The Los Angeles Dodgers jumped out to a big lead against the San Diego Padres that fueled the team to a gritty 5-3 win to jump out to a 1-0 series lead in the NLDS. Any nerves that Dodgers fans had heading into the game were quickly erased by a massive Trea Turner bomb, which was just the start of something even bigger.
Los Angeles had the starting pitching advantage heading into this game as Julio Urias has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this season. Meanwhile, Mike Clevinger has been okay, but has been dominated by the Dodgers this season.
That domination continued in the postseason. All five of LA’s early runs were credited to Clevinger, with four being earned (it probably should be five, as Cody Bellinger should get credited with an RBI infield single).
This was certainly frustrating for Padres fans, who talked a lot of smack prior to this NLDS matchup after beating the New York Mets. That smack talk quickly turned to complaining, which is beautiful for every Dodgers fan to see.
Is it really Clevinger’s fault that he pitched the exact same way in Game 1 of the NLDS that he has all season against the Dodgers? Or is it Padres fans’ fault for expecting this to be different when he has shown them time and time again what will happen against the lineup?
You all know the saying. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Clevinger is not the only one that struggles against the Dodgers this season, as Sean Manaea was absolutely torched by LA this season, so much to the point that the Padres hid him from LA later in the season.
Manaea is on the NLDS roster and there is a chance that he pitches at some point in this series, which Padres fans definitely won’t like.
Padres fans are still trying to spin this loss to the Dodgers as a positive.
Despite losing fairly easily to the Dodgers in Game 1, some Padres fans are trying to spin this as a positive. Somehow, this is a positive for San Diego since the Dodgers used their best pitcher against someone who LA notoriously hits well.
I mean… that is a pretty good spin zone for a team that is down a game in a five-game series, I have to admit. But what else was Dave Roberts going to do, not pitch his best pitcher in Game 1 on full rest?
Plus, if we really want to play this game, the Padres had to use practically their entire bullpen outside of Josh Hader to end up losing the game. While the game got stressful, San Diego making it close allowed that to happen.
Let’s not forget, the Dodgers didn’t have to play in the Wild-Card Series because they actually won the NL West, so there was no need to start anyone other than the best starter in Game 1 of this series. Trying to spin this as some sort of bad decision by Roberts is absurd.
The Los Angeles Dodgers will square off against the San Diego Padres in the NLDS and the Padres are already tucking their tail between their legs.
And what Padres fans might not be realizing is that if this series somehow goes five games, Clevinger is going to have to make the start as the team’s fourth starting pitcher. And who would he face? Julio Urias.