Tensions again boiled over in another intense matchup between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres, with Clayton Kershaw and Jurickson Profar taking the honors after Dennis Santana and Jorge Mateo had an exchange that led to benches clearing in the series opener.
Kershaw’s frustration arose in the fourth inning on Saturday night, as it appeared he struck out Profar on a check-swing. However, the Padres’ utility man protested to home-plate umpire Tom Haillon’s that there was catcher’s interference by Austin Barnes.
It went to review and the strikeout was overturned. That upset Kershaw, who shouted to Profar, “That was a(n) [expletive] swing.” Profar used profanity in his response and the two were separated by teammates.
“That’s a little scary. Barnesy could’ve been seriously injured on that play,” Kershaw explained after the Dodgers’ dramatic 2-0 win. “He basically swung straight down and backwards. I’m not saying it was intentional, but that was not a big league swing right there.
“I asked the umpire if I can just hit the catcher’s glove every time. I’ve got a much better chance of doing that than hitting the ball. There’s some leeway, some gray area within that rule that might need to be looked at.”
Roberts also was incredulous and had safety in mind as well. “It was really late. I just didn’t understand the rule. I saw the ball in Austin’s glove, then there was contact after it was in the glove,” he noted.
“I guess as the rule states, if there’s any contact with the bat, it’s still catcher’s interference. I didn’t understand the rule and I’m just leery as far as protecting the catcher. That late of a swing, you can break a guy’s hand.”
Kershaw in rhythm
Since allowing six runs (five earned) to the Colorado Rockies on Opening Day, Kershaw has held the Oakland Athletics, Washington Nationals and Padres to a combined one run while collecting 22 strikeouts in 19 innings pitched across his past three starts.
“It was a good game. The Padres obviously have a lot great hitters over there, so just try and keep them off balance as best you can,” he said. “Guys came out of the ‘pen and did an unbelievable job. That catch by Mookie was incredible. Just a good team win. It was awesome.”
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