Dodgers Sweep Padres in Penultimate Series of Regular Season

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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.

Max Muncy had two hits on the day, beat up and sore as he is. Will Smith also had to hits, and David Freese one. The rest of the lineup didn’t have much spark of which to speak.

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.

44 thoughts on “Dodgers Sweep Padres in Penultimate Series of Regular Season

  1. I’m thinking today’s performance sets up CK to start Game 1, followed by Ryu (much better at home) and then Buehler in Game 3. Everyone agree?
    May is really pushing to make the playoff roster which I, for one, didn’t think was going to happen until they used him back to back and he looked very nice doing it.
    Negron has turned out to be a nice pick up and although I wouldn’t bet any money on it, I think there’s a slight chance that Kike is traded this winter and Negron stays with the team. Not likely, but possible.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The scrubs were playing, and the Padre pitcher was making a meal of them. Very few hard hit balls. Vintage Kershaw though. After a rough first inning he cruised through the next 4. Had a long sixth, but got out unscathed. Bullpen did a great job. Take that Padres. 13-6 against you even with the Smirk on your team! Smirk, aka Manny Machado. Here is what they got for their 300 million, a .250 average, 30 homers and the highest strikeout total in his career. Glad the Dodgers let that guy walk.

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    1. Kike might get traded, but Negron does not have his power and he is a lot older. I would doubt they even re-sign him. He is 5 years older than Kike. Dodgers have so many interchangeable pieces. Turner entering final year of his deal. Freese and Ryu will be free agents. Personally I would love to see them sign Cole, but i do not see that happening.

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      1. I agree that the odds of their signing Negron again are slim, but I like what he’s done while he’s been here. A lesser team might be happy to have him. I hope he gets a major league contract from someone.
        I’d like to see them sign Cole but I’m guessing the Angels and Yanks will want him more than AF does.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. That I think we all can agree on. He had not played in almost a week until he made the PH appearance. But I honestly believe that what they do this offseason is really going to be dictated by what they do in the playoffs. They win it all, they will not be really aggressive with any kind of overhaul. They lose, and some heads are going to roll. Friedman has never had a team that has won it all, and although his job is relatively safe per se, they are going to have one pissed off fan base that a team this good did not go all the way. Is there such a thing as having too much talent? Even with all the guys they called up this year, they are loaded down there. Seemingly they can trade from strength and get the pieces that will finish the puzzle. But just look at the pitching rotation they can piece together next year and most of them really young, Urias, Buehler, May, Gonsolin, Kershaw, then down on the farm, Grey, with Strip and Maeda manning the starts those guys cannot. I doubt they spend the money to keep Ryu. But he does love LA so he might give them a home town discount, but then again, Boras is his agent. Joc is heading into his arbitration and he will no doubt get a huge boost from this year’s improvements and production. Muncy needs a permanent position, but Lux is going to play. Max at 3rd does not do it for me, 1st is probably where he ends up. Rios, Beaty are redundant. They both play basically the same position. Verdugo will be coming back and the outfield gets crowded again. Taylor is Kike with almost all the same tools. Lots of decisions to make. But I still think what they do in the playoffs is going to be the biggest factor in deciding what they do.

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      3. Good analysis Bear. I agree that the playoffs will have a major effect on the off season. I really hope Muncy doesn’t inherit third base. That said, he’s much more athletic than I give him credit for and maybe with lots of reps and not having to move around the diamond, he could become a good third baseman.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Scoop was talking about the Alvarez deal to the Astros. When traded, the kid had not really shown that kind of ability and he was a player without a position, aka Willie Calhoun. And the Dodgers needed a reliever badly. Fields was not terrible that first season, in fact he was pretty good and one of the more reliable arms out of the pen. He was even the 8th inning guy for a while. Alvarez is usually Houston’s DH. Big difference in the Astros and Dodgers is that Houston started from scratch. They blew it up and started all over and had a really rough patch there for a while. You think Dodger fans would stand for that? Attendance would plummet worse than it did when McCarackhead was in charge. The thing with LA now is that they keep reloading. Logan White and Colletti started that trend and drafted really well. The staff now is doing the same thing.

