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Reeling Dodgers open series with Padres

Scott Cunningham

LOS ANGELES -- If the baseball season were a golf course, the Dodgers would be in the deep rough as they welcome the Padres to town for a three-game series at Dodger Stadium.

The club has lost three straight games for the third time this season, and though they have yet to lose four straight games now seems like a time an extended skid could be coming.

Winning the division — owning a 3½-game lead in the National League West entering Tuesday — is still the goal, having the best record in the NL is still within reach — currently 1½ games behind Washington — but for the most part the Dodgers are just trying to get by at this point, to save par if you will.

Hanley Ramirez and Juan Uribe are currently on the disabled list, and while Miguel Rojas (defensively) and Justin Turner have filled in admirably to date, the bench is weakened with their climb up the depth chart. The offense is averaging just 3.44 runs per game in its last 34 games, including 15 games of two or fewer runs during that time.

In the Dodgers' last 18 home games they have scored 50 runs, only 2.77 runs per game. But even with the lack of scoring the club is 9-9 at Dodger Stadium during that span, thanks to great pitching.

But even that gets tested now, with Hyun-jin Ryu and Josh Beckett on the disabled list. Newcomers a Kevin Correia and Roberto Hernandez have each gotten off to great starts after their August acquisitions, with three six-inning starts allowing a total of four runs with 15 strikeouts and five walks. But to count on that going forward based on their full-season performances could be unwise.

Among the 164 pitchers to have made 10 starts in 2014, here is the current back end of the Dodgers' rotation:

  • Dan Haren: 127th in ERA (4.59), 144th in ERA+ (77), 132nd in FIP (4.50)
  • Hernandez: 77th in ERA (3.72), 83rd in ERA+ (99), 127th in FIP (4.42)
  • Correia: 137th in ERA (4.79), 128th in ERA+ (83), 113th in FIP (4.25)

Correia gets the call on Tuesday night against San Diego, starting against one of his former teams. It is his second start against the Padres this month, having allowed three runs in six innings against San Diego on Aug. 6.

The general formula for the Dodgers is to get six innings out of their starers, something Correia has done 10 times in his last 12 starts, including exactly six innings nine times, with a 3.52 ERA during that span.

The Dodgers are 7-3 in 10 games against the Padres this season, with little to no offense in their matchups. The Dodgers have outscored San Diego 27-22 this season, with more than six combined runs scored only twice, both Dodgers losses.

But continuing this tortured, forced golf analogy, a baseball season is split into 18 nine-game segments, and the Dodgers are through 14 of them. The next nine-game segment begins Tuesday night, and the team that tees off will likely end up winning.

Enter Correia, who at 2-for-2 is one of five players in Dodgers history to bat 1.000 with at least two career plate appearances.

Game info

Time: 7:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA