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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Padres & Dodgers rivalry has everything: Star power, drama, and great baseball

Mookie+Betts+of+the+Dodgers.

Mookie Betts of the Dodgers.

Through only seven meetings thus far in the season, both the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres have found themselves amidst one of baseball’s most entertaining rivalries. Coming off the heels of an ALDS series which saw the Dodgers sweep the Padres last fall, San Diego seems to have taken the next step this season, winning four of their seven meetings with L.A. thus far.

In their first matchup this season, the Padres and Dodgers required extra innings to decide a winner. Tempers flared in the tenth inning and benches cleared after Padres hitter Jorge Mateo was drilled by Dennis Santana’s 95 MPH fastball. Mateo had been hit twice in the same game earlier in the week, and had words for pitcher Dennis Santana, who began to make his way towards Mateo. Benches cleared, as it appeared for a moment that a brawl could transpire. After both team’s players were situated and baseball resumed, the Dodgers would go on to score five runs in the top of the 12th, thanks in part to a Corey Seager homer which brought home Mookie Betts from second base.

While the Dodgers enjoyed continued success from last post season in the season series opener with the Padres, San Diego has gone on to win four of their six matchups with L.A. since then. Budding Padres’ superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. had an outstanding four game series against Los Angeles this past week, tallying a staggering five home runs.

Against starting pitcher Trevor Bauer on April 24, Tatis Jr. homered in the first inning. Upon rounding first base, he turned to his dugout, skipping backwards, and covered his right eye with his right hand. The gesture was a shot at Bauer, who tauntingly pitched with one eye closed against the Padres in spring training. Tatis Jr. faced Bauer again in the sixth inning, and again, he took Bauer deep. Even more impressive, Tatis Jr. accomplished the exact same feat only the night before against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw in a 6–1 San Diego victory.

After the game, Bauer had a few thoughts on Tatis Jr.’s celebration. “I want to say something about that because I think it’s important. You know, he did it in the first, I didn’t see it because I was paying attention to doing my job, and he did it again later in the game. Their dugout was doing it, and I like it. I think that pitchers who have that done to them and react by throwing at people, or getting upset and hating people or whatever, is pretty soft. You give up a homer, a guy should celebrate it. It’s hard to hit in the big leagues.”

In the final game of the four game set between the Padres and Dodgers, San Diego overcame a 7–1 deficit that waned into the seventh inning. After tallying two runs a piece in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings, the Padres evened the game at 7–7 and forced extra innings. In the top of the 11th inning, Eric Hosmer hit a sacrifice fly scoring Fernando Tatis Jr. who tagged up from third base on the play.

Though the teams have already met seven times, they are still due for twelve more meetings throughout the season. If their first two encounters are any indication of how the rest of the games between the Dodgers and Padres will transpire, baseball fans are in for a treat. With star power like Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., Mookie Betts, and Clayton Kershaw, as well as both teams’ mutual dislike of each other, the Dodgers and Padres rivalry is set to captivate fans on a national level.