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  2. Edwin Rios will be 26 next year. Is he our replacement for Turner? If not he should probably should be moved. He’s been in the minors for 5 years with a slash line of .295/.348/.887. He can sure hit them a long way. Maybe if given a shot he can go Muncy for us.

    Hard to know what next year might hold. We have several players standing at the top of the slide.

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    1. I don’t think they consider him good enough defensively to be JT’s replacement but he doesn’t look all the bad around first base. Problem is, then what do you do with Muncy? I think Rios has also spent a little time in left field in the minors but I don’t know how successful that was. I do think he has shown enough the last couple of months to increase his trade value.

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      1. We didn’t know what we had in Alvarez. He had never even played for us yet. But yes, if Farhan could sign Josh Fields, then we could trade Rios for him. Excellent idea.
        Here’s another idea. Depending on what Joc’s trade value is, move him and have Rios replace him. Of course we could also trade Beaty. There just isn’t room on the roster for all three. One of them won’t be here next year because I don’t think it’s a good idea to send either Rios or Beaty back to the minors. If you’re thinking of doing that, it’s time to trade them.

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      2. “We didn’t know what we had in Alvarez.”

        Apparently not. But Houston did. We traded an everyday 5 WAR player for a <1 WAR reliever. Advantage Houston. It happens.

        As for who we trade, who pounds both side pitching like Alvarez does? Whoever that is, keep him.

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      3. It could be that Houston knew what they were getting in Alvarez or it could be that they threw a dart at three names and it happened to land on Alvarez. We’ll probably never know.

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      4. You may be right. Or it could be that Houston is as good as they are because they are extremely good at evaluating talent. We don’t have to wait and see if that’s true. They were better than us in ‘17, for about $117 million less, and they are currently better than us, for about $40 million less.

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      5. I think Houston is as good as they are because they excel at throwing darts. 🙂
        Let’s face it if you asked 100 baseball experts who the best organization is at identifying and working to develop talent, Houston would get the most votes, but I think we would be a close second.
        With regard to 2017, they turned out to be one game better than us and we each scored 34 runs in the WS so it isn’t like they totally dominated us.
        They may be better than we are today, but the important measuring stick is how things look after the last out of this year’s World Series.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. One other thing, Seager back in the lineup tonight. Turner might be back. No need to push either of them really. Belli will be back too. If you want a giggle, go to Yardbarker.com. They have a video of the Dodgers leaving Petco yesterday for their flight to SF, they are all in costume. Belli went as Lebron James. 4 of them went as the Ninja Turtles. Captain America was there too. Fitting, since they are headed to the costume ball of a city that is SF.

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  4. Love it, A’s called up a guy named Skye Bolt. Gotta love the name. Baseball has lost some of that color of the past with all the nicknames. My favorite was a guy who’s nickname was “Death to all flying things”. That’s just awesome.

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    1. Death to all flying things? Yoiks. That’s a bit much isn’t it?

      I saw the goofy get ups. Looked kinda strange to me. But, whatever. It’s good to be loose going into the most important stretch of a season any of these guys have ever been a part of.

      Jefe, Houston won a Game 7 on the road. That is a colossal Dodger hair ball gag that I will remember for as long as I am. Astros are current favorites to win it all – and rightfully so.

      Happy to see that Atlanta and St. Louis have cooled a bit, the Wild Card teams though are both on a roll. AL? Go Twins.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Have no idea. Half?

    I will say this… actually I’ve said it before. 1. The AL has advantage with the DH. Their DH is a cleanup hitter, the NL DH is a bench player. 2. I would rather start and finish on our field.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Here is a little history lesson Scoop. Of all their titles, the Dodgers won exactly one at home, and that year, 1963, they did not have home field. 59 they won game 6 in Chicago, 65, game 7 in Minneapolis, 81, in New York and 88 in Oakland. In 55 they also clinched in New York. Buehler gets Cueto tonight. Hill gets Bumgarner on Sunday.

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    2. Correctamundo! Well, actually it couldn’t be half of 39 could it, but going into 2017 it was 38 and they had been split 19-19. I would certainly rather have the home field advantage than not, but if we don’t have it that doesn’t mean we can’t win the series.

