It’s hard to believe that there are just three games left in the 2019 regular season, but here we are. The Dodgers just finished up their final series against the San Diego Padres, sweeping them in a tidy 1-0 win. They are now have 103 wins on the season, and still have a shot at besting the 2017 who had 104 wins, and beating the Dodgers all-time regular season win total of 105.
In the series finale, Clayton Kershaw started out a little unsteady, allowing a fly ball that might’ve been out in most parks, followed by a double and a walk. He worked his way out of the jam, while expending 20 pitches. He was sharp until the fifth, where while he got the Padres to go 1-2-3, he ended the inning at 75 pitches. He got through six scoreless on 90 pitches and while he tried his best to lobby for another inning, his day was done. He recorded most of his outs on the slider, collected seven strikeouts, had the fastball working on both sides of the plate. Sixty-six of his 90 pitches were strikes, and all in all looked really good, especially after his last six outings where he allowed 13 home runs.
Dustin May relieved him in the seventh, striking out two and finishing the inning in record time, setting down the Padres 1-2-3. He looks ready to be a sixth or seventh inning guy in the postseason. Pedro Baez walked the first batter he saw, but then retired the next three.
The ninth inning went the same way of the eighth, but with a little more stress. Adam Kolarek was brought in to face a lefty, but the Padres countered with a right handed pinch hitter in Wil Myers. Kolarek promptly walked him, and was replaced by Kenta Maeda. While he didn’t locate all his pitches, he did when it counted. He struck out Manny Machado and Hunter Renfroe, and retired the last batter to gather his third save of the season.
The Dodgers offense was stagnant, waiting until the sixth inning to get their third hit and first run of the game. They scored on a Muncy hit and an aggressive send by Dino Ebel of Chris Taylor. It would be all they would score in the game.
Both Corey Seager and Justin Turner sat out Thursday’s contest due to Manager Dave Roberts wanting to be overly cautious. Turner felt a tweak in his back during batting practice on Thursday morning, and Seager felt a slight hamstring pull in Wednesday night’s game.
With the division and home field throughout the NL side of the playoffs secured, the Dodgers have plenty of room to be cautious. That doesn’t mean that Dodger fans don’t have some reason to worry. Besides Cody Bellinger, Seager and Turner are the biggest keys to the Dodgers offense. Losing one or both would be a huge blow to their scoring capabilities. As the Dodgers don’t start the playoffs until a week today, let them rest the whole week if they need. Just hope that for both, that’s all they need.
The Dodgers now head north for their final series of the regular season, against the San Francisco Giants.