if you include his cutter he’s thrown just ten times this year, and his knuckle curve which is a slightly faster and tighter variation of his primary curveball.

Paxton (1.64 ERA, 4.46 FIP, 1.18 WHIP) picked up his second win in as many outings in his most recent start against the Twins, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk over six innings. He only allowed four base runners, but was tagged for a pair of runs when former Dodger Manuel Margot hit a two-run homer in the third inning. Despite the two earned runs compared to his scoreless first outing, I think Paxton’s second start of the year was the better of the two. His command was significantly better with just one walk compared to five in his first outing, and went an inning longer due to the increased efficiency. His velocity is still down from last year, sitting at 93.4 MPH on his four-seamer, compared to 95.2 in 2023. He should be fine at 93-94, but getting back to 95+ would really raise his ceiling.


Mookie Betts is beyond great, leading baseball in both hits and walks.


Looks like either Kyle Hurt, Landon Knack, or both will be in the majors over the next week or so to cover the newly created hole in the rotation.

Andy Pages underwent surgery last June to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. There are generally some concerns about power hitters recovering from shoulder injuries, but Pages looks even better than he did before his season ending injury. He’s up to five home runs in fifteen games in Triple-A and sports an OPS of 1.163. He’s played just sixteen total games in Triple-A including one game last year, but the Dodgers need their best players on their roster come October. Chris Taylor and Kiké will have plenty of runway early in the year, but if a month from now neither of them have put it together and the 23 year-old Pages is still slugging, he might have to be added to the roster.


Dave Roberts said Blake Treinen will throw two more live BPs this week, then head out on a rehab assignment. Assuming there aren’t any setbacks, he can be expected back relatively soon.

Good news on Bobby Miller below, but bad news for Emmet Sheehan here.

Just need the best pitchers available later in the year.


First pitch is at 4:10 PT on ESPN.

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!