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  6. What happened in ‘63 or ‘88 has nothing to do with what is about to happen now.

    I didn’t suggest we couldn’t win the series. I merely stated the obvious – whoever has home field has an advantage. I do not want to face the best team in the American League with them having an advantage.

    So…. I was right. What’s the answer to the same question since the DH was implemented?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t mean to be argumentative here, but I’m being argumentative here. Why do you figure the team with the home field has an advantage when, in a decent sample size, it’s 50-50? Don’t know what the stats are since the DH and I’m probably going to be too lazy to look it up. I promise you, however, that if you do and it’s one sided, I will force my way on to the Wild Card Game telecast and tell the whole world that you know more than I do. Actually I can probably make that announcement even without your looking up anything.

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    2. 2 reasons. 1. I think the Astros are slightly better than us. On a neutral field we MIGHT be even money. 2. Their DH is probably better than ours. 3. Since the DH was implemented the AL has won more Championships. 4. We’ve lost the last two. 5. We have lost more World Series than anybody.

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    3. Disagree Scoop. Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Too many intangibles in play. Anything and everything can happen and the BEST team does not always win. That we know. Because the Dodgers have won a few times when they were not the best team on paper. The DH was used only twice last year, games 1 & 2. Kemp was the DH for the Dodgers. Martinez was the Red Sox DH. Kemp was 1-7 with a homer and 2 RBI’s. Martinez went 3 -7 no homers and 4 RBI’s. Martinez was the DH for a majority of the time. Kemp was coming off of a decent year, but a lot of inactivity at the end of the season. Advantage Boston. In 2017 the Dodgers DH’s were 3-8 with a homer and 3 RBI’s courtesy of Joc Pederson and Justin Turner who only hit there in Game 5 the 13-12 game. Houston’s DH, Evan Gattis went 2-8 with no homers and no RBI’s. seems to me like there was really not all that big a deal made by the DH.

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  7. Boston announced today that they are determined to get under the Luxury tax before next season. That is not going to be easy. They are at close to 160 committed for next year already. Also Tim Wallach is not returning to Miami next year.

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  8. I think,if the Dodgers don’t win again this year and the offense struggles AF goes after Rendon and finally signs a big free agent. That moves Turner to first where Rios will spell him and Muncy moves to second. Lux will have to wait another year until Turner to moves into a utility role. We need to balance this offense with a big right handed bat and the pressure will,ramp up to do something big if we don’t win it all! And I bet Hill comes back on a lower salary incentive laden contract

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    1. On the face of it Rich, everything you say makes sense, except that I just can’t imagine Friedman making a decision as big as going after Rendon based on the results of a 7-game (or less) series.

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      1. This place has picked up. I like it!

        Lux plays second, Muncy plays first, Seager goes to third (we sign Kirby Hoover at short) Rios plays first and third, Turner plays third and utility, Hernandez plays everywhere as does Taylor, Beaty plays first and third…… how am I doing?…….

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Kirby Hoover sucks, but at short that’s a good thing.

        Add Rendon to the third base pool. We’re stacked at the corner infield positions.

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      3. Hoover sucks – one of your better ones.
        Luckily the readership here is ancient, because no one under the age of 95 would have a clue what you’re talking about.

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  9. I think we need a big move if we don’t get it done this year and Rendon is an AF type player. Patient, productive with power and a quality person. If AF won’t sign him then its official- he’ll never sign a big free agent not a Dodger. Interesting how a lot of teams have extended their top young players but not Dodgers. It will be interesting when Seager, Belly, Buehler, Urias come do and what AF will do? Don’t think the fan base will be too happy letting your young home grown talent leave. I know I won’t be

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    1. Bellinger, Urias and Buehler all have four years of control remaining and aren’t likely to sign extensions at this point considering how their careers have blossomed. Also, Belli and Urias are represented by Boras.
      Seager on the other hand, although also repped by Boras only has two years of control remaining. I could see Friedman at least trying for an extension at some point next year, assuming that Corey stays healthy.

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