Ian Anderson 2:38 p.m., Dec. 10
Dodgers get serious and take series from Padres
The best two pitchers in the Dodgers rotation shut the Padres bats completely down
The Padres haven’t scored a run since Friday, and no team is going to win a game without scoring a run. In fact, the Friars managed only five hits over two games against the Los Angeles Dodgers and dropped the three-game series after taking the first game against a line-up you won’t see once the play-offs begin.
In fairness to the Padres, on Saturday they met probable 2013 Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw was his normally brilliant self, giving up only 3 hits and 2 walks over 7 innings with 10 strike outs. Burch Smith went for the Padres and pitched well enough to perhaps get the win on nights where the Padres could manage some run support.
Smith went 6 innings and gave up 2 runs on 3 hits, but walked 5 to go along with 6 strikeouts. He had command issues but his pitches were sharp with excellent movement. The Padres lost Saturday’s game 4-0.
The Dodgers then threw Zack Greinke on Sunday while the Padres countered with Andrew Cashner, and it was a pitcher’s duel of epic proportions until the Dodgers scored a run in the seventh inning and went on to a 1-0 win. The run was unearned, thanks to a rare fielding error on the part of Will Venable.
Cashner was brilliant, regardless, with the one unearned run coming on 4 hits and no walks while striking out 7 over 7 innings. Manager Buddy Black indicated that Cashner would likely get one more start over the seven remaining games of the season.
The club had been staggering Cashner’s starts over the course of the last month in order to avoid having him pitch too many innings. The move is designed to not overtax Cashner’s arm, as he has a history of injury in his brief career and has thrown more innings by far this season than in any other prior year in professional baseball.
Easiest thing ever would be to jump on the Padres lack of offense over the past two games, but the level of pitching by the Dodgers was too much to overcome. And the Dodgers went back to their normal lineup and Padres pitching didn’t get excessively roughed up. Silver lining, perhaps.
Buddy Black indicated that Will Venable awoke feeling abdominal pain Monday morning and wouldn’t be available for the opener with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The way it’s described is that it’s related to a muscle, but doesn’t seem to be serious enough to end Will’s season early.
Monday is $1 hot dog night, and with both the visiting Diamondbacks and the Padres out of playoff contention there should be plenty of seats. Brandon McCarthy (5-9, 4.57) gets the call for Arizona and will face Eric Stults (9-13, 4.02) for the Padres. Game time is at 7:10 PM PDST, on 1090 AM for radio and televised on Fox Sports San Diego.