“Litmus Test Weekend–Padres-Dodgers”
The Padres beat then in the playoffs last year.
Take your (111) wins and go home-Dodgers.
Of course the Dodgers could always flash their driver’s license that showed a World Series ring, all those Fall Classic games, and the fistful of National League West titles.
But that was a year ago, and this is a different year.
The Padres have hot hitting Xander Bogaerts.
They also have slump ridden Juan Soto, a struggling Manny Machado, and now Fernando Tatis back in the batting order. Hard to predict what Trent Grisham or Matt Carpenter will bring
But Josh Hader is the best in the biz right now coming out of the pen, 12-saves in a row.
The Padres starters have not been as dominant this year compared to last year’s workhorse outings.
The Dodgers, they are indeed different.
They let 11-veterans go, including big hitting shortstop Trea Turner. They discarded Cody Bellinger and let Justin Turner walk
They have had 1-major injury in shortstop Gavin Lux.
Centerfielder James Outman is a Rookie of the Year candidate.
Max Muncy has 12-homers but is not a gold glover at third.
Will Smith was off to a roaring start till a concussion knocked him down.
Julio Urias, last year’s 20-game winner, has had good outings but then strafed.
Clayton Kershaw is roaring (5-1) with a sub 2.00-ERA.
Dustin May has shown flashes of his old self, a year and a half removed from elbow surgery.
There is not Walker Buehler, recovering from elbow surgery.
The bullpen, I can’t trust it, don’t know how Dave Roberts can.
Yes it is a different year, and this is the first of 13-times these two enemies will meet.
In fact they play 6-times in the next 9-days in a quirk of scheduling.
The Dodgers are two games up on the Padres.
San Diego has a better batting order, but they are not all hitting yet.
The starting pitching seems to be a wash
The Friars have the better bullpen.
Interesting weekend ahead. What if the Dodgers sweep, then the bulge goes to 5-games in the West.
What if the Padres sweep, then they have a 1-game lead heading to Dodgers Stadium next weekI
It’s been wild in baseball. The Pirates were in first place till red hot Tampa Bay torched them 3-straight. The Yankees are in last place, a better team on the DL than on the roster. The Mets just got smoked 3-straight by the Tigers, yes those Detroit Tigers.
Friday night-Petco Park-going to be wild. Three straight sellouts. Doubt there will be any Dodgers Blue in the stands. Who can say what we will be feeling by Sunday night. A rivalry that has taken on new dimensions after the Friars told the Blue, take your 111-wins and go home, your season is over.
Can they continue the dominance? Stay tuned.
That’s baseball 2023 style.