Series of the Year! Dodgers and Padres Duel in Hugely Anticipated Three-Game Series


Enrique Medina / El Paisano Media

Mookie Betts’ diving catch to end game two of the series had a 10 percent catch probability according to Statcast, helping the Dodgers secure the series victory over the Padres.

This weekend brought two familiar foes up against each other in possibly the most anticipated matchup of the young season. The Los Angeles Dodgers squared off with the San Diego Padres this weekend from San Diego’s Petco Park for a three-game series.

Last Season Brings Rivalry

The series would be one between two division rivals who faced each other last season during the playoffs. In that playoff series, the Dodgers swept the Padres in three games. Since the end of last season though, an already great Padres team became even better. The Padres made huge moves this offseason with the acquisitions of pitchers Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, and Joe Musgrove, along with others.  

This series would see two of those three arms for the Padres. Darvish would face off with the Dodgers Clayton Kershaw in Game 2 of the series and Snell would face off against the Dodgers’ new pitching acquisition Trevor Bauer in the final game of the series.

As for game 1, the pitching matchup would see the Dodgers Walker Buehler vs rookie Ryan Weathers for the Padres. 

Game 1 Proves an Instant Regular Season Classic

Game 1 would be an instant classic from the get-go. We saw Buehler dominate Padres hitters, we saw Fernando Tatis Jr. hit his first home run back from injury, we saw Dodgers rookie Luke Raley hit his first big league home run, and more through the first eight innings. After back and forth baseball during the first eight frames though, the Dodgers and Padres were tied at five going into the ninth inning. Come the ninth, after a Mookie Betts base hit to start the inning, the Dodgers would immediately cash in. Justin Turner would drive in the go-ahead run putting the Dodgers up 6-5. 

With the nature of the game though, the Padres came back in the ninth to tie with an Eric Hosmer RBI single, plating Manny Machado. In extras, with the new extra-inning rule, starting the inning with a runner on second, the game brought even more intensity. 

In each of the 10th and 11th innings, the Padres left the winning run on third with inning-ending strikeouts. The Dodgers did not capitalize as well, until the 12th inning. 

In the 12th, the Dodgers immediately took the lead first pitch on a Corey Seager Home Run. Later they added three more, taking an 11-6 lead which would be the final score, ending a five-hour plus extravaganza. 

Kershaw Outduels Darvish in Game 2, Mookie Saves the Day

Game 2 saw a pitcher’s duel throughout between Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish. Through the first four innings, each pitcher matched each other stride for stride. It wasn’t until the fifth that the Dodgers got themselves on the board first. Kershaw himself drove in the team’s first run with a bases-loaded walk off of Darvish. The 1-0 lead stuck and come the ninth, Turner again came through with a home run for insurance.  

The 2-0 lead set up the stage for yet another special moment in the bottom half of the ninth. This time around, the Padres Tommy Pham came to hit with runners on second and third with two outs in the ninth. Pham lined a ball to center field which Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts got a great jump on, diving and extending his body to make a game-ending diving catch. 

Snell Rematch, Bullpen Falters in Game 3 for LA

Game 3 saw Snell and Bauer for the last game of the series. Snell, who last pitched against the Dodgers in Game 6 of the World Series last year, looked for another shot at the Dodgers. In that memorable Game 6 in last year’s World Series, Snell, then pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays, dominated the Dodgers through 5.1 innings, keeping them scoreless. Come the sixth inning when he was taken out of the game though, the Dodgers immediately capitalized taking the lead against the Rays and finishing off their first championship in 32 years. 

That same type of intensity was there from both sides yet again, this time Snell now with the Padres of course. This time around though, the Dodgers capitalized early off of Snell with a Chris Taylor two-run home run in the second inning. 

From there, the game remained tight throughout with the Dodgers holding a 2-1 lead into the seventh. Up to that point, Bauer gave the Dodgers control and led things to the bullpen and Brusdar Graterol to make his season debut. 

The Dodgers would lose the advantage right away with Graterol on the mound, allowing Manny Machado to score on an Eric Hosmer RBI double. 

Things would not get better for the bullpen in the eighth as the Dodger bullpen allowed three runs. The runs came via an Eric Hosmer RBI single and two-run double from Tommy Pham, giving the Padres the lead for good and the last game of the series.

What’s Next?

Next, the Dodgers play two games against Seattle and the Padres play three games against Milwaukee.   

The two teams will follow up their series again next week as they face off at Dodger Stadium from Thursday-Sunday.