Despite continued bullpen issues, the Los Angeles Dodgers are back to their consistent winning ways.
The Dodgers are 12-5 for the month of June and 10-2 over their last 12 games. They are 1.5 games out of first place in the NL West.
Los Angeles is coming off of a three-game sweep of the lowly Arizona Diamondbacks. But now their schedule gets a little tougher. To finish out the month of June, the Dodgers will take on the San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs, and NL West leading San Francisco Giants.
The last time the Dodgers and Padres played, it was the end of April, and the two teams played two series in 10 days, three in San Diego and then four in Los Angeles. The Dodgers took two of three in the first series and lost three of four at home, which coincided with their 5-15 slide. It was speculated that the team was so drained from dealing with the high energy series that it took them awhile to recover.
Of course, the Dodgers were dealing with the loss of Cody Bellinger, among others. Dustin May went down a week later. Many pieces of the bullpen were injured. But slowly, the Dodgers have worked their way back to consistently winning, and the team is almost at full strength.
The Padres have been heading in the opposite direction, as of late. In first place in the NL West the last time the two teams played, the Padres are now in third place, five games behind the Giants. The Padres are 8-11 for the month of June, although they are coming off a four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds. Previous to that, they were swept by the Colorado Rockies in Denver.
As expected, Fernando Tatis Jr leads the team in about every offensive category. He has 22 homers and 13 stolen bases. He also has 15 errors at shortstop so far this season. Jake Cronenworth, who has become a thorn in the Dodgers’ side, is a close second behind Tatis Jr in most offensive areas. Tatis Jr had an off say on Sunday, after landing awkwardly on a diving effort on a play, but is expected to be in the Padres lineup on Monday.
Monday night’s game will see Julio Urías and Yu Darvish go head to head. The Padres had won 11 of the first 12 starts of Darvish, but have dropped the last two. He is 6-2 with a 2.57 ERA. Urías is going for what would be the NL leading to 10th win of the season.
Clayton Kershaw will be pitching on Tuesday for the Dodgers, and Wednesday will see Trevor Bauer as the Dodgers starter. The starting pitchers for the Padres for those two games have yet to be determined.
Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy, both of whom have been on the injured list, are slated to return to the team during this Padres series. Bellinger has been dealing with a hamstring issue, and Muncy has been recovering from an oblique strain. Lucky for Dodgers fans, Muncy seems to have overcome his injury quickly, as sometimes oblique injuries can take much longer.
The first two series provided a lot of fireworks, from Tatis Jr trolling Bauer after hitting a home run off of him by closing one eye while rounding the bases, to benches clearing after Dennis Santana plunked Jorge Mateo in the thigh, to Mookie Betts making an incredible game-saving catch in the outfield. This series should be just as entertaining, hopefully with the Dodgers coming out on top.