For a brief moment last week, it appeared as if the San Diego Padres might not be ready for a 2020 breakthrough after all. Less than seven days later, and following two games at Los Angeles this week, that is not so much the case anymore.
The Padres will head into their third game of a four-gameseries on the road against the Dodgers on Wednesday having won the opening two games by putting all of their best attributes on display. While the victory in the series opener was led by pitching, Tuesday's repeat success showcased offense.
Manny Machado hit a grand slam for the Padres against his former team Tuesday and Jurickson Profar added a solo shot. It hardly has mattered that dynamic youngster Fernando Tatis Jr. has been held in relative check with three hits in nine at-bats and no RBIs during the series.
The Padres have won four of their past five games after losing four of five to start the month.
Tatis will get another chance to show what he can do Wednesday and Zach Davies (2-1, 2.87 ERA) will get the opportunity to deliver even more for his new club.
The former Milwaukee Brewers right-hander has been the perfect addition in San Diego, allowing three runs or less in each his first three starts. He is coming off 5 2/3 scoreless innings in a 3-0 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday.
And his confidence could not be any higher despite facing the typically high-scoring Dodgers. He is 3-1 lifetime against the club that has won seven consecutive National League West titles, with a convincing 1.98 ERA.
"Twenty-eight man rosters, we've got a whole bunch of studs on this team," reliever Cal Quantrill told reporters after his three innings Monday were the centerpiece of a bullpen game, a 2-1 Padres win. "Whatever we need to do to win, we're on board. .... Win every single game; it doesn't matter how you gotta do it."
The Dodgers were supposed to be the class of the division, and they still have plenty of time to reach that status, but they will have to find another gear. They dropped three games to the Padres in the early part of the season, they are just 4-3 against the rebuilding San Francisco Giants -- and all of those games were played in Los Angeles.
The Dodgers are without a key piece of their offense in Corey Seager, who has missed the past four games with a lower back strain. Not only that, but Joc Pederson, Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger all have gotten off to slow starts.
Yet even with the season nearly one third complete, the Dodgers are not worried.
"I would assume, typically in a season, pitchers start a little ahead of hitters," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters Tuesday. "And then they catch up. I think it'll right itself a little bit here, in the next few weeks."
The Dodgers announced they will recall right-hander Tony Gonsolin (0-0, 0.00) to start Wednesday. Left-hander Julio Urias was expected to start but he will be pushed back to Thursday. No corresponding move for Gonsolin was announced, but the Dodgers could send Adam Kolarek back to their alternate training site or put Seager on the IL.
Gonsolin has made one start this season, pitching four scoreless innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 31. He had two innings of scoreless relief against the Padres last season and picked up the victory.
--Field Level Media