The Padres season has come to an end at the hands of the Dodgers. Here are three takeaways from the NLDS.
With the Padres facing elimination, Jayce Tingler turned to 21-year-old Adrian Morejon in Game 3 of the NLDS against the Dodgers. The youngster had an impressive 1-2-3 first inning but ran into some trouble in the third inning. In all, he failed to record an out in the inning and gave up three earned runs on two hits while also walking two batters.
The Padres offense mustered only three runs, which hurt because they chased Dustin May after only an inning of work. The straw that broke the Padres spirit was the two-run single off the bat of Joc Pederson, making it a 6-2 ball game. From there, the Dodgers added two more, for an 12-3 final score and a clean sweep of San Diego.
For the Padres, it was a remarkable season and hopefully a glimpse of what it’s in store for the next decade. Here were my three takeaways from the NLDS.
1. Biggest “what if” series
What if the Padres had a healthy Mike Clevinger and Dinelson Lamet? The fact that they had a bullpen day in Game 1 and Game 3 says everything you need to know about the injuries the team sustained at the end of the regular season. Clevinger started Game 1, indicating he was good to go, but his velocity dipped with every pitch.
He lasted just one inning, allowing three walks and fanned one. From there, the Padres emptied their bullpen in a 5-1 loss. Losing their top two starters at the end of the regular season derailed the Padres’ postseason hopes. I, for one, am surprised they made it past St. Louis in this shape. We have to hope that Clevinger did not jeopardize his 2021 season.
2. Dodgers-Padres rivalry has been renewed
For years, the Padres were in the cellar of the NL West division and were of no concern to the Dodgers. However, these two teams figure to be very competitive for the foreseeable future. And emotions ran high in Game 2 after Cody Bellinger robbed Fernando Tatis Jr.‘s home run in the seventh inning.
Brusdar Graterol threw his hat and glove in celebration, which Manny Machado, who was standing on third, took exception. The two got into a war of words with Graterol eventually blowing a kiss toward Machado’s direction. The Padres third baseman followed with some NSFW words. This series should be fun to watch and I’d expect it to be Yankees-Red Sox levels of chippiness at times.
3. Padres aren’t quite there yet
Look, let’s be honest. The Dodgers were the favorites in this series, but I didn’t think the Padres would get swept convincingly. See takeaway number one, and it likely would have been a more competitive series. But the Dodgers have been knocking on the door of a World Series title for several years now. They added Mookie Betts in the offseason and signed him to an extension, and he looks to have put them over the top in this shortened season. Of course, anything can happen in the NLCS and potentially beyond. But the Padres made a flurry of moves at the deadline.
They will lose Jason Castro, Jurickson Profar, Garrett Richards, Kirby Yates, and Trevor Rosenthal, who are all unrestricted free agents. A couple may return next year, but it’s obvious that the Padres could use another bat and another arm. Losing an entire minor league season hurt MacKenzie Gore’s trajectory and who knows where he’ll begin his 2021 season.
Thanks to everyone who followed along and stuck with us in this weird year of baseball.