The Padres enter an elimination game after going down 0-2 to the Dodgers in the NLDS.
After finishing the 2019 season with a 70-92 record, amidst all the injuries and underperformances, there was a sense that the Padres organization was on the cusp of being very good for a very long time. And the shortened 2020 schedule proved that to be true, but the Friars had terrible luck at the worst time.
With both Dinelson Lamet and Mike Clevinger going down right before the regular season ended, they needed both of them to make a deep postseason run. The latter returned for Game 1, but he didn’t last long at all, as his velocity continued to drop with every pitch. Now Clevinger’s 2021 season may be in question.
So turning the page to Game 2, Zach Davies was on the bump against Clayton Kershaw. The Padres got on the board first with a Wil Myers double, but then the Dodgers answered with four runs of their own. Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer went back-to-back in the sixth inning, closing the deficit to just one.
And the talk of the night was Cody Bellinger. Aside from his solo shot in the fourth inning, he robbed Fernando Tatis Jr. of what would have been a go-ahead two-run homer. Instead, it symbolic that the Padres just aren’t ready yet, and it also helps the Dodgers that the Friars are without their top two pitchers, minds you.
Los Angeles pulled away in the seventh inning, tacking on two more runs, and while the Padres did their best to rally, they came up just one run short. And now they are on the brink of elimination. We knew that San Diego would eventually have to beat LA if they wanted to advance in the postseason.
I just assumed they’d have Lamet and Clevinger at full strength for the series. Adrian Morejon takes the mound for Game 3, but it’s likely going to be all hands on deck to stave off elimination. It also doesn’t help when the offense — while putting up 5 runs — went 1-for-8 with RISP. That simply won’t do.