San Diego Padres: Series against Dodgers reveals gulf between two organizations

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LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 26: Chase Utley
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 26: Chase Utley /
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The San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers are not close to the same level, evident based on the results of the head-to-head matchups the teams have had.

The Padres’ final series against the Dodgers this year ended much as the season began with a humiliating 10-0 shellacking. On April 3, the Padres at least scored three runs but still lost by nine. Overall San Diego’s record against Los Angeles stands at 6-13 this year. Obviously, the local team must improve dramatically against the foes to the north to have any hope of becoming competitive.

In fact, the Padres have a huge hill to climb just because of the strength of the opponents in the division. According to ESPN’s latest MLB Relative Power Index, the Dodgers rank first, the Arizona Diamondbacks fourth, and the Colorado Rockies ninth in all of baseball.

Only the San Francisco Giants at 28th rank below the Padres (21st). And no one can count out the Giants, the team which won it all in 2010, 2012 and 2014. Currently, the Giants and Detroit Tigers are tied for last place in wins at 62 and in line for top draft picks. Repeatedly Brian Sabean, San Francisco’s executive president of baseball operations, has proven his ability to not only draft well but to bring in one or two veteran players who solidify the lineup just at the right time.

This last game against the Dodgers started badly and just got worse. In the bottom of the first inning, Yangervis Solarte airmailed a throw to first, and Clayton Richard walked the next batter. Both runners scored.

“It was sloppy baseball from the first play,” Andy Green said after the game according to a report by AJ Cassavell and Joshua Thornton of MLB.com. “It was a frustrating series altogether because our team’s fought so hard to create some sort of identity that we grind out games, that we fight and compete.”

Instead, the Padres gave it away from the beginning, while their opponents outclassed them in all areas of the game. San Diego managed three hits and three walks but struck out 14 times, left 11 men on base and made two errors total.

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Even more galling, the Dodgers have two young stars that the team drafted and developed. Last year Corey Seager, a shortstop (a premium position that has become a black hole for the Padres), unanimously won the Rookie of the Year for the National League, and this year Cody Bellinger deserves the honor. By comparison, the last Padre to win the award? Benito Santiago in 1987.

The Dodgers also drafted ace Clayton Kershaw, often called the best pitcher on the planet. He has a career 144-64 record overall, to say nothing of a 0.89 ERA against the Padres this year. Kershaw will certainly be in contention for the Cy Young award. The last Padre to win that award? Jake Peavy in 2007.

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Awards aside, the Padres have formidable rivals, especially the Dodgers, in their own division. The gulf between the teams must be closed in order for the Padres to reach .500 let alone actually compete.

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