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SHOWDOWN, Part II (Dodgers and Padres)

September 27, 1996|BOB NIGHTENGALE

Opponent--San Diego Padres, three games.

Site--Dodger Stadium.


TV--Channel 5 tonight and Sunday, Channel 11 Saturday.

Radio--KABC (790), KWKW (1330).

Records--Dodgers 90-69, Padres 88-71.

Record vs. Padres--5-5.

The Showdown--This weekend's series lost much of its luster with the Padres blowing their two-game series against the Colorado Rockies. The Padres' collapse provides the Dodgers with a two-game lead with only three remaining games. The Dodgers need to win only one of the games to clinch the NL West title. Even if the Dodgers were swept, they would qualify for the wild-card berth with a loss by the Montreal Expos. If the Dodgers were swept, and the Expos swept the Atlanta Braves, there would be a one-game playoff Monday between the Dodgers and Expos. The Padres have only a one-game lead over the Expos in the wild-card race. If the two teams finish the season in a tie, Montreal would go to San Diego for a one-game playoff Monday.

Dodger update--The Dodgers did just what they needed, winning two of three games against the hapless San Francisco Giants. If the Dodgers wrap up a playoff spot tonight or tomorrow, their pitching rotation is set. Ramon Martinez is scheduled to pitch Game 1 of the playoffs. Hideo Nomo is scheduled for Game 2. Ismael Valdes will go Game 3. The Dodgers will go with a three-man rotation for the first round, and then expand to a four-man rotation if they reach the second round for the National League pennant. The Dodgers, who have won 24 of their last 33 games, haven't lost two in a row since Aug. 18. Outfielder Billy Ashley has become one of the biggest surprises down the stretch. He has five pinch-hit homers, one shy of the major league record of six set by Johnny Frederick of the 1932 Brooklyn Dodgers. Ashley is batting .345 (10 for 29) with five homers and 12 RBIs as a pinch-hitter.

Padre update--They lost two at home to the Rockies, a team with the worst road record in the National League. The Padres need to sweep the Dodgers to win the West, and must also worry about the Expos in the wild-card race. Montreal finishes with a three-game series at home against Atlanta. All-Star right fielder Tony Gwynn went four for 13 in last week's four-game series against the Dodgers, including a stretch where he was hitless in 10 at-bats. "I got one ball to hit in the middle of the plate in four games against the Dodgers," Gwynn said. "In the first game against Colorado, I got four pitches in the middle of the plate in my first at-bat." Gwynn is batting .357, and although he is 19 plate appearances shy of qualifying for the batting title, he could go 0 for 19 and still finish with a higher batting average than Dodger catcher Mike Piazza. Center fielder Steve Finley, who has 29 homers and 94 RBIs this season, terrorized the Dodgers last weekend. He went five for 15 with three homers. Third baseman Ken Caminiti, considered the front-runner in the MVP race, is batting .321 with 39 homers and 128 RBIs. He was four for 13 in the Dodger series, but struck out seven times.




Ismael Valdes (15-7)


Scott Sanders (9-5)

Time: 7 p.m.

TV: Channel 5

Radio: KABC (790)


Hideo Nomo (16-11)


Andy Ashby (9-5)

Time: 1 p.m.

TV: Channel 11

Radio: KABC (790)


Ramon Martinez (15-6)


Joey Hamilton (15-9)

Time: 1 p.m.

TV: Channel 5

Radio: KABC (790



* July 1 Dodgers 10, Padres 2

* July 2 Dodgers 7, Padres 3

* July 3 Padres 3, Dodgers 2

* July 15 Dodgers 1, Padres 0

* July 16 Padres 10, Dodgers 1

* July 17 Padres 5, Dodgers 4

* Sept. 19 Dodgers 7, Padres 0

* Sept. 20 Padres 4, Dodgers 2

* Sept. 21 Dodgers 9, Padres 2

* Sept. 22 Padres 3, Dodgers 2

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