Padres Starter Mike Clevinger ‘Not Giving Up’ On NLDS

Knowing the San Diego Padres were thin on pitching, Mike Clevinger decided to give it a shot, taking the mound in Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Clevinger was the Padres’ big trade deadline acquisition pegged to be the ace of their staff. Unfortunately, he developed an elbow injury toward the end of the regular season that kept him out of the Wild Card round.

After continuing to rehab in hopes of making a return, Clevinger was deemed healthy enough to take the ball in Game 1 against the Dodgers. His outing didn’t last long, however, as two pitches into the second inning he was removed from the game.

Elbow injuries aren’t usually something to be aggressive with, often leading to Tommy John surgery which requires more than a year of recovery time and the possibility of altering a pitcher’s career.

Despite that, Clevinger and the Padres are not ruling out a return later in the NLDS or postseason, via Adam Berry of

Clevinger said the injury feels like “knocking on the back of my elbow, like my bones are hitting in the back of my elbow.” The right-hander became emotional during his postgame Zoom call with reporters and wouldn’t declare himself out for the rest of this series. “I’m not giving up, and I don’t think anybody on that training staff’s going to give up, either,” Clevinger said.

Tingler said the Padres are “hopeful” that Clevinger will be able to come back, but cautioned that the pitcher’s status is “still kind of day to day with everything.”

The Padres have Clevinger under club control for two more seasons after 2020, so being cautious with their ace would be in their best interest moving forward. Especially considering their window to contend extends way beyond this season.

San Diego has used eight or more pitchers in all four of their postseason games so far, so it’s not surprising to see them not yet rule out the possibility of Clevinger returning if healthy enough.

Davies gets start in Game 2

Needing some length from their starters, Padres manager Jayce Tingler announced they are turning to Zach Davies to start opposite Clayton Kershaw in Game 2.

Davies was great in the regular season, pitching to a 2.73 ERA in 12 starts. He struggled against the St. Louis Cardinals in the Wild Card Series, allowing four runs in two innings of work.

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