Game 143 Preview: San Diego Padres (66-76) at Los Angeles Dodgers (81-62)


The San Diego Padres can look at the final three weeks in one of two ways: the first would be as an opportunity to give some of their top and fringe big league ready prospects a long audition. The second would be to keep rolling out the same guys that haven’t gotten it done all season, and expect a beating night in and night out, until the schedule makers at Major League Baseball finally say enough after 162 games. Either way, odds are good the Padres’ final three weeks, along with their ice-cold bats will struggle and limp to the finish line of 2014.

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On the other side of the diamond, stand the Los Angeles Dodgers, winners of 81 games to this point, and have to be considered the favorites to represent the National League in the World Series come this Fall. Don Mattingly‘s squad just seems to have “it” in terms of being a possible team of destiny. It also doesn’t hurt that they have the best pitcher on the planet, and some believe, the National League MVP in Clayton Kershaw. He starts the series opener tonight at Dodger Stadium, and should breeze through a Padres’ team that was shut out not once, but twice in three games this past weekend in Denver against the Rockies.

If Franklin Morales can look like an elite pitcher against the Padres, be sure to tune in tonight, as Kershaw could throw another no-hitter. The Friars were no-hit earlier this season by former Giants’ ace Tim Lincecum. Getting the call tonight for the Padres, is rookie right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne. Unfortunately for the Cuban, he’s pitching on the road, where he has gotten massacred this season, posting a 1-4 record with an ERA of almost 4.50 in six starts. Yasmani Grandal is hitting exactly .500 against Kershaw in 8 at-bats, but that was when he was healthy and could hit.

Tonight’s lineup for the Padres courtesy of Friarwire.

Don’t expect to see much damage against Kershaw in this match-up. The game could take less than 2 hours, and the Padres’ futility at the dish will most likely continue. For the Dodgers, former Padres’ first baseman Adrian Gonzales had a huge game over the weekend, driving in six. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. PDT.

Keep the Faith. For three more weeks at least.