The Dodgers have been vigilant in trying to convince everyone in baseball that the Padres are NOT their rivals.
If they still believe that, I have some oceanfront property in Arizona to sell them.
In another absolutely electric atmosphere at Dodger Stadium with All-Stars all over the field, the reigning world champs came from behind to beat the upstart Friars 5-4 on Saturday night.
The final score is window dressing. Everyone is going to be talking about one of the most entertaining showdowns we’ve seen in some time: Fernando Tatis Jr. vs. Trevor Bauer.
Y’all may recall in a Spring Training game Bauer pitched to several San Diego hitters with one eye closed and had some success. He also made sure to let as many people as possible know about said success.
So, on Saturday night Fernando Tatis Jr. hit Bauer’s 2nd pitch of the game out of the ballpark. El Nino let Bauer know if you’re gonna dish it out, you’d better learn to take it.
Tatis rounded first base and put a hand over one eye. Bauer said he was just having a little fun. Nobody on the planet has more fun playing baseball than Tatis Jr. He proved it again in the 6th inning, ripping a Bauer fastball that was a couple of inches off the plate out of the yard for his 2nd dinger of the night.
Fernando flipped his bat, let out a scream for the dugout, and after crossing home plate looked like he did a slight rendition of the pitcher strut that Bauer is known for after a strikeout. At the time the blast gave the Padres a 3-2 lead.
Then San Diego skipper Jayce Tingler made some bad choices.
With one out in the 6th inning Tingler lifted starter Blake Snell, who’d struck out seven, with the bottom third of the order coming up. Snell had thrown just 87 pitches but in came Pierce Johnson anyway. Johnson gave up three straight singles to load the bases with Mookie Betts coming up.
Instead of making a change, Tingler gave him another batter. Johnson walked Betts to bring in the tying run. The manager made a move for Tim Hill, who gave up a single up the middle to Corey Seager that scored two and put the Dodgers on top 5-3.
The Padres got one back in the 7th inning when they loaded the bases with one out and Jake Cronenworth scored on a wild pitch by Blake Treinen. But, Treinen got Tatis Jr. to strike out swinging at a pitch well off the plate and caught Trent Grisham looking to end the threat.
L.A. closer Kenley Jansen made the 9th inning an adventure. With one out he walked pinch-hitter Luis Campusano, who was replaced by pinch-runner Jorge Mateo, who promptly stole 2nd base. Tatis hit a grounder up the middle but right into the Dodgers shift for an out. Grisham followed with another strikeout to end another long but wildly entertaining baseball game.
We get one more of these on Sunday night and the whole world can watch. It’s the ESPN game of the week with Joe Musgrove taking the mound against Dustin May. After that we have to wait until June 21-23 at Petco Park to get these two powerhouses against each other again.
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