Pedro Ciriaco #3 of the San Diego Padres celebrates after he thinks he's turned a double play as Zack Greinke #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks on during the fifth inning of a baseball game at Petco Park on June 22, 2013 in San Diego, California.
The Dodgers start a three-game weekend series agains the Padres on Friday. After splitting their first six games against the Red Sox and Cubs, they look to finish off the home stand with a winning record before heading to the mile-high stadium of Coor's Field.
The last time the two teams met from June 20-23, the Dodgers were right at the start of their current season-changing 48-13 stretch. After losing the first two games of the series in San Diego, they had fallen 12 games under .500 and 9.5 back of Arizona in last place. They are now 9.5 games in front of Arizona for first place in the NL West and 23 games over .500.
Speaking of the NL West, San Diego is the first divisional opponent the Dodgers will face since the All-Star break. They have visited Washington, Toronto, Chicago, St Louis, Philadelphia and Miami in the past month and a half.
Hyun-Jin Ryu kicks the series off with his first career start against the Padres. They are the only NL West opponent he has not faced yet, despite making eight starts against the rest of the West. Ryu got roughed up for four runs in five innings against Boston his last time out, but has been solid overall in August with a 2.84 ERA and three starts of at least seven innings.
Chris Capuano, on the other hand, has four straight starts of five innings or less with a 6.98 ERA. Somehow the Dodgers won three of those starts, so Capuano was only given one loss. It's been said over and over again, but just imagine if Clayton Kershaw got run support like that, he had two losses this month with a combined three earned runs.
Zack Greinke finishes off the series against San Diego. Everyone remembers the brawl that ensued back in April with Carlos Quentin, but he did make another start against the club in June, an eight-inning one-run outing with eight strikeouts.
Another note of interest for this series is that on Sunday, the rosters expand to 40 players. There will be some call-ups of familiar names who have spent the last few months in the Dodgers' minor league system.
This series is shaping up to be a good weekend of Dodgers baseball, and if you plan on heading out to the stadium there are post-game fireworks on Friday, a Clayton Kershaw replica jersey on Saturday, and a free screening of "The Sandlot" after the game on Sunday.