Dodgers Team News

Dodgers vs. Giants Preview: Paul Maholm Makes First Start As A Dodger

[new_royalslider id=”23″] After taking two of three from the San Diego Padres earlier in the week, Opening Day at Dodger Stadium didn’t go as planned as the San Francisco Giants scored six runs off Hyun-Jin Ryu in the first inning. The Giants added two more runs in the second and hung on for the 8-4 win, ending the Dodgers two-game winning streak.

Looking to right the ship for the Dodgers will be Paul Maholm, who signed with the team in the off-season as the Dodgers were in search of options for a fifth starter. Manager Don Mattingly wound up giving the final spot in the rotation to Josh Beckett, but injuries to Beckett and Clayton Kershaw have the Dodgers short on starters and thus Maholm finds himself in the rotation. Maholm appeared in three games this spring, starting two of them and finishing with 0-1 record and 7.04 ERA. The left-hander’s only appearance in the 2014 regular season was a brief outing in the second game of the Opening Series.

Maholm appeared in 26 games with the Atlanta Braves last season, all starts, going 10-11 with a 4.41 ERA. He went 1-1 in September over four starts and didn’t appear in any postseason games. Maholm’s only start against the Giants last season came in a May loss, where he pitched 4.1 innings and allowed six runs on eight hits. Among the Giants expected to be in the starting lineup, Hunter Pence has had the highest number of at-bats against Maholm. In 49 career plate appearances against Maholm, Pence is hitting .306 with nine RBIs.

Madison Bumgarner, who is 5-2 lifetime at Dodger Stadium with a 1.86 ERA takes the mound for the Giants. To no surprise when taking into account that record, not many Dodgers have had success against the left-hander. A 13-game winner in 2013, Bumgarner got a no-decision in his first start this season. On Opening Day against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Bumgarner managed to throw just four innings, allowing four runs on six hits. Bumgarner faced the Dodgers four times last season, going 3-1 with his lone loss coming at Dodger Stadium when the Dodgers were in the midst of a six-game winning streak.

Yasiel Puig, who was scratched from the lineup on Friday for arriving late, is starting on Saturday. Not only is Puig starting, he’s batting leadoff as part of an all right-handed outfield for the Dodgers, which also means Matt Kemp is making his second consecutive start. Mattingly downplayed Puig’s late arrival while speaking with the media after the game and the young right fielder’s return to the lineup isn’t much of a surprise. In limited at-bats against Bumgarner, Puig is hitting .222 with one home run and four strike outs.

The 1:10 PM PT start can be seen on Fox Sports 1, which is a welcomed change as thousands are still without access to SportsNet LA due to ongoing negotiations between Time Warner Cable and other carriers. Robin Thicke is scheduled to perform prior to the game.

Dodgers lineup

RF: Puig

2B: Turner

SS: Ramirez

1B: Gonzalez

CF: Kemp

LF: Van Slyke

3B: Uribe

C: Ellis

P: Maholm

Giants lineup

CF: Pagan

RF: Pence

3B: Sandoval

C: Posey

LF: Morse

1B: Belt

2B: Hicks

SS: Crawford

P: Bumgarner


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