Today is the last off day for the Los Angeles Dodgers before they begin what could be five straight games in a row, as they take on the San Diego Padres in the NLDS.
The Dodgers last played on Thursday, when they won a best-of-three series in two games against the Milwaukee Brewers. They have since traveled from Los Angeles to Arlington Texas, where the best-of-five series will be played against the team to the south.
The format for the NLDS and NLCS are both having all games without a break in between, seemingly giving the team with the deeper pitching rotation the edge. As of this writing, it is still uncertain whether the Padres will be without two of their starters, Dinelson Lamet and Mike Clevinger. Both pitchers have been sidelined by injuries for the past two weeks or so, and were hoping to make it back in time for the NLDS.
Padres manager Jayce Tingler told reporters today that he was encouraged with what he was seeing, but still could not say when either pitcher would return to the rotation. “Both guys had very good days yesterday. Seems like I’ve said that five, six, seven days ago, so I’m a little bit hesitant, you know, we’ll have a good day and then a half step back”.
If either or both do end up returning to the rotation, one would imagine it wouldn’t be until later in the series. As of now, the Padres have not named their Game One starter. The Pads are coming off of a winner-take-all game against the St Louis Cardinals, where nine of their pitchers combined for a nine inning shutout.
Zach Davies and Chris Paddack did not pitch well in the Wild Card series. Davies pitched 2.0 innings, allowing four earned runs including a homer. Paddack pitched 2.1 innings, giving up six runs on eight hits with a homer.
Regardless, the Dodgers should be able to handle any pitching the Padres throw at them. Dodgers fans are weary, after having watched their offense go cold in several of the last postseasons.
The Padres offense is what worries me most, however. They are young, talented, and hell bent on taking the Dodgers down. They feed off of one another and could put up some serious run, quickly. Dodger pitching will have to just stick to what they’ve done all season, and hope that Walker Buehler’s blister doesn’t get any worse.
Buehler today told reporters that his blister was “good, same as it has been”. He went on to say “I expect to be myself regardless of it. That’s kind of how I operate”. Manager Dave Roberts said that there is no “hard number” of pitches or innings in Buehler’s start tomorrow.
Walker went four innings in his last outing in the Wild Card series, and five or six in tomorrow’s game would be a huge boon to the Dodgers bullpen. If the Dodgers could then get some solid length from Clayton Kershaw like he’s been giving, they will be in great shape for the series.
After workouts today, both Justin Turner and Mookie Betts addressed the team. No doubt they were discussing what it will take to get through the next three series, and how they will handle things. Betts told reporters that after they lost the first game to the Padres in their last regular season series, they talked amongst themselves and then came out and played their style of ball.
If the Dodgers can do that, they will be moving on to the NLCS. This team has everything they need to get to the World Series, they just need to play as they have all season, remembering their style of baseball.
Game times and stations for the NLDS –
Tuesday – 6:38 PT on FS1
Wednesday- 6:08 PT on FS1
Thursday – 6:08 PT on MLBN
Friday* – 6:08 PT on FS1
Saturday* – 5:08 PT on FS1