San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers set stage for memorable summer season

LOS ANGELES — It appeared as if Sunday’s finale, the seventh recreation in 10 days between the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers, would lastly produce the primary dud of this exhilarating matchup. The Dodgers led by six runs, and the Padres have been right down to their final 9 outs, getting into the ultimate three innings of a grueling stretch that consisted of 17 video games in 17 days.

However, in fact, the Padres chipped away on the deficit.

After all, they made it attention-grabbing within the ninth.

And in fact, they despatched it into further innings.

The Padres in the end received, driving a game-tying single from Manny Machado and a game-winning sacrifice fly from Eric Hosmer. San Diego wound up taking 4 of the seven video games from the Dodgers and outscored them by the slimmest of margins, 32-30. All informed, the groups performed 68 innings and have been separated by two runs or fewer in 61 of them. There have been 10 ties, 5 lead modifications, two close to brawls, and one Twitter battle.

“Man, I am drained,” Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. informed the ESPN broadcast moments after recording the ultimate out. “All I wanna do is go residence and fall asleep.”

Sunday’s outing really offered the proper bookend. The opener — again on April 16, which now seems like three months in the past — lasted 12 innings and 297 minutes. The finale lasted 11 innings and 299 minutes. The opener noticed Dodgers pitcher David Value hit a sacrifice fly off Padre’s second baseman Jake Cronenworth, which was caught by Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove. The finale noticed two beginning pitchers, Ryan Weathers of the Padres and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers, come to bat with the successful run 90 toes away within the tenth inning.

One inning later, Mark Melancon took the mound because the forty-first and remaining participant to look in Sunday’s recreation.

The Dodgers are the reigning World Sequence champs, winners of eight consecutive division titles. They entered this four-game sequence with the very best document within the majors and ended it with the very best document within the majors. They do not have something to show at this level. The Padres nonetheless do. They usually did.

“I feel we definitely made a press release,” Hosmer stated. “The entire baseball world was watching these video games, locked into our sequence, and I feel they know that we can compete with these guys.”

The Padres and Dodgers will play at the very least 12 extra instances this season, however, the subsequent assembly will not come till June 21. Till then, listed below are seven takeaways from their seven tantalizing April video games:

An epic comeback

It was solely becoming that this unbelievable sequence would function an unbelievable ending. When Chris Taylor belted a three-run homer within the sixth inning on Sunday, pushing the result in 7-1, a Dodgers victory appeared like a foregone conclusion. The Padres have been 1-112 all-time in video games during which they trailed the Dodgers by six or extra runs. Over the previous 50 seasons, groups trailing by six within the seventh inning or later had a .007 successful share. These 12 months alone, groups have been 0-49 in that state of affairs.

The Dodgers had received 228 consecutive video games during which they held a six-run lead.

The Padres, main league leaders in come-from-behind victories throughout the shortened 2020 season, fittingly have been those to finish that streak. They picked up two within the seventh, one other two within the eighth, and one more two within the ninth, earlier than ending off the Dodgers two innings later.

“We simply had a perception that they can not shut us out, they can not shut us out,” Padres supervisor Jayce Tingler stated.

Dodgers supervisor Dave Roberts was clearly peeved at his bullpen’s efficiency, although three of his high-leverage relievers have been out of motion.

He was requested if he discovered something new in regards to the Padres over the course of those seven video games.

“Not an entire lot,” Roberts stated. “We knew they may pitch; we knew they’re athletic. They play a good protection. They made some massive performs defensively, they acquired some massive hits after they wanted to, so, yeah, it is a form of what we knew. It is simply extra about us and the way we play baseball. Once we play clear baseball, we pitch effectively, then we win.”

