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Friar Faithful: 2021 Padres-Dodgers Rivalry Returns

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The Padres-Dodgers rivalry is coming back into full view after nearly two months of no action between them. With both teams having one season series win each, this third matchup could potentially break the frustrating tie.

Padres-Dodgers Rivalry: Recapping The Action

April 25th, 2021 – the exact date in which competition between the NL West’s two top teams last occurred. Since then, the Padres and Dodgers have faced a rollercoaster ride of both success and loss which have prepared them for this next meeting. Before we get into what lies ahead, lets take a second to look back at how these teams faired against one another early on.

The first series did not disappoint when LA flew to San Diego to kick off the opening round of action in the rivalry. Both teams fought 12 hard innings while producing a combined 17 runs, 26 hits, and six errors, which ultimately ended with an LA victory. And to think, this was only the first game of the season series, so imagine what many were thinking would follow in their next matchup?

The start of the Padres-Dodgers rivalry

The second game would also fall in LA’s favor as Clayton Kershaw outdueled Yu Darvish in a narrow 2-0 win over San Diego. Although the Padres dropped their second straight loss to the Dodgers, they were also without star players like Austin Nola and Mike Clevinger who were absent due to injury. This isn’t an excuse but rather the fact that both players have shown they can make a difference in the game when competing at full strength.

Closing out the homestand, San Diego was finally able to deliver what the fans wanted and sent LA home with a cool 5-2 loss thanks to a late rally led by Eric Hosmer. This win was what the Padres needed to get themselves back on track even though they lost the opening series. San Diego’s saving grace would come in the following weeks when they took a trip to LA in an attempt to even things up.

This time around would see both teams participate in a four-game series rather than a three-game series which leaves the potential for a series tie to occur. The Padres came out swinging against Trevor Bauer which resulted in an early 2-0 lead which was eventually blown by Emilio Pagan. Fortunately, San Diego was able to push across one more run to take a 3-2 lead in the eighth followed by a Mark Melancon closure to secure the victory.

Melancon’s save would mark his seventh on the season while the Padres locked up their second consecutive win against the Dodgers. San Diego’s luck kept on going as they won their third straight game, second in the series, against LA with a final score of 6-1. Unfortunately, their luck ran out in the third game when a late three-run inning was enough to secure the Dodgers victory while simultaneously breaking San Diego’s win streak.

One game left in the contest meant that LA could tie it up or San Diego could win it all and even up the season series. It took the Friars 11 innings but they were finally able to push across the winning run and get their revenge against the Dodgers in an 8-7 victory. With one series win each, it’s now time to examine how this third meeting could play out in either team’s favor.

Third Times The Charm

With the first game of the third series set to take place on June 21st, San Diego and LA come into this one with chips on their shoulders. The Dodgers currently sit in second and 1.5 games out of first place in the NL West while San Diego is trying desperately to 5.0 game deficit and move out of the third spot. Even though San Diego is in the hole, they currently ride a four-game winning streak heading into the Padres-Dodgers rivalry which could be the momentum they need to take the lead.

Los Angeles is also riding a win streak of their own and has a four game lead over San Diego thus giving them the edge. With stellar matchups like Snell vs. Kershaw and Musgrove vs. Bauer, anything is possible in the matchup between these behemoths.

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main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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