The second game of the Dodgers and Padres series at Dodger Stadium will have a lot to live up to if it is to match the excitement of Monday's series opener. With Carlos Quentin expected back for the Padres after sitting Monday night, that just might do it.
Bud Black on Carlos Quentin vs. Dodgers - "Carlos wants to get in there to get the drama over with, we have turned the page"— MLB Network Radio (@MLBNetworkRadio) June 4, 2013
But the most likely Padre to get hit on Tuesday isn't Quentin. It's Clayton Richard.
The left-hander is just 1-5 with a 7.86 ERA this season, with an equal number of walks and strikeouts (18) in his 34⅓ innings. Opposing batters are hitting .315/.389/.601 off Richard this season. A number of Dodgers have abused him:
Hanley Ramirez, expected to be activated before Tuesday's game, is 9-for-10 with a double and a walk against Richard.
Adrian Gonzalez is just a notch below, at 8-for-10 with a walk.
Juan Uribe is 11-for-28 (.393) with three home runs, a double, a triple and three walks.
Nick Punto is 5-for-8 (.625), but he figures to sit with the return of Mark Ellis (4-for-13, .308 with a home run) after battling a light groin injury the last two games.
Andre Ethier is just 6-for-31 (.194) against Richard, but before thinking about an all right-handed outfield, remember that Jerry Hairston is 0-for-10 against Richard.
Yet despite these numbers, as well as Matt Kemp's success against Richard (13-for-35, .371 with five doubles and two home runs), Richard is 6-3 with a 3.19 ERA in 14 career starts against the Dodgers. It makes a little more sense when a lot of the success from Ramirez, Gonzalez and Uribe came with the Marlins, Red Sox and Giants, respectively.
Richard allowed two runs in five innings against the Dodgers in a no-decision on Apr. 9.
The Dodgers lead the National League with a .278 batting average against left-handed pitching this season, and their .744 OPS against southpaws is third in the league. But they are just 9-11 against left-handed starters this season, and have averaged just 3.25 runs per game.
Will that improve on Tuesday night?
On the other side, Ted Lilly goes for the Dodgers. He hasn't faced the Padres for over a year, but since joining the Dodgers he has owned San Diego. As a Dodger, Lilly is 6-2 with a 1.82 ERA in nine starts against the Padres, with 48 strikeouts and 14 walks in 54⅓ innings. He has allowed more than two runs during that span just once against San Diego, when he allowed all of three runs on Sept. 22, 2010.
Time: 7:10 p.m.