The Dodgers return home for a brief 3 game homestand against the San Diego Padres, and Dodger fans are guaranteed to have a bitter taste in their mouths.
It was just last Thursday that the Dodgers and Padres have a benches-clearing brawl down in San Diego that resulted in a broken collarbone for Dodger pitcher Zack Greinke. Speculation abounds about how the Dodgers may retaliate to the incident, but with a weekend to think about things, hopefully cooler heads will prevail and this series will not be marred by attempts to gain payback from last Thursday’s incident.
The Padres will be short Carlos Quentin, who picked up an 8 game suspension as the result of the fracas. Many around the Dodger organization and the fan base believe Quentin should have received more, with Manager Don Mattingly stating he believed that Quentin shouldn’t be able to play again until Greinke is able to return to the mound.
The Dodgers come into the series with a 7-5 record, good for fourth place in a tight National League West race that sees them only 1 1/2 games back of the first place San Francisco Giants. The Padres have fallen behind the rest of the NL West pack, with a record of 2-10 and on a 5 game losing streak, putting them 6 1/2 games off the division lead and in last place. On the season, the Dodgers own a 2-1 record against the Padres, and will look to build on that record over the next 3 games.
Here’s how the two teams will match up for this series.
Tonight will see the Dodgers send Chad Billingsley (1-0, 1.50 ERA) to the mound against the Padres’ Eric Stults (1-1, 3.60 ERA.) In their previous matchup last Wednesday, Billingsley stifled the Padres bats despite clearly not having his best stuff, going 6 innings, allowing 5 hits and only one earned run. Stults found himself getting knocked around a bit, finishing up with 5 innings pitched, giving up 3 earned runs with on two Dodger home runs at Petco Park.
Also tonight, the Dodgers will honor Jack Robinson. It was on this day in 1947 that Jack Roosevelt Robinson made his major league debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Pregame festivities featuring Robinson’s family and a statuette of Robinson, Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe
Game 2 will feature Chris Capuano (0-0, 0.00 ERA) making his first start of the season against Jason Marquis (0-1, 3.27 ERA.) Capuano has been reliable this season as a reliever and will fill into the spot in the rotation normally occupied by Zack Greinke. Marquis had no decision in his last outing, also against Los Angeles, and is looking to pick up his first win of the year.
The third and final game of the 3 game set will feature Clayton Kershaw (2-1, 1.16 ERA) going up against the Padres’ Tyson Ross (0-1, 4.82 ERA.) Kershaw has yet to give up a run at Dodger Stadium this year, while Ross is coming off an outing against the Rockies in which he went 5 1/3 innings and gave up 3 runs. Ross’s career record of 6-19 and career ERA of 5.30 can’t inspire confidence, but the big right-hander throws a fastball in the low 90’s which he pairs with a breaking ball in the mid-80’s with some bite to get strikeouts.
All 3 games have 7:10 p.m. local time starts and we’re expecting cool April evening temperatures throughout the evening, so bring a jacket with you to the ballpark to stay warm, grab a hot dog, and enjoy this brief homestand.