Going back to June when the Dodgers and Padres last met — or really anytime they’ve played each other this year — the story was still being shaped as two teams battling for the division. While San Diego has fallen out of contention in that race, they’re still a dangerous team fighting for a playoff spot that the Dodgers have lost seven of the last eight games to.
To be fair, only three of those games happened since April and the last three were played two months ago.
|Fri, Apr 16,||Petco Park||W, 11-6|
|Sat, Apr 17,||Petco Park||W, 2-0|
|Sun, Apr 18,||Petco Park||L, 5-2|
|Thu, Apr 22,||Dodger Stadium||L, 3-2|
|Fri, Apr 23,||Dodger Stadium||L, 6-1|
|Sat, Apr 24,||Dodger Stadium||W, 5-4|
|Sun, Apr 25,||Dodger Stadium||L, 8-7|
|Mon, Jun 21,||Petco Park||L, 6-2|
|Tue, Jun 22,||Petco Park||L, 3-2|
|Wed, Jun 23,||Petco Park||L, 5-3|
How bad has it gone for the Friars since sweeping the Dodgers at the end of June? San Diego has fallen from just a half-game behind the Dodgers to 10.5 and their pitching staff has been a mess. So much so that pitching coach Larry Rothschild was let go Monday, a day after the Padres fell a game behind the Reds for the second NL wild card spot.
As the Padres are leaking oil, the Dodgers are strengthening their resolve as they battle the Giants. Winners in 16 of the last 20, the Dodgers boast the best ERA (2.29) in baseball for the month of August and gained some ground this week in the NL West race.
The Dodgers will be getting back a prominent member of their rotation for this series. Julio Urías is expected to come off the injured list to make Tuesday’s start after missing 10 days with a left calf contusion. That would mean Urías, Walker Buehler and Max Scherzer in the three-game set.
A strong candidate for the Cy Young award, Buehler owns a 1.60 ERA since mid-May and needs only 30 strikeouts to reach 200 on the year. Scherzer has been every bit as good as expected when he was acquired at the trade deadline, allowing five runs in four starts that were all won by the Dodgers.
In all reality, San Diego only has two healthy starters that can go at least five innings.
Joe Musgrove has been solid all year and has allowed one or less runs in four of his last five starts and two or less in 17 of his 25 games overall. Blake Snell has looked much better in the month of August, looking like the pitcher the Padres thought they acquired in the offseason with a 2.45 ERA in four starts.
Beyond that, Ryan Weathers has gone more than four innings in a game just once since early June and has been hit hard in his last five games (four starts), giving up 28 runs in 17.2 IP (14.26 ERA). The lefty just tossed two innings Sunday in a relief appearance and could be part of a bullpen game at some point during this series.
With Yu Darvish and Chris Paddack on the injured list, the Padres had signed Jake Arrieta August 16. But Arrieta made just one start, left after getting one out into the fourth and promptly landed on the IL himself with a strained left hamstring.
Darvish could return during this series, though there has been no announcement of what day. Snell is penciled in for Wednesday and one of the games Darvish doesn’t start figures to be a group effort from the already taxed bullpen.
Another option could be bringing Musgrove back on regular rest for the series finale on Thursday.
- Tuesday, 7:10 p.m.: Julio Urías vs. TBD (SportsNet LA, ESPN)
- Wednesday, 7:10 p.m.: Walker Buehler vs. Blake Snell (SportsNet LA, ESPN)
- Thursday, 6:10 p.m.: Max Scherzer vs TBD (SportsNet LA)