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Padilla Has Seen Some Of His Struggles Left Behind This Season

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Vicente Padilla, shaking hands with the (former) catcher
Vicente Padilla, shaking hands with the (former) catcher

The Dodgers and Braves are set to do battle in the third game of the series with a pair of pitchers who have been hot for the last month and a half.

A concern for Vicente Padilla heading into this season, among other things, was his performance against left-handed batters. Prior to 2010, left-handers hit .297/.380/.479 off Padilla in his career, but this season he has turned it around.

Vicente Padilla Against Left-Handed Batters
Year(s) PA BB% K% HR% BA/OBP/SLG OPS BABIP
1999-2009 3043 10.58% 13.70% 3.09% .297/.380/.479 .859 .321
2010 147 8.16% 19.73% 4.76% .147/.228/.333 .561 .126

It seems extremely difficult to find a batting average on balls in play lower than .126. I mean, that's just amazingly low. So there is likely some luck involved here. However, Padilla has shown improvement, in the form of a lower walk rate and a significantly higher strikeout rate. He has also allowed a very low 12.0% line drive rate off lefties, and his xFIP against them is 4.28 compared to 5.06 for his career. Padilla is 5-1 in his last eight starts with a 1.71 ERA while averaging 6.58 innings per start.

Padilla will not miss Chipper Jones today, as Jones has hit .314/.478/.457 in 46 career plate appearances against him. Alex Gonzalez has the next most PA against Padilla, and has just three hits in 23 at-bats, hitting .130/.231/.391.

Jair Jurrjens gets the call for the Braves today. After giving up three runs in just one inning in a start in St. Louis on April 29, Jurrjens was placed on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring. He was 0-3 with a 6.38 ERA, and was on the disabled list for two months. Jurrjens has made eight starts since rejoining the Braves, and he is 4-1 with a 3.14 ERA while averaging 6.46 innings per start.

Andre Ethier has three hits in six at-bats against Jurjjens, with six walks, for a stellar .750 on-base percentage.

Missing Martin

In the 10 games since Russell Martin was placed on the disabled list, Brad Ausmus and A.J. Ellis have combined for just four hits in 34 at-bats, hitting .118/.189/.147. In addition, opposing runners are 10 for 10 in stolen base attempts.

Notes

  • In the first two games of this series, neither team has a hit with runners in scoring position; the Dodgers are 0 for 9, and the Braves are 0 for 13
  • The Dodgers have scored two runs or less in 17 of 29 games since the All-Star break. They have won six of those games, a .353 winning percentage, more than double the National League winning percentage of .159 in such games
  • The Dodgers have had 20 quality starts in 29 games since the All-Star break, the most quality starts in baseball in that span, and their starters have a collective 2.92 ERA during that time
  • Scott Podsednik has had five straight multiple-hit games, tied for the fourth longest streak by a Dodger since 2000. The only streaks longer in the last 10 years were Rafael Furcal (seven games, earlier this season), Jose Cruz (six games, in 2005) and Paul LoDuca (six games, in 2003)

Get your guesses in for Xeifrank's game simulation here.

Game Time: 10:35 a.m.

TV:  Prime Ticket

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