Tatis is again (on one aspect, at the very least)

On Friday, Tatis homered twice off Kershaw, on the twenty-second anniversary of his father belting two grand slams in a single inning at Dodger Stadium. On Saturday, Tatis homered twice once more — this time without work Trevor Bauer — to change into the primary participant ever with back-to-back two-homer video games towards Cy Younger Award winners. On Sunday, he homered but once more. With that, he turned the primary shortstop to homer in three straight video games at Dodger Stadium and the primary participant with 5 residence runs and two stolen bases in a highway sequence, irrespective of the venue.

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Fernando Tatis Jr. takes Dustin Could deep to middle discipline for a 408-foot homer.

“I really imagine he is the very best expertise in baseball,” Hosmer stated. “He is the face of baseball, and he confirmed why. Particularly seeing how he began, him having no panic in his recreation in any way. As a younger participant, once you begin out a bit sluggish and never the best way you need to begin out, it is really easy to panic, to attempt to do extra. Coming into an enormous sequence like this, when the entire world’s watching us towards the Dodgers, and once more at this time, being on ESPN, Sunday Night time Baseball — he simply continued to impress me on the psychological aspect of the sport.”

Tatis additionally booted a grounder within the second inning, giving him a significant league-leading 9 errors via his first 15 video games. However, perhaps the protection will tighten up because the offensive a part of Tatis’ recreation reemerges. Tatis started the four-game sequence with a .600 OPS and ended it with a .970 OPS. On his fourth residence run of the sequence, the prolonged his arms and hit a pitch that tailed approach out of the strike zone out to left-center. On his fifth, he noticed a fastball deep and hit it the opposite approach. These are good indicators for his tender left shoulder.

Lined eyes, YouTube responses, and Photoshop infants

In a stretch of 17 hours, we had …

• Fernando Tatis Jr. trolling Trevor Bauer by protecting one in every one of his eyes and doing the Conor McGregor strut whereas celebrating residence runs.

• Bauer talking out in assist of Tatis’ celebrations, saying he’s “all for it” and calling pitchers “smooth” for retaliating to comparable showmanship by throwing at hitters.

• Bauer calling out Tatis on Twitter for seemingly peeking at Dodgers catcher Will Smith proper earlier than his second residence run.

• Tatis dunking on Bauer in response.

Later, Bauer made a YouTube video during which he playfully broke down Tatis’ celebrations but additionally addressed him subtly wanting again whereas on the plate to both peek at Smith’s signal or see the place he was establishing (or each) earlier than his sixth-inning residence run — on a cutter that tailed considerably away from the strike zone.

Beneath was a part of Bauer’s response from that video.

When you’re gonna try this, and have fun it, I imply you gotta — ah, that is powerful. That is powerful. Both be adequate to not have to have a look at the indicators, after which you’ll be able to have fun. Or should you do have to have a look at the indicators, I do not know in regards to the celebration, man. It is a powerful one. Now, this brings up the query of unwritten guidelines. Am I mad in regards to the celebrations and the bat flips and all that stuff? No. Nonetheless, should you begin indicators, should you begin pulling this, like, bush-league stuff, that is when individuals get pissed off. I imply lots of people get pissed off in regards to the celebrations and no matter. They’re simply smooth. However, that is the kind of stuff that may get you to hit in different video games. Now, I am mild-mannered about it, and I am gonna ship a message extra this fashion and say, ‘Hey, that is not OK. When you preserve doing it, one thing must occur.’

Dodgers supervisor Dave Roberts struck the same tone in his pregame media session on Sunday afternoon. He claimed he hadn’t seen the video of Tatis peeking at Smith earlier than his residence run, saying: “I have an amazing quantity of respect for Fernando, the best way he performs the sport. But when that’s the case, which I do not know, that’ll be famous.”

He was requested if by “famous” he meant his catcher making changes to account for Tatis peeking.

“No,” Roberts responded, “that is not what I am speaking about.”

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After trailing 7-1 within the seventh inning, Manny Machado drives in Fernando Tatis Jr. because the Padres come storming again to tie the Dodgers within the ninth inning.

An answer for Manny?

