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Dodgers: 3 Things We’ve Learned From the First Two Series Against the Padres



Last season, the San Diego Padres did everything they could to reach the 2020 playoffs and compete for a title after years of wallowing at the bottom of the division. The Dodgers quickly put them back in their place during the National League Division Series en route to a title. 

A new season means new opportunities for the two teams to meet up… and there have been plenty thus far.

Seven out of the 19 scheduled games have already been played with San Diego holding the season series lead 4-3. Each game has been actioned pack with as much excitement as any baseball fan could want. 

Since the dust has settled a bit after another wild weekend, here’s what we’ve learned from the two series so far. 

1. The Hype Has Been Real

Whether you’re at a game in person or enjoying from the comfort of your home, there’s no denying the energy and tension in the air. One could even say it has the same feel as a playoff game. We all knew these two teams were going to have it out for each other this season, but things have escalated rather quickly.

Between the constant chirping, showboating, and endless big moments, these games have just gotten much more interesting. While the energy could die out over the next couple months between their next series, or it could intensify as October draws near. 

2. No Lead is Safe 

So far three games have been decided by 2 runs or fewer and another by three. Only two games have been recorded where either team has run away with the lead.

That should say a lot about how stubborn each team is about losing, OR just how bad the Dodgers’ bullpen has been. 

In 23 innings against San Diego, the pen has allowed a whopping 20 runs (4 unearned) while also allowing 18 free passes. Take Sunday night’s game as an example. The Dodgers had a 7-1 lead that was chipped away until the game was all tied up and sent into extra innings, which ultimately led to another loss. That kind of production isn’t going to cut it, especially against a deep Padres lineup. 

Where’s Russell Martin when you need him?!

3. DJ Peters May Not Belong 

While he wasn’t a part of the first series against San Diego, his painful lack of production just stands out. The piling up of injuries has forced him into big league action and early results have not been pretty to say the least. In 5 at-bats, he has no hits and 4 strikeouts, including one with bases loaded in the 10th inning of Sunday’s loss.

Peters’ strikeout problem is no secret, yet it still doesn’t make it any less frustrating to just throw away at-bats like that. If he can’t make consistent contact, what value does he really have? Even if his defense was superb, no player can stick in the Majors without being able to hit. From what he’s shown so far, he’s not ready for the bright lights of Dodger Stadium, maybe he will never be. 

In all fairness, of course, we’re reacting to a very small sample size here.

Final Thoughts 

While it’s only April, every single game between these two ball clubs has had a must win feeling. I’m sure at this point it’s safe to say that it has finally become a rivalry, one that will be put on hold until they see each other again in late June. Hopefully next time the Dodgers will be much healthier to make it much more interesting. 

NEXT: Dave Roberts Reacts to Fernando Tatis Jr Stealing Signs

Written by Adam Salcido

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  1. In the above article by Adam Salcido, it isn’t whether OR the bullpen is bad. It “IS” the bullpen is bad. In 23 innings not just 20 runs allowed, but 18 WALKS. There is NO excuse for the walks. If you can’t throw strikes, then sit down.
    As for D.J. Peters, it was known in the spring that he can’t hit the 4 seam fastball, especially up in the zone. The Padres obviously were paying attention, because that’s pretty much all they threw him. He may be a great talent, but obviously not ready for prime time.

    • Peters is not that great of a talent and he definitely is Billy Ashley in disguise. It isn’t just 4 seam fast balls he can’t touch, he has been striking out on just about anything thrown to him maybe except for pitches way out of strike zone. Again, Dodgers will not win having Peters or Rios on the roster for an extended period.

  2. Kinda early to bury Peters, If you look at Rio’s production from this year it’s ugly too, although he has two better – very small sample size – years to draw on. The real problem is we seem to have morphed back to before 2020. Remember how the team year in and year out went cheap in the bullpen and – except for Kenley – always seemed to pay the price eventually? Well, Kenley ain’t on the white horse anymore (at least not every day). Also, the team seems to have gone back to swinging for the fences with runners in scoring position, like before 2020. If you start an inning with a runner at second base, there is absolutely no reason that person shouldn’t score. You move him over and them that long fly that gets caught drives him in anyway. Instead we see walk off fever (big swings directly into the shifts) and strike outs and runners stranded at second in extra innings.

    • Good points but in order to score that runner who starts the extra innings on 2nd the batters that follow have to make contact and thats what they failed to do last night. I can’t imagine any team that can come out on top by end of game when they leave bases loaded without scoring not once, not twice, but 4 times in the game like Dodgers did on Sunday .

