The Dodgers were 6-4 against San Diego this year, meaning the upstart Padres played them about as tough as anybody. Ironically, one of the Padres’ wins was one of the most important games of the season for the Dodgers.
It was Sept. 14 when Trent Grisham slugged a home run that spoiled a Clayton Kershaw shutout. Grisham’s long look, spinning bat flip and animated trot offended the Dodgers as disrespectful of Kershaw. Several players, most notably Mookie Betts, acknowledged that the 7-2 loss served as a wakeup call for the rest of the season.
“That was kind of a punch in the mouth,” said Betts. “We responded well.”
The Dodgers have never played the Padres in the postseason. Their first playoff matchup comes in the best-of-five National League Division Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, where they’re scheduled for five games in five days, if necessary, beginning Tuesday.
When is the game and how can I watch it?
The game will be shown on FOX Sports 1 at 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT on Tuesday. It is also available to stream on MLB.TV with authentication.
Padres: Jurickson Profar will make his first start in left field since Game 1 of the NL Wild Card Series, with Tommy Pham, not Mitch Moreland, at designated hitter against right-hander Walker Buehler. Jake Cronenworth also jumps up to the seventh spot in the order after batting ninth in the final two games of the series against the Cardinals.
- Trent Grisham, CF
- Fernando Tatis Jr., SS
- Manny Machado, 3B
- Eric Hosmer, 1B
- Tommy Pham, DH
- Wil Myers, RF
- Jake Cronenworth, 2B
- Austin Nola, C
- Jurickson Profar, LF
Dodgers: Manager Dave Roberts kept the slumping Max Muncy at cleanup and used Joc Pederson at DH with Will Smith behind the plate.
- Mookie Betts, RF
- Corey Seager, SS
- Justin Turner, 3B
- Max Muncy, 1B
- Will Smith, C
- Cody Bellinger, CF
- AJ Pollock, LF
- Joc Pederson, DH
- Chris Taylor, 2B
Who are the starting pitchers?
Padres: Mike Clevinger, who dealt with a right elbow impingement and wasn't on the NL Wild Card Series roster, will make his Padres postseason debut in Game 1. The righty has never faced the Dodgers, and he notched a 2.84 ERA in four starts for the Padres after arriving from Cleveland at the Trade Deadline.
Dodgers: As in the Wild Card Series, the first two games are going to Buehler and Kershaw in that order, with some combination of Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May and Julio Urías to follow, depending on how long the NLDS goes. Don’t rule out the possibility of one or more games with an opener, which the Dodgers deployed six times.
How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Padres: Emilio Pagán for the seventh, Drew Pomeranz for the eighth, Trevor Rosenthal for the ninth -- that formula worked down the stretch, and it worked against St. Louis. In the middle innings, longtime starter Garrett Richards has become a weapon, but it’s worth wondering whether he might be better served in the rotation. Matt Strahm and Pierce Johnson were also ultra-reliable against the Cardinals.
Dodgers: Manager Dave Roberts has reiterated that Kenley Jansen is still the Dodgers’ closer despite recent struggles -- and despite Brusdar Graterol getting the save in Game 2 of the Wild Card Series while Jansen watched from the bullpen. Dylan Floro, who was left off the Wild Card Series roster, could be added back to the mix. Blake Treinen, Joe Kelly, Pedro Báez, Victor González, Adam Kolarek and Jake McGee should all be back.
Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Any injuries of note?
Padres: Right-hander Dinelson Lamet (right biceps tightness) was left off the roster for the second consecutive series. Strahm has been battling a balky right knee, but he has thus far been able to pitch through it.
Who is hot and who is not?
Padres: After a brief slump in late September, Fernando Tatis Jr. is scorching again. He went 5-for-11 with two homers, a double and three walks in the Wild Card Series. His double-play partner, Jake Cronenworth, was also excellent, going 5-for-8 with two walks, a triple and a homer. On the flip side, Grisham went hitless against St. Louis.
Dodgers: Betts had three doubles and three RBIs in the Wild Card Series, while Corey Seager hit the only home run. Chris Taylor went 3-for-6. Muncy’s season-long slump continued against the Brewers, as he went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts. Justin Turner, an all-time clutch postseason performer, went 0-for-8. Will Smith went 0-for-6 and is 1-for-19 in two postseasons.
Anything else fans want to know?
Padres: The Padres’ return to Arlington is symbolic. Tatis launched his infamous 3-0 grand slam against the Rangers at Globe Life Field on Aug. 17. The Padres were 11-12 when he hit it. They’re 28-12 since.
Dodgers: The Dodgers flew to Texas on Friday and will get at least one day off before working out.