Manny Machado had reached base 14 instances in 21 professional plate appearances towards Bauer when the season started. He had gathered 10 hits in 17 at-bats, 4 of which sailed over a fence, then added a few singles after they met once more on April 18. In opposition to Bauer’s four-seam fastball, Machado was slugging 1.727. Absurd.

On Saturday, Bauer countered by attacking Machado completely with sliders. Severely. In three at-bats, Machado noticed 13 consecutive sliders — the pitch Bauer is mostly most snug throwing to right-handed hitters and one which produced an atrocious-looking swing by Machado of their prior matchup.

The consequence with sliders this time: strikeout, groundout, strikeout, the final of which triggered a smile from Machado as he made his approach again to his dugout.

Possibly Bauer lastly discovered one thing for Machado.

Déjà vu

It was a scene that transported you again to Sport 6 of the final 12 months’ World Sequence: Blake Snell cruising via 5 innings, popping out for the sixth, leaving surprisingly early with a lead, then watching his bullpen give all of it up. It occurred once more on Saturday, in the one recreation that the Dodgers received on this sequence. Snell joined the Padres hoping he can be given the prospect to show he might persistently pitch deep into video games, one thing the Tampa Bay Rays hardly allowed. However, he’s nonetheless looking for his first six-inning to begin on July 21, 2019.

The Padres have pulled Snell earlier than the 90-pitch mark in 4 of his 5 begins, which really is not all that shocking. Each group is training excessive warning with their beginning pitchers given the numerous innings soar required when transitioning from a 60-game season to a 162-game marketing campaign. Finally, although, the Padres will want Snell to pitch deep into video games. Their bullpen has already absorbed a significant league-leading 103⅔ innings this season (eight of them on Sunday alone). That’s not sustainable for a group with aspirations of enjoying deep into October.

A brand new Kenley, very similar to the outdated one

“California Love,” a signature aspect of Dodger Stadium’s soundtrack for a lot of the final decade, is now not Kenley Jansen’s entrance tune. He ditched it for “2 of Amerikaz Most Wished,” one other standard 2Pac tune.

“Only a new starting, man,” Jansen stated earlier this season. “It is time.”

This new Jansen seems to be so much just like the outdated one, a stunning-yet-welcomed growth that would elevate the Dodgers to one more degree. The spin-charge on Jansen’s cutter is the very best it has been since Statcast started monitoring in 2015; the exit velocity towards it’s simply the bottom in that stretch. On Tuesday, Jansen threw a pitch 97 mph — the primary time he has reached that mark since June 2018. On Saturday, Roberts referred to as on Jansen to document the ultimate 4 outs of a one-run recreation, and he answered by retiring 4 of the 5 batters he confronted.

Jansen is throwing his cutter a mean of 92 mph, the best velocity for that pitch. The execution is all about timing.

“It is the texture I have been looking for, for years,” Jansen stated. “It is arduous for me to elucidate.”

To be decided

For as intently matched because the Padres and Dodgers have been, it additionally was clear that neither group was essentially the very best model of itself. Cody Bellinger, recovering from a hairline fracture in his leg, did not play in any respect. As a substitute, guys like Luke Raley, Matt Beaty, and DJ Peters mixed to take 31 plate appearances towards the Padres. When the Padres got, here again, to tie it within the ninth on Sunday, Jimmy Nelson was on the mound, and Garrett Cleavinger started to heat up shortly after Nelson acquired in hassle, getting into within the eleventh. Neither would have been pitching in such high-leverage spots if this has been October and never April.

The Padres weren’t essentially complete, both. Dinelson Lamet wasn’t obtainable in both sequences. He’s one in every of 11 San Diego pitchers presently on the injured checklist. And so, when Tingler was requested if he believes his group is healthier than the Dodgers, he answered this fashion: “I am extra targeted on what we’re gonna be, and the issues we can clear up and are available collectively, and I really feel very, very assured that we have got extra to go. And I am positive on the opposite aspect, as effectively. They’re gonna have guys come again. They’re gonna enhance, and we’re gonna enhance.”

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