Dodgers @ Padres April 9, 2013: Happy Birthday, A.J

April 9, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

petcoLooks like Luis Cruz‘ season-opening hitless streak is going to last at least one more day, pending some late-inning switches, since he’s on the bench as the Dodgers head to San Diego to start their first road trip of the young season. A.J. Ellis celebrating his 32nd birthday, hits seventh.

I have to say, I do admire Don Mattingly‘s dedication to doing what he can to keep Andre Ethier away from lefties as much as possible, despite not really having anyone on the roster to legitimately platoon him with. Tonight, that means hitting Juan Uribe fifth and Ethier sixth. It’s terrifying to think of, but I’m sure the fact that Uribe’s two homers and ten hits against starter Clayton Richard has more than a little to do with it.

Dodgers
Padres
LF
Crawford
SS
Cabrera
2B
M.Ellis
RF
Venable
CF
Kemp
LF
Quentin
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Alonso
3B
Uribe
3B
Gyorko
RF
Ethier
2B
Amarista
C
A.Ellis
CF
Maybin
SS
Sellers
C
Hundley
P
Beckett
P
Richard

Today is likely also the final game with the club carrying a six man bench, since catchers Tim Federowicz & Ramon Hernandez are each still on the roster, at least until Federowicz gets sent down to make room for Chad Billingsley‘s return tomorrow. I’ve long loathed bloated pitching staffs, feeling that an extra bench player benefits the team on a daily basis far more than the last man out of the bullpen does, but it’s clear that ship has sailed. At least, I suppose, it’s not a 13 man staff, which hurt the Brewers in a big way the other night when they were forced to have Kyle Lohse bat with the game on the line.

The Padres are off to a rough 1-6 start, and it’s not hard to see why. Not only is Chase Headley injured and Yasmani Grandal suspended, this is the starting trio they’ll roll out against the Dodgers: Richard, Eric Stults, and Jason Marquis. Hey, I like Stults as much as anyone, but this is the kind of series you get your bats fat on, and Marquis vs Zack Greinke on Thursday just seems flat-out unfair. Of course, we’ll remember saying that when the final score is Padres 4, Dodgers 2.

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