  3. The bull pen is atrocious. The much maligned all spring Kenley Jansen so far is the only reliable arm and he can no longer do back to back games effectively. Also, seems that many as the newbies are going down after three pitches with their bats never their shoulder. Hard to score runs when bats do not make contact with the ball and for sure one cannot hit the ball unless they attempt to make contact by swinging the bat. Swinging at pithes in the strike zone also have a higher tendency to make good contact. Peters struck ou with the bases loaded on what appeared more likely to have been ball four Last night was not the finest by a team that many think might be the best in history

  4. I have to agree with most of what I have read, Rios, and Peters may need more time in the minors, they are great defensive players, but they need to work on their offense. We spent so much time in the off season on building up are pen. and the padres did a much better job on their pitching then the Dodgers did. I wanted Snell so bad, and who gets him the Padres, and I truly believe for the first time in a long time the Padres have a stronger offensive team then we do? I really think the Dodgers have to look at make some moves for some more offense, are offense is not what we are used to with the exception of Turner who looks great, I believe we have great hitting coaches, and if they can work with Rios to change his style, to be more of a contact hitter, I think he would be great, and the homeruns will come, but we need to hit for contact, what do U guys think we need to do?

    • I said it from the outset before this season began that this year’s offense won’t be as good as last years and not having the DH, whether one wants to agree or not is one big reason. Smith this year is having AB’s taken away from him when Barnes catches and Rios is useless within getting only an occasional PH chance. Look at the bench and you’ll know another reason for why this offense is not as formidable. I don’t have to go into the BP issues, that’s obvious for all to see. Barnes is ok but he was better last year batting 9th because he had Betts hitting behind him battering lead off. Bottom line, these first 7 games with Padres exposed the vulnerabilities of this current Dodger team.

    • I think you made a good points but I disagree with. “the Padres have a stronger offensive team then we do. Do you mean batting or gloving? In batting I firmly disagree. I agree, in the last series the Padres bat was popping balls left and right, but that has to be factored into the Dodgers bat-taking-a-nap. Its still a little early. Let’s see the story in about three or four months.

  5. What we’ve learned is that they allow them to run all over the place, peak at the catcher, and bean them. Pathetic series

    • If he took a peek then it’s the catcher’s fault and people are saying you can’t see in that one second he happened to look down. Don’t make excuses for Dodgers lack of offense.

  6. So the LA Dodgers got a reality check on this series with the Pads and they found out they are not the best team on their division they sure got a rude awakening! and San Francisco on their tail to take first place.
    What is the problem with this team? First of all too many players on the IL.
    (2) The Bullpen sucks! They give up to many walks & runs.
    (3) Edwin Rios needs to go back to the minors.
    (4) Dave Roberts needs manage this team to win he is too conservative on the bases. Last night on overtime runners on first & second he should had them double steal like the Pads did?

    LA Dodgers have their hands full & they better make some changes ASAP! If they want to Win it All…

    • What bothers me more than anything is this gutless approach by Roberts and the pitchers on this team. Not even ONE brush back pitch thrown after what 5 or 6 Dodger hitters being hit by Padre pitchers in this weekend series? Now just watch other teams take notice now knowing that this team won’t fight back even once! Pathetic is an understatement.

    • yeah that pitch he made, er I mean that at bat he had, oh I mean that play in the field, yeah he’s the cause! Dodgers up 7-1 in the 7th inning so doc must have done something right for 6 innings! David Price hamstring injury started the mess.

  7. There were several stolen bases that could have been avoided if Roberts understood there is a thing called “A Pitch Out” Pitch outs provide many reasons to stop base stealing. If he would have done it even once as a warning , it would have made the Pads think twice about stealing. Basic Pony League, senior league fundamentals ….Someone Please ask Dave and Friedman what the sabermetrics say about that.

  8. There have been a bunch of times when small-ball could have worked. We are seeing it..especially since we have been playing without Belli and Lux and a damaged bullpen.

  9. Dodgers knew in the offseason about these problems, but did nothing.

    They have not gone after any of the big name relievers available the last couple years, they didn’t even resign mcgee. Instead they seem to want count on old relievers, who have been broken down and repaired, working out.

    They knew they needed a right hand bat or two, but just went after nobodies like davidson and huese.
    In the last few years they could have gone after players like castellanos and bryant. people may have not like castellanos fielding but he can hit and fielding can be improved.

    And players they over spend on players like betts are not really earning their money this year.
    For the money one should expect betts to produce like tatis. What are you spending that money for?

    They reach their players to have an upward swing to create more loft. But they don’t teach how make contact. So, the Dodgers have way too many players with some power but no ability to hit for average and make contact. Too many players not hitting far any average. I.E. making REAL and useful contact.

    Forget the new fangled stats, and go back the old stats that have worked great and reliably for over a hundred years.

    I would rather more guys who can hit .300 and maybe hit few less homeruns than have serval who hitting .230 or worse but with power and can’t hit anything to the opposite field. And can’t get you hit when you really need it.

    The Dodger are facing an uphill battle, not team has repeated as champion in over 20 years.

    Friedman has been good but when you start believing your press you make mistakes believing you are better than really are.

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