Padres: The National League Division Series is shaping into a thrilling battle

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
2 of 4
San Diego Padres Mike Clevinger
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Padres: Clevinger and Lamet need to pitch

Somehow, the Padres managed to reach the NLDS without their top two starting ‘aces’ in Mike Clevinger and Dinelson Lamet. As we have seen night in and night out, the pure grit and determination of this team shined bright as many players stepped up their production to fill the painful void.

More from Friars on Base

As the series kicks off Tuesday night in Arlington, there is cautious optimism both arms will be available. However, as reported by Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times, according to Padres manager Jayce Tingler, the availability for both will be last-minute decisions.

If either one or both cannot pitch from the get-go, it severely hampers hope for the Padres. There will be no days off, meaning starting pitching will be the factor for the remaining teams in the postseason. As impressive as the bullpen was in game three versus the Cardinals, the same is not going to work against a Dodgers team who led all of baseball with 118 home runs during the regular season.

One thing to keep in mind for this Padres offense is that they face Walker Buehler in game one. Buehler was not his usual self this season, and with the Dodgers going to Clayton Kershaw in game two, you never know what that will hold and which Kershaw will show up. The bare bones of it, however, come down to Clevinger and Lamet’s availability as it would close the gap and give the Padres a fighting chance.