Shoutout if you had the first Dodgers shutout of the season going to … Eric Lauer of the Milwaukee Brewers (?), who kickstarted the unpredictable task on Monday night with five solid innings.
The one silver lining, though, other than the Dodgers being lightyears ahead of their NL West competition? A chance to kick their rivals while they’re down.
With the Padres nearly 20 games in LA’s rearview, their task now turns to the Wild Card chase — yes, even after revamping their roster with what resembled an Extra All-Star Team at this year’s deadline. Just to recap those moves, Josh Hader has now been removed from the closer’s role already, Juan Soto has four RBI as a Padre, Josh Bell is hitting .138, and Brandon Drury has a .658 OPS.
Oh, and Fernando Tatis Jr.’s rehab was going pretty well until it wasn’t. Nothing this franchise tries ever works!
While the Pads couldn’t be further from the NL West crown, they built up enough first-half victories to solidly be in the running for a Wild Card while all their new additions get themselves situation. At the moment, the NL Wild Card standings feel like a four-horse race for three spots, with the Brew Crew sitting just outside looking in on the Pads and Phillies.
With such a comfortable cushion, it turns out Dodgers broadcaster Orel Hershiser is more than happy for LA to do their part to decrease the chances of San Diego playing in October, which he made clear in the ninth inning on Monday.
Dodgers help Brewers catch Padres with shutout loss. You’re welcome!
If there was ever a time of year to be thinking this way, it’s right now in LA. Hershiser didn’t just pinpoint the silver lining. He wrapped himself up in it and took a healthy nap.
For as difficult as the Padres’ path seems right now, everything gets reset if they’re able to ride their star power into October and open the door. All of a sudden, the narrative could easily turn. “Wait … Juan Soto … Joe Musgrove … is this team good? Why were they so far down in the dumps back in August?!”
As any good Dodgers fan knows, the team’s best hope is leaving the Pads out in the cold and locking the door. And hey, if it takes a Dodgers loss to do it, at least they can take solace in that.
At the moment, the Padres are just as much of a threat to the Dodgers as the Giants or Angels. For the remainder of the regular season, LA will be a dominant team sitting atop the heap looking for a rivalry.
When the postseason rolls around, though, things could be different. San Diego was thought to be the non-Dodgers class of the NL just a few weeks ago, right? Remember their first offensive explosion immediately after the deadline? No. Neither does anyone else.
Kudos to Hershiser for telling it like it is, and like it always should be. Keep ’em out.