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Dodgers Need Giant Performance From Padilla Tonight

The Jackie Robinson tribute will continue tonight, with both the Dodgers and Giants all wearing number 42.
The Jackie Robinson tribute will continue tonight, with both the Dodgers and Giants all wearing number 42.

The Dodgers tonight renew their rivalry with the Giants, who come to Dodger Stadium atop the National League West with a 7-2 start.  Per the Giants, this is the first time in four years San Francisco has been in first place while playing the Dodgers.   Both the Dodgers and Giants have had their offenses helped by white-hot catchers:

Russell Martin    34 .364/.545/.591 1.136 .474 199 194
Bengie Molina 25 .455/.480/.682 1.162 .488 190 200

Vicente Padilla has pitched just 4 1/3 innings in each of his first two starts, becoming the first Los Angeles Dodger opening day starter to pitch fewer than five innings in each of his first two starts.  Here are the fewest innings pitched in the first three starts of the season by an LA Dodger opening day starter, a list Padilla will surely join after tonight.  Would you believe Don Drysdale tops this ignominious list?

Fewest IP, 1st 3 Starts, LA Dodger Opening Day Starter
Starter Year Start 1 Start 2 Start 3 Total IP
Don Drysdale 1958 3 2/3 5 2 1/3 11
Kevin Brown 2002 4 7 1 1/3 12 1/3
Ramon Martinez 1996 6 1 6 13
Don Sutton 1978 7 2 1/3 4 13 1/3
Bob Miller 1967 4 7 3 14
Bill Singer 1971 6 1 1/3 8 15 1/3
Don Drysdale 1969 6 2 2/3 6 2/3 15 1/3
Hideo Nomo 2004 5 6 5 16
Fernando Valenzuela 1984 3 6 7 16
Burt Hooton 1980 2 7 7 16

Mike Petriello of Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness and Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts had posts this morning showing the current state of the Dodger pitching staff, and the potentially scant few options available for tonight's game.  Petriello pontificated:

Available tonight (4):
Ramon Troncoso (probable closer)
Russ Ortiz
Carlos Monasterios
Jeff Weaver

So among your four-man, all-righty bullpen, that’s one good pitcher who was still your 4th or 5th best option entering the season (Troncoso), 2 non-roster veterans, and a Rule 5 pick – and that’s keeping in mind that Weaver pitched last night and on six of the previous nine days, and that Russ Ortiz is Russ Ortiz.

If there was ever a time for Padilla to pitch deep into the game, it's tonight.

Todd Wellemeyer, who got tagged with one of the two Giant losses last Saturday, will start for San Francisco.  Of the 130 pitchers who have thrown 100 innings since the beginning of the 2009 season, Wellemeyer's 5.89 ERA ranks 123rd.

Other Notes

  • Tony Jackson of ESPN LA has a wonderful article about Don Newcombe recalling his friend and teammate Jackie Robinson before last night's game.
  • Hong-Chih Kuo, who struck out two in his perfect inning in a rehab assignment in San Bernardino last night, is back in Los Angeles tonight, "to continue his rehab," according to the Dodger game notes.
  • The 58 runs scored by the Dodgers is tied for the third most by the club through their first nine games since moving to Los Angeles, behind 1977 (60) and 2005 (59), and tied with 2000.  The most runs scored by the Los Angeles Dodgers through 10 games is 69, by the 2006 club. (Source: STATS LLC)
  • David S. Cohen, of the Phillies' blog The Good Phight, took in Thursday's game against the Nationals with his son, and made an awesome catch of a foul ball.  It was shown during the broadcast, along with Cohen giving the ball to his son.  This is a must-watch video.
  • SB Nation has a new baseball blog dedicated to the MLB draft, called MLB Bonus Baby.
  • Both teams will wear number 42 tonight to honor Jackie Robinson.  The Giants were off Thursday, and didn't have a chance to honor Robinson.
  • Guitarist Slash will play the national anthem tonight

Xeifrank's simulation of today's game is here.

Game Time:  7:10pm


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