The Dodgers ruined what could have been a winner-take-all Wednesday afternoon.
Had the San Diego Padres won a ninth straight game Tuesday, the visiting Dodgers and Padres would have been playing for the lead in the National League West on Wednesday.
But the Dodgers won -- reducing Wednesday's rubber match of a three-game series into something of a footnote.
The Dodgers will leave San Diego as the leaders in the division with at least a 1 1/2-game lead on the Padres. But one thing is clear after the first two games of this series -- the Padres are serious contenders.
Tuesday night's 3-1 win over the Padres -- and San Diego loaded the bases with one out in the ninth -- boosted the Dodgers record to 34-15. The Padres are 32-18. And while San Diego now trails the Dodgers by 2 1/2 games, they hold a 7 1/2-game lead on San Francisco in the non-race for second in the division.
The truth is the Dodgers and Padres own the two best records in the National League. If the season were to end today, they would, respectively, be the first and fourth seeds in the National League playoffs.
"Wednesday's game is important because you want to win every series," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.
Padres manager Jayce Tingler doesn't think the Padres will have any problem rebounding from a loss that kept them from pulling to within a half-game of the division leaders.
"We love one another in there," Tingler said of the Padres clubhouse. "We've got the spirit, the feeling of just a bunch of teenage boys playing the best sport in the world with their best friends. They love to play and play for one another."
Even with Tuesday's loss to the Dodgers, the Padres' magic number to clinch their first postseason berth since 2006 is only four. As for the, Dodgers, they are already locked in to no worse than a wildcard slot.
But Tuesday's loss likely altered one thing for the Padres. Right-hander Chris Paddack will not start Wednesday's season finale between the two teams -- the Dodgers have a 5-4 edge in the season series. Paddack will get two extra days of rest to rehab his slightly sprained right ankle and will start against the Mariners on Friday following a day off for the Padres.
Instead, left-hander Adrian Morejon (2-0, 2.53 ERA) will start for the Padres in what could be a "bullpen" game.
"It's all hands on deck," said Tingler.
The Dodgers will counter with right-hander Dustin May (1-1, 2.81 ERA).
Morejon was not active the first two times the Dodgers and Padres met. Although this will be his third start, Morejon has not worked more than three innings in any of his five appearances this season. The 21-year-old Cuban has allowed three runs on 10 hits and two walks with 14 strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings this season.
Both of May's decisions this season have come in his two starts against the Padres, which came in succession on Aug. 4 and 10. May went six innings in both of those outings, giving up four runs on eight hits and three walks with 10 strikeouts in 12 innings for a 3.00 ERA and a 0.917 WHIP.
The Dodgers are 6-3 in games started by May.
--Field Level Media
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San Diego Padres
- KneeLate Sept | 10-day IL
Strahm has been ticketed for the 10-day injured list due to right knee inflammation, and he is likely to stay on the I-L until at least the end of September.
- BicepQues Tues | questionable
Clevinger missed his last start while dealing with biceps tightness. It is unknown if he will be available to start Tuesday's matchup with the Angels.
- FingerQues Sun | 10-day IL
Hosmer has landed on the 10-day injured list with a broken left index finger, but he could be available to return Sunday against the Mariners.
- Ankleday-to-day | probable
Paddack departed his last outing due to a right ankle sprain, but he is likely to take the mound Friday against the Mariners.
- Handday-to-day | probable
Pham has been activated from the 10-day injured list due to a fractured hamate bone in his right hand. He is likely to return to the lineup for Friday's game against the Mariners.
- PersonalOut indefinitely | 10-day IL
Guerra will be on the 10-day injured list with for an extended period due to a personal reason.
- ThumbLate Sept | 10-day IL
Mejia has been added to the 10-day injured list due to a left thumb contusion, but he is likely to return during the latter portion of September.
- ForearmLate Sept | 10-day IL
Perdomo is on the 10-day injured list with right forearm inflammation and will be sidelined until the end of September.
Los Angeles Dodgers
- Elbowout for season | 10-day IL
Ferguson has been placed on the 10-day injured list with damage to the UCL in his left elbow. He is likely to miss the remainder of the season due to Tommy John surgery.
- PersonalOut indefinitely | out
Pederson is away from the team due to a family emergency and is allowed to miss up to a maximum of seven days.
- FingerProb Thurs | 10-day IL
Buehler has landed on the 10-day injured list with a blister on his finger, but he is expected to be available to start Thursday against the Athletics.
- HamstringQues Fri | questionable
Pollock sat out the last game due to hamstring tightness, and it is uncertain if he will play Friday versus the Rockies.
- RestQues Fri | questionable
Turner is not expected to be in the starting lineup Friday against the Rockies as he will be rested.
- FootProb Wed | probable
May departed his last game due to a left foot contusion, but he is expected to be available as a reliever against the Padres on Wednesday.
- HamstringProb Tues | probable
Turner has been activated from the 10-day injured list after a left hamstring strain, and it is projected that he will return to the lineup for Tuesday's contest versus the Padres.
- RestQues Tues | questionable
Muncy is not expected to play Tuesday against the Padres due to a day of rest.
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