Dodgers: Dave Roberts Calls Padres Series ‘Biggest of the Year’

The Dodgers and the Padres face off for the final time this year, at least in the regular season. Los Angeles leads the season series 4-3. 

This marks the first time the two clubs have faced off since San Diego reloaded at the trade deadline. The Padres, winners of 7 straight and 9 out of their last 11 games are streaking at the right time while the Dodgers have faced some bumps in the road in terms of health and consistency. Still, both teams are looking at this series as a big test, as well as a sign of things that could potentially follow in October.

LA manager Dave Roberts sees the importance of these three games. Moreover, he was asked if this is the biggest series of the season for his club.

think appreciating where we’re at on the calendar, it is. You know, it’s a team that’s chasing us and has been playing great baseball for quite some time. A potential playoff opponent. So, yeah, I would say that’s probably the biggest series of the year.

Even with all the fuss and feathers involved, Roberts doesn’t seem overly worried, or even ready to look that far ahead on the calendar. He continued.

Regardless, win the series, lose a series, you know there’s still more games to be played. But our only right now is these three games in San Diego.

The added pressure of the series comes via the standings. San Diego sits only 2.5 games behind Los Angeles for the top spot in the National League West. The Dodgers, of course, are winners of 7 consecutive division titles, giving the Padres — or any team for that matter — even more motivation to want to knock them off their perch.


  • Game 1: LHP Clayton Kershaw (5-1, 1.98) versus RHP Dinelson Lamet (2-1, 2.24) 
  • Game 2: RHP Tony Gonsolin (0-1, 1.57) versus RHP Zach Davies (7-2, 2.48)
  • Game 3: RHP Dustin May (1-1, 2.81) versus TBD 

Reinforcements en Route?

During this series, RHP Joe Kelly will officially be able to return from the suspended list, giving the Dodgers a fully healthy bullpen for the first time since early August. The flamethrower was activated from the injured list last week but still had to serve a five-game suspension for his part in a benches-clearing incident in Houston against the Astros in July.

Justin Turner is on the mend and also likely to return during this series. The 35-year-old has been out with a hamstring issue since the end of July. With Turner’s return, the defense at third base takes a marked improvement after Max Muncy mostly seeing time there in his absence. 

NEXT: Dodgers Bounce Back to Beat the Cheats, Jansen Rebounds, Padres Coming Up

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.


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  1. Roberts calls this eries wit the Padres the biggest of the year and yet what does he do with tonight’s lineup? He sits one of Dodgers productive bats in Will Smith so Barnes bats 9th to catch CK. UNBELIEVABLE!

    • And Pollock in favor of Pederson who he bats 3rd. I was in favor of dropping Bellinger in the order but for Pederson? Barnes was a good choice if he used Smith as the DH.

      I was really enjoying this year until about 2 weeks ago when Roberts began sucking all the enthusiasm from me on a game by game basis.

    • No, not unbelievable, just another dumb move by the worse manager in baseball. Says important series but hey, we got more games to play. Batting Joc 3rd and Muncie cleanup were even worse.

  2. While this is not an absolutely “must have” series it does in some ways mimic the first round of the Playoffs. Kershaw will start that as well. If he pitches well, thinks will go okay. If he doesn’t then the rest of the rotation will have a huge hole to dig out of.

  3. Clayton is having a good season. He will do well. His last start was lacking in command but as usual, he kept us in the game. He is technically starting the middle of a season. And through his past history, June and July have been strong months. So this could be the year, folks.

  4. Doc what you doing taking out your ace when he was just controlling the padres. You did them a favor when you did it. You can just see the momentum change in their body language! C K made just one mistake to the young p___k, which should have fired up the Dodgers to back up your ace who gave everything out there. Dodgers where the fire? 12 K’s, mental mistakes, bad errors, no barrels on balls–just embarrassing play by a so called elite team. C’mon guys ! Get the mojo right for this stretch run and into the playoffs . You guys are better

  5. This is a very important series, and our Dodgers had to bring their A game last night; they did not. Unfortunately, this 7-2 loss elevates the already hot Padres to RED hot. Anyone watching can tell that the Padres believe that they will take it all this year; so, they are playing without fear and with that goal in mind. Unfortunately, the Padres are also playing without good sportsmanship, and that should have fired us up. But instead, we looked defeated before the 7th got totally out of hand, and the Padres knew that they had us.

    Tonight we are going to have to bring our talent AND mental game. Let’s go Dodgers!

  6. The Padres are better than the Dodgers. They can hit homers AND can hit to get on base. They upgraded their pitching while the Dodgers sit on the same ole issues. Joc Pederson should not be on any teams MLB roster. Bellinger, no heart no soul. Kike, same average utility player who plays too much. The manager has zero feel for the game away from a computer screen.

    • Maybe Roberts gets the axe if Dodgers fail to get past that best of 3 series with his poor decision making and lineup decisions as the root causes. But don’t hold your breath.

  7. This Dodger team has been sucking the last few weeks. No Cody, No Max, No Lux, No Peterson. We stunk in the Arizona series, even though we somehow managed to win a couple of those games late against one of the worst teams in the league. We are 4-4 against teams with winning records.

    Put us against a great pitcher like last night and we dont manage to score runs. A friendly reminder about our pathetic hitting against the Nationals pitchers in last years abbreviated playoffs.

    Am I worried, heck yes. The Padres have a really good team and now they have some great talented pitchers. Hard to see the Dodgers winning the NL Pennant against the likes of the Braves, Padres, & Cubs. But we can beat all these sub 500 record teams in the lowly NL West and AL West.

  8. Pederson and Kiki will be elsewhere next year, as they are FAs after this year. As for Roberts? Even if Doders are eliminated in that first best of 3 series we are stuck with him. I can’t see him being replaced. But think about this; what does one think of what a more polished manager would do with this roster? A better manager who’s on his game just might be able to do a better job with the talent he has been given.

  9. For the big or biggest game of the year….terrible except for Kershaw’s pitching. The bullpen and the batting and fielding were horrible. Let’s see a great
    performance the rest of the series. Go Blue!


  11. I have realized that Doc made some mistakes in pitching changes and player choices in game situations. The front office are doing their best to put out a championship team with salary restrictions. I think both of them together rank in top 3 of all of MLB, however it comes down to the players who are all getting paid well to perform. Guys WAKE UP! WS or BUST! This is what you are playing for! Play SMART, EXECUTE, HUSTLE, THINK, BARREL UP THE BALL, HIT THE TARGET—Play DODGER BASEBALL! Get rid of that defeated look! Play like how CHAMPIONS should be playing. Every guy should turn it up and not wait for the next guy. BE ACCOUNTABLE!!

  12. Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t it Kiki who came through for us 2019 post season? I give him a little more credit, especially defensively. As for Dave Roberts, I continue to be genuinely perplexed by some of his decision-making. Pollack should have played last night; maybe we will see him tonight. Kershaw should have been left in the game a bit longer, and I doubt that the Padres would have gotten 5 in the 7th. Now whether we could have gotten our offense going is another speculation.

    But I hope that tonight goes better for us.

  13. A manager who wasn’t so wrapped up with being every player’s friend and actually used common baseball strategies most likely gets more out of the roster he has. But the incompetence of Roberts is just too obvious and last night’s game with the Padres was just one of many examples.

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