Time is running out for the Los Angeles Dodgers to make their playoff push. Theyâ€™ll need an excellent showing in San Diego this week if theyâ€™re to close the gap and earn a Wild Card spot and theyâ€™re starting pitching has to lead the way.
The Dodgers did get a boost when they saw Clayton Kershaw throw a bullpen session on Friday. He was expected to be out much longer when he was diagnosed with a right hip impingement but made the start on Sunday night. Apparently he canâ€™t do any further damage to the hip so itâ€™s just a matter of how much pain he can deal with.
Josh Beckett, Chris Capuano and Joe Blanton are tasked with the job for the Dodgers in the three-game set but all have struggled this month. Beckett has allowed nine runs in his last 19 innings pitched while Capuano and Blanton both have ERAâ€™s of 4.24 or higher this month.
The bigger concern might be that these three Dodgers starters havenâ€™t registered a win versus San Diego this season and while Beckett hasnâ€™t made a start against the Padres, Capuano and Blanton are a combined 0-3.
San Diego is expected to counter with Edinson Volquez, Clayton Richard and Casey Kelly. The good news for the Dodgers is that the Padres head into this series in a slump. Theyâ€™ve lost four of their last six and people making their MLB picks know that there is a slight opening for the Dodgers to take advantage.
With each passing day, it gets tougher and tougher for the Dodgers to make the playoffs but a sweep of San Diego would surely go a long way.