A lot rides on Davies tonight, not only because a 2-0 deficit would put the Padres on the brink of elimination, but because the bullpen has been pushed hard so far this postseason. Mike Clevinger’s injury left the Padres to rely on their relievers beginning in the second inning of game two. This after using at least 9 pitchers per game in each of their postseason games this season. It’s an all hands on deck situation for San Diego.
To the Padres’ credit, they saw this coming, at least in part. They did roster 15 pitchers for the series, more than most teams, though with Clevinger’s injury they’re essentially playing a man down. Still, so long as they’re comfortable going all 15-deep, the Padres can survive the series this way. They could theoretically get through today’s game not using anybody who pitched yesterday, and then head into game three with 8 relievers having had a day of rest. A long outing from Davies would go a long way to resetting the rest of the bullpen. That’s easier said than done, though as Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register notes, Davies has pitched well against the Dodgers in his career with a 2.37 ERA in 8 starts.
Of course, game four is when it will get really complicated for the Padres. They’ll be looking at bullpen games in game 4 and in game 5, unless Clevinger is able to make his way back. They could replace Clevinger on the roster, but they’d lose him for the NLCS then as well. If that were to happen, Luis Perdomo, Michel Baez, and MacKenzie Gore would be options to take the roster spot, per the Athletic’s Dennis Lin. Of the three, Gore is not on the 40-man roster, which is full.