The Dodgers are 5-1 against the Padres this season and are currently sitting 7 games ahead of them in the NL West standings. The Dodgers beat San Diego 14 of 19 times last year in the regular season and are 124-61 since 2013. LA has absolutely beaten down on the Padres for 10 years running… in the regular season, of course.
But the Padres got to the Dodgers last October, surprising the 111 juggernaut and bouncing them in the first round of the playoffs. The Friars went out and added some pieces to the roster since then only to get humbled in five of six matchups this season — including now five straight.
Before Sunday’s game, Padres ace right-hander Joe Musgrove said he’s “tired of hearing that s***.”
“We feel like we have a better team than them,” Musgrove told reporters after his loss on Saturday. “We’re just not playing to our capabilities right now on both sides of the ball.” … “I think we, as a group in here, got to stop talking about these guys like they’re that unbeatable force. We beat these guys in the playoffs, we beat them in big situations. We’re just not playing very well right now.”
Not playing very well indeed. After Sunday’s loss, the Padres fell to 3 games under .500 and have lost 7 of their last 8 games. The club with the $250 million roster is severely underperforming and, well, in watching them, don’t all seem too worried about it.
As usual, Manny Machado passed the buck when it came to San Diego’s dismal start and dismal showing against the Dodgers. Things will sort themselves out. He went 0-11 with a walk and 2 double plays in the series and is hitting .232 on the season.
“We want to win,” Machado said. “Yeah, we’re pressing, for sure. We want to win a (expletive) game. That’s what it’s about. It’s about winning, and we’re not playing good baseball.” … “We know you just gotta trust the process. There are going to be good days, there are going to be bad days. There are going to be really good months and really bad months. You just gotta have one really good month, and that changes your whole season. So just keep playing baseball. I think that’s all we can ask.”
To be fair, Mookie Betts is saying just about the same thing from the other dugout. The difference is his words are on the heels of a 3 game sweep and a 13-2 stretch for LA.
“For us, we’ve known what we’re capable of, said Betts. “We know what we can do. We’re just doing it. I think from the outside, there was definitely some wondering of what’s going on [early in the year]. But it’s a long season. You’re not gonna pitch, play defense and hit all 162 games.”
The Padres have a long way to go and plenty of opportunity to get back into the race before the next time these two teams meet in August.
“There’s a lot of good players in here. It’s baseball. We’ll see where we’re at at the end of the year, and then we’ll talk again.” – Manny Machado.