Being competitive with the Los Angeles Dodgers has been a season-long goal of the San Diego Padres.
San Diego succeeded Tuesday night with a 4-3, 10-inning, walk-off win. Now the Padres have a chance to win their first series against the Dodgers on their sixth -- and maybe not final -- attempt this season.
The Padres' win on Tuesday, coupled with losses by Philadelphia and Milwaukee, improved San Diego's playoff hopes on two fronts. They now lead the Phillies by 2 1/2 games in the race for the second National League wild-card berth, and they are four games ahead of the Brewers in the race for the final spot.
The Padres (86-68) have a magic number of four to clinch a berth. They will try to reduce that number when they face the Dodgers (106-48) on Wednesday night in the middle game of their three-game series in San Diego.
Left-hander Julio Urias (17-7, 2.25 ERA) will start for the Dodgers against Padres right-hander Joe Musgrove (10-7, 3.12).
"Julio has really pitched well against the Padres," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, also noting that the 26-year-old has been tough against almost everyone else he's faced this season.
The Dodgers are 20-9 in Urias' starts this year. And they are 5-0 over his past five, with Urias riding a four-game winning streak. He is 14-1 over his past 17 starts, and the Dodgers are 16-1.
Against the Padres this season, he's 3-0 in three starts with a 2.00 ERA -- four runs allowed on nine hits and eight walks with 13 strikeouts in 18 innings.
For his career, Urias is 6-1 in 14 games (nine starts) with a 2.43 ERA against them.
The Padres will counter on Wednesday with Musgrove, who recently has shown the form that made him 8-0 with a 1.59 ERA after his first 12 starts. San Diego was 11-1 in Musgrove's first 12 starts and is 18-10 when he starts despite a mid-season lull.
In his past two starts, however, Musgrove has given up one run on nine hits and two walks with 12 strikeouts in 11 innings.
Musgrove has struggled against the Dodgers this season, losing both of his starts and having a 5.11 ERA. He has given up seven runs on 11 hits and two walks with 15 strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. But the 11 hits include a double, a triple and four home runs.
For his career, Musgrove is 0-6 with a 4.50 ERA in 11 outings (eight starts) against Los Angeles.
Padres manager Bob Melvin talked again Tuesday about the way his club is playing at the end of the season, particularly at home and late in games. After Tuesday, the Padres are 12-4 in extra-inning games and 8-0 in extra-inning games at home. They also have 12 walk-off wins this season.
"It's the belief we're going to do it in close games in late innings at home," Melvin said. "And our fans are all over it ... very inspirational late in the game. We just feel we're going to do it."
--Field Level Media