San Diego Padres announcer Mark Grant may need to work on his lip reading, but not in this case — Clayton Kershaw’s intent was pretty obvious.
Part II of the Padres-Dodgers thrilling series did not disappoint, with the Dodgers winning 2-0 thanks in part to a game-saving catch by Mookie Betts. Not to be overlooked, however, was the dominant outing of Kershaw, who went six strong and gave up just two hits, striking out eight in the process.
Drama ensued in the fourth inning, when Jurickson Profar’s strikeout was overturned thanks to catcher’s interference. Kershaw would later go on to accuse Profar of intentionally hitting Austin Barnes’ glove on his backswing, as ludicrous as that sounds. Profar and Kershaw started jawing back and forth, leading to this incredibly heated exchange between the two sides.
The Dodgers can claim this is just another series for them, but we don’t buy it
Sure, every division series is big, and Corey Seager and Kershaw have echoed those sentiments. Yet, isn’t there something a little more chaotic and intense about Padres-Dodgers this year? Normal divisional matchups don’t end in 12-inning games that feel like a postseason marathon, nor do they involve multiple conflicts that nearly result in the benches clearing.
The Dodgers are the best team in baseball, with the Padres right behind them. I don’t think there’s much of a discussion to be had about that topic right now. Yet, Los Angeles is stacked at every position, and despite trading for two Cy Young-caliber pitchers this offseason, the Padres still find themselves behind at valuable depth spots.
It’s a long season, but the Dodgers are making a statement early, whether they want to admit it or not.