Apr 6, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General view of the MLB game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Padres (40-51) head to Los Angeles to take on the division rival Dodgers (51-42) for four games. The Dodgers are currently in a first-place tie with the Giants after getting roughed up by the Tigers earlier this week. They are 3-5 in the month of July. The Padres are coming off of a tough series loss to the Rockies, where the their bats showed up but didn’t show up in the clutch. Hopefully, the Friars can reverse that trend against LA.
Game 1 looks to be a pitching clinic as Odrisamer Despaigne (2-0, 0.92 ERA) pitches against Cy Young candidate Clayton Kershaw (10-2, 1.85 ERA). Despaigne has been nothing but impressive in his 3 starts for the Friars, pitching at least 6 innings in every start while only allowing 2 runs. Kershaw has been nothing short of dominant. He pitched a no-hitter a few weeks ago and he hasn’t allowed a run since. In fact, he has pitched 36 consecutive scoreless innings.
Game 2 features the young gun Jesse Hahn (4-2, 2.34 ERA) against the veteran Dan Haren (8-5, 4.06 ERA). Hahn faced adversity for the first time in 4 starts last time out, but he responded well, pitching 7 innings and striking out 5. Haren got roughed up for 8 earned runs his last outing, only pitching 5.1 innings against the Rockies.
Ian Kennedy (7-9, 3.71 ERA) is slated to pitch Game 3 for the Padres. The Dodgers have not officially announced a starter. Kennedy got a win in his last start pitching well against the Rockies in a 7-inning, 9-strikeout performance.
In the finale, the Dodgers have Hyun-Jin Ryu (9-5, 3.65 ERA) on the hill. The Padres have not announced a starter officially but it is Tyson Ross’s (7-9, 2.93 ERA) spot. He is going to Minnesota next week for the All Star Game and if he were to pitch Sunday’s finale, he would most likely be left out of pitching in the game in Minneapolis. Ryu was roughed up in his last start against the Tigers who tagged him for 7 runs on 10 hits.
Former Padre and Eastlake High School alum Adrian Gonzalez leads the Dodgers in both home runs (14) and RBI (58). All-Star Yasiel Puig leads the team with a .307 average. Dee Gordon, also deserving of his invite to Minnesota, leads the league with 42 stolen bases.
The key to a series win is simple: score early. The Padres bullpen is far superior’, but the Dodgers starting pitching will be tough. Padres’ hitters must get to them if they want a chance to win this weekend at Dodger Stadium.