It's about as big as a 3-game series in April can be.
Petco Park. Padres vs. Dodgers. San Diego and Los Angeles tied for first place in the National League West.
If the Padres win the series, it will be HUGE for setting up the rest of the year. But if they lose another set to the prohibitive division favorites ... well, that would be bad. The Padres have heard one of baseball's old sayings far too often.
"You can't win a division in April, but you can lose it," said 3rd baseman Will Middlebrooks.
"You can't win a pennant in April, but you can lose a pennant in April," said catcher Derek Norris, in a completely different conversation.
For the last four years the Padres have, indeed, lost the division in April, so this is a welcome change.
The Padres made a roster move getting ready for the series against the Dodgers. Relief pitcher Shawn Kelley, who has taken two of the team's seven losses, went on the 15-day disabled list with a left calf strain. In his place, the Friars recalled Kevin Quackenbush from Triple-A El Paso.
Quack has actually trimmed his signature beard, cutting it nearly in half. So was it a superstition or team-building kind of thing that led to the change?
"Nah, it was just a fresh start," said Quackenbush. "Starting new."
Another something new will be the crowd. The Padres expect a majority of Padres fans to show up on all three days, something that has not happened very often in recent years as Dodgers fans have made Petco Park a version of Chavez Ravine South.