at every mention of their rivalry with the Padres Every reference to revenge this past week, or after last year's playoff elimination, The Dodgers taught nothing but poise and control.
Emotions are downplayed.
The importance of a single early season series put into perspective.
“If you want outside noise to control you, sure,” outfielder Asked if the intensity was different for this trip, Mookie Betts said, the Dodgers' first visit to San Diego being eliminated by the Padres Last year in the National League Division Series.
“But,” Bates said, “it's still the same game we always play.”
That attitude was evident Saturday night, as the Dodgers calmly made their way 2-1 win on the Padres who wowed a sold-out crowd at Petco Park and swept a three-game series against their Southern California foes.
The Dodgers (20-14) only managed three hits, but got a big hit when they needed it – opening the scoring with a two-run blast. chris taylor In the top of the fourth.
Meanwhile, the team's pitching staff made the lead stand up, combining Dustin May's scoreless six-inning start was capped off with two high-wire escapes by the bullpen to turn Sunday's nationally televised finale against the Padres (18-16) into a weekend rubber match.
“There's been a lot of continuity,” said bench coach danny lehmanwho was acting manager with the Saturdays Dave Roberts away for his son's college graduation.
“I think that's been one of our strengths, going this whole season in a way and not getting too high or too low, but having high expectations for ourselves.”
before the game, it was Clayton Kershaw who took the Dodgers' latest turn, dampening the spirits of this series.
On Friday after the Padres' series-opening win, in which Kershaw took the loss, the Petco Park scoreboard flashed a meme of the future Hall of Famer with a string of tears rolling down his face.
The video of the meme was widely circulated on social media on Friday night and Saturday afternoon, sparking anger online from the Dodgers' fan base.
But when asked about the prank before the first pitch on Saturday, Kershaw shrugged off the controversy, declaring he “took the bait” on a situation he didn't care about.
“Somebody showed it to me this morning,” he said. “If you don't like it, pitch better. I don't think they do that if we win.
Indeed, the scoreboard showed little to please the home crowd on Saturday.
In the beginning, May and the Padres left-hander Blake Snell traded zeros in a duel of pitchers, each taking advantage of a wide strike zone to wind through his first turn through an order from home plate umpire Edwin Jimenez.
While May continued to cruise in fourth, however, Snell blinked at the end.
After retiring 11 consecutive times to start the game, Snell Will Smith. Two pitches later, he hung a center-cut changeup to Taylor.
The result: a two-run blast that went into the second deck of seats at the Western Metal Supply Company Building in left field.
“Just an errant pitch,” said Taylor, whose sixth home run of the season continued at the plate recently. “I was just trying to pick something up because he has good offspeed in the down zone. So yeah, it was something on top of the plate.
May needed that much room to breathe, finishing his scoreless outing with six strikeouts to lower his earned run average to 2.68 and improve to 4–1 on the season.
Catcher Smith said, “He just pitched, batted, went at people.”
“Gave us six good innings.”
Dodgers bullpen – has improved greatly in recent weeks after aligning Caleb Ferguson, Brassard Graterol and Evan Phillips completed the win with contributions from all three – as his highest leverage weapons.
Ferguson was caught in a one-out walk in the seventh, giving up no runs in his 10th straight outing.
Greaterol did limited damage in the eighth inning, allowing just one run despite back-to-back leadoff doubles from Brett Sullivan. Fernando Tatis Jr.
This set the stage for Phillips to pitch the ninth—an opportunity he never got in Game 4 last year when the Dodgers blew a late lead in their elimination loss.
This time, the right-hander took advantage, finishing off a victory in which the Dodgers were still struggling to produce much at the plate, once again hitting with runners in scoring position, but this time for someone Somehow managing to pull it off, the Padres' first loss to calmly retain first place in their division standings.
“I think we know that these two teams are probably going to be in the running in the post-season, and each of us is headed towards winning the World Series,” Phillips said. “But we're trying not to put too much stock in external factors.”
Roberts was attending son Cole's graduation from Loyola Marymount. , Max Muncy was back in the lineup as the designated hitter on Saturday after leaving Friday's game early with “flu-like symptoms”. Muncie, who leads the majors with 12 home runs, was 0 for 2 with a walk and a strikeout.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times,