Padres Show Off New Toys, Dodgers Show They’re Still Much Better In Emphatic Sweep

Written By

on

craig kimbrel

Winning the trade deadline didn’t help the San Diego Padres this weekend.

They were just roadkill on the Dodger Express to October.

This past weekend was supposed to be the Padres coming out party in Dodger Stadium. The Padres had made the big deal for Juan Soto….and Josh Bell….and Brandon Drury. The Dodgers had stayed pat, except for a flyer on Joey Gallo.

There was a buzz in Dodger Stadium all series. Friday night was Vin Scully Tribute night, and the Dodgers raced out to a big early lead. Saturday, the Dodgers chased Padres starter Mike Clevinger in the fifth en route to an 8-3 win.

Sunday night, ESPN was in town – Soto had the best line of the broadcast when he was interviewed live in the third inning saying it was his first “Sunday Night game played in the daytime” – ostensibly to highlight the Padres, yet the game was all Dodgers.

San Diego was held to two hits in a 4-0 loss. Dodger fans – they’re smart – chanted Sweep! Sweep! Sweep! at the end. The Dodgers are now 17-2 against the Padres in their last 19 games.

What did we learn from the latest Dodger beatdown:

It’s the Arms Stupid

We get it, slugging the ball, hitting home runs is cool, but the old baseball adage forever rings true: good pitching beats good hitting.

ESPN showed an awesome stat from the time of ole Tungsten Arm O’Doyle, saying that the Dodgers were the first team since 1884 with two pitchers who were each 13-1. That would be Tyler Anderson and Tony Gonsolin.

Somehow, these achievements have been missed by national media. Gonsolin shut down the Padres Friday night, while Anderson bamboozled the Padres Sunday with a nasty change-up that San Diego just couldn’t adjust too.

How many pitchers did the Padres get in those trade?

None.

The Padres team ERA is 3.81. The Dodgers is 2.87. That’s a big difference. Dodger closer Craig Kimbrel still looks a little shaky, but the Dodgers have plenty of other bullpen options the minute he walks a guy.

Are the Dodgers going to get better?

People expected the Dodgers to do it with pitching in 2022, but not Anderson and Gonsolin.

Star pitcher Clayton Kershaw is back on the injured list and had an epidural in his back. Dodger manager Dave Roberts said there was no reason to be super concerned.

Of course, he probably had his fingers crossed when he said that.

Walker Buehler had his elbow scoped back in June to get rid of a bone spur. He’s projected to start throwing again by the end of the month.

Having Kershaw (career ERA of 2.49) and Buehler (3.02) is like having that luxury car in the garage that you take out when the weather is nice. The Dodgers have no reason to rush either one. They just need a few quality innings from them in October and be all good.

The Dodgers one move at the trade deadline was to take Joey Gallo off the Yankees hands. Gallo has played four games with the Dodgers, made 10 plate appearances. He has two weak hits and has struck out six times.

Gallo just doesn’t look like a Major League Baseball player right now. No idea why. He probably doesn’t know either, but I’d much rather see Hanser Alberto get the Gallo at-bats right now.

A Challenge Rises in the East

The Dodgers now lead the NL West by 15.5 games with approximately 50 games to go. It’s the biggest lead for any team in any division. The Dodgers 75-33 record is the best in baseball.

Major League Baseball has ruined any real drama for a division race by expanding the playoffs, but it is worth noting the Padres and Dodgers play nine more times this year, all in September. But even if the Dodgers collapse in the last 50 games, they’re still getting in.

If the playoffs started today, the Dodgers (1 seed) and Mets (2) would get first round byes. The Cardinals (3) would face the Phillies (6) in one wild card series, and the Braves (4) and Padres (5) would play in the other.

Yes, the Dodgers, as the top seed could see the Padres again in the playoffs.

Dodger fans should be more worried about the team in New York. The Mets have boosted their lead to 6.5 over the Braves in the NL East. Jacob DeGrom was great in his start Sunday and closer Edwin Diaz has become a sensation with his ‘trumpet’ walk-in.

Fear the Padres? No.

The Mets? Maybe.