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Dodgers and Padres are back at it, 2 months later

Final Dodgers-Padres series at Petco Park in 2021

San Diego Padres v Arizona Diamondbacks
Padres manager Jayce Tingler has gone to his bullpen quite a lot in August.
Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images

It’s been two months since the Dodgers and Padres last met, but the two teams have gone in different directions since. They meet again for three games beginning Tuesday night in San Diego.

Fernando Tatis Jr. is an outfielder now, for instance. It’s a different world.

The Padres swept the Dodgers in three games at home from June 21-23 at Petco Park, which brought San Diego within a half-game of Los Angeles. The Dodgers were four games back of the Giants then, and the Padres 4½ games back in the National League West.

San Diego had a 2½-game lead over the Cubs for the second wild card spot, but in the two months since is just 23-26. The Padres are now a whopping 13 games back in the division and 10½ games behind the Dodgers. San Diego has even lost its hold on a playoff position, now one game back of the Reds.

If you want to look at one reason why the Padres have fallen back in the standings, let’s look at the schedule breakdown.

NL West standings

Team Overall record GB vs. LA/SD/SF vs. AZ/COL NL West record Games vs. LA/SD/SF Games vs. AZ/COL
Team Overall record GB vs. LA/SD/SF vs. AZ/COL NL West record Games vs. LA/SD/SF Games vs. AZ/COL
Giants 80-44 (.645) --- 13-12 23-6 36-18 (.667) 13 9
Dodgers 78-47 (.624) 2.5 11-15 21-5 32-20 (.615) 12 12
Padres 68-58 (.540) 13 11-8 17-18 28-26 (.519) 19 3
through August 23

The Giants and Dodgers have feasted on soft underbelly of the Rockies and Diamondbacks, while the Padres have. losing record against the dregs of the division. That includes San Diego dropping six of seven games in Denver and Phoenix on a disaster road trip that ended last week.

The Padres have a winning record against the Dodgers and Giants combined, fueled by winning seven of 10 games over the Dodgers. If they are to make up ground and get back into playoff position, San Diego will have to do it against the best in the division. The Padres only have three games left with the D-backs and none with the Rockies, but have 10 games against the Giants and nine against the Dodgers still to come.

Where the Dodgers and Padres are similar of late is heavy bullpen usage.

With injuries to starters Yu Darvish and Chris Paddack, San Diego has turned to relievers Craig Stammen, Reiss Knehr, and Matt Strahm to start a total of five games in August. Actual Padres starters have only pitched 69⅔ innings this month — 43.2 percent of the total — and have been mostly ineffective, with a 5.43 ERA. San Diego relievers in August have a 4.38 ERA, but that’s not too shabby considering the Padres bullpen is being asked to pitch, on average, over five innings per game this month.

The Padres on Monday fired pitching coach Larry Rothschild.

On Tuesday, San Diego is using the bullpen some more, starting with reliever Pierce Johnson on the mound. Johnson has pitched in 48 games this season, ranking sixth on the team. San Diego has five relief pitchers with at least 50 games pitched this season. The Dodgers have two (Blake Treinen and Kenley Jansen).

Dodgers starters in August have pitched 53.4 percent of innings but have posted a 2.05 ERA. The LA bullpen this month has averaged 4.25 innings per game, but with a 2.57 ERA.

Broadcast info

In addition to the local broadcasts, ESPN will televise each of the first two games of this series, with no blackouts. Dan Shulman and Eduardo Perez are on the call for ESPN on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Game info

Teams: Dodgers (78-47) at Padres (68-58)

Location: Petco Park, San Diego

Time: 7:10 p.m.

TV: SportsNet LA, ESPN