Heading into the 2021 regular season the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres were touted by most as the top two teams in the National League, if not all of baseball. Through the first seven of 19 head-to-head meetings, they traded punches and absorbed body blows.
The capper to seven games in 10 days featured a bit of everything. Dustin May added to the impressive showing of starting pitching, and the Dodgers eventually got their lineup to sustain some momentum as they broke it open with a five-run sixth inning.
However, the Padres refused to go quietly into the Sunday night at Dodger Stadium. They scored two runs in each of the seventh, eighth and ninth innings to pull even, and took a decided lead in the 11th.
“We just didn’t play good baseball. We didn’t play clean baseball,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after his club’s 8-7 loss. “We gave up runs late. Dustin had a fantastic outing and we didn’t pitch well at the backend of the game.”
Fernando Tatis Jr. largely had his way during the four-game series, hitting five home runs and poking fun at Trevor Bauer along the way. “I thought Dustin did a very good job of mixing the looks, making him feel him inside, then spinning him away,” Roberts said.
“Pitched him up a little bit. But after that I don’t think we did a good job.”
The Dodgers lost their first series of the season and are 3-4 against the Padres thus far. “I think the net is they outplayed us. All the games were close, but yeah, seven games, they outplayed us,” Roberts said. “That’s baseball. We’ve got to regroup and get ready for the Reds.”
L.A. has been outscored 32-30 by San Diego in the season series thus far. Of the 68 innings the teams have played, the Dodgers led after 25. That edges the Padres leading after 22 frames, and the teams being tied after 21.
Roberts: Dodgers were of Padres
Roberts and other Dodgers have continued to praise the Padres, and that was again the case after their latest series concluded. Roberts said “not a whole lot” was learned about the Dodgers’ biggest threat in the National League West.
“We knew they could pitch, we knew they’re athletic, they play good defense. They made some big plays defensively, got some big hits when they needed to. It’s kind of what we knew,” he added. “I think for us, it’s more about us and how we play baseball. When we play clean baseball and pitch well, we win. We really didn’t learn anything. That’s a good club.”
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