2020 NLDS Preview: Padres V. Dodgers
Sure, San Diego Escaped A Three-Game Series. Can they mash their way through five?
“The Padres are going to struggle to find someone to take the mound,” said The Spitter before the Wild Card series with the St. Louis Cardinals … and we were right. San Diego had no starters for game three. Fortunately for them, they had nine relievers who combined for a shutout.
Can they do it again with Zach Davies and the gaggle of relievers without the services of Dinelson Lamet and with what could be limited service from Mike Clevinger?
No. No they can’t.
Sure, Cody Bellinger struggled for the first three-quarters of the year, but he figured out enough of what ailed him in the final week to start making contact. Shortstop Cory Seager is back to being one of the best players in the game and one of the most patient. He leads the big leagues in hitting with two strikes. And if he can’t carry the load, there’s catcher Will Smith, outfielder Joc Pederson, utility guy Max Muncy, and Justin Turner.
Oh and did we mention Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Julio Urias and Dustin May? Two solid number one starters and two solid number twos.
Oh and MVP candidate/kick-ass leadoff guy Mookie Betts.
Sure San Diego has guys who can hit balls out of the park. What should be particularly frightening is that they hit balls out of the strike zone out of the park. Wil Myers, Manny Machado (is it just me or did he drop like 20 pounds?) and Fernando Tatis Jr. are certainly going to be a concern. And by the way, the show Tatis Jr. put on in his first postseason was nothing short of remarkable. All hustle, all showmanship, all results.
But, you need pitching and San Diego can’t bullpen their way to three victories … at least, we don’t think they can.
They win one. Dodgers in four.
Editor’s note: Mike Clevinger was a late game-one decision and will start. This column has been edited to reflect the change.