Dave Roberts insisted it wouldn’t be a litmus check.
After the drubbing his staff inflicted Friday, possibly he ought to have.
On an evening that started with an emotional on-field ceremony commemorating the late Vin Scully, and that was speculated to showcase a supposedly revamped San Diego Padres roster following Tuesday’s commerce deadline, the Dodgers as an alternative cruised to an 8-1 win, extending their latest dominance over the rivalry whereas selecting up their sixth consecutive win.
“Clearly, the anticipation outdoors of the ballplayers is there,” Roberts stated. “However the messaging has been constant on our half, simply specializing in ourselves and taking part in good baseball.”
That, the Dodgers did within the collection opener.
They struck for 4 runs within the backside of the primary, twice benefiting from a misplay by Brandon Drury at third base to surge in entrance.
They doubled their lead with 4 extra runs within the second, burying Padres starter Sean Manaea on two-run doubles from Chris Taylor and Cody Bellinger.
They salted away the collection opener from there, receiving 5 scoreless innings out of beginning pitcher Tony Gonsolin and little late resistance from their guests, who entered the collection using excessive from their flurry of deadline strikes.
“They positively acquired higher,” shortstop Trea Turner stated. “However we took care of enterprise tonight.”
For Juan Soto, Josh Bell, Josh Hader and Drury — the Padres 4 high-profile additions — it was their first time dropping to the Dodgers in a brown and yellow uniform.
For his or her Padres teammates, nonetheless, Friday was nothing new.
The Dodgers are 6-2 in opposition to the Padres this yr and have received 15 of the final 17 conferences relationship to final yr.
They stretched their NL West result in 131/2 video games, a seemingly insurmountable benefit with two months remaining within the common season.
And, intentional or not, the Dodgers (73-33) delivered what felt like an emphatic rebuke of the Padres deadline scramble — which was highlighted by them outbidding the Dodgers in a blockbuster transfer for Soto.
“It’s what it’s,” Roberts stated when requested in regards to the Soto commerce. “He’s a terrific participant. It actually makes our job a bit bit tougher, so much tougher. However there’s nothing we will do. We’re not going to run from it.”
The Dodger Stadium crowd certain didn’t.
Barely every week after serenading Soto with “Future Dodger!” chants when he visited as a member of the Nationals, the 23-year-old outfielder was greeted by a refrain of boos throughout his first journey to the plate Friday.
It was one of many few occasions a sellout crowd of 52,714 did one thing apart from cheer.
After participating within the pregame ceremony — wherein Roberts led the stadium in reciting Scully’s well-known phrase, “It’s time for Dodger baseball” — they roared to life when Drury threw away a bases-loaded grounder within the first, permitting the sport’s first two runs to attain.
They had been on their toes once more moments later, when Hanser Alberto hit a two-hopper previous Drury and down the road for a two-run double, then as soon as extra within the third when Taylor, who was taking part in his first recreation in a month due to a foot fracture, and Bellinger tacked on two-run doubles.
Gonsolin, in the meantime, settled down after a laborious first two innings, happening to finish his fifth begin of a minimum of 5 shutout innings this season.
And the sport was to date out of attain by the seventh, Soto was changed for a few innings of relaxation.
Friday’s end result apart, the Padres (61-48) nonetheless seem to be a lot greater threats than they did throughout their earlier go to a month in the past, after they had been practically swept in a four-game collection wherein their offense scored simply eight runs whole.
“You actually have to present Padres possession, Peter Seidler, plenty of credit score,” stated Roberts, a former Padres participant and coach who stated he’d by no means seen the franchise with a lot buzz. “When individuals are speaking in regards to the Dodgers and the Padres, the Nationwide League West, massive trades, spending cash on nice gamers — I feel all of us win.”
The Dodgers don’t appear infallible, both, with their pitching workers taking one other blow Friday when beginning pitcher Clayton Kershaw was positioned on the injured checklist due to low again ache — a difficulty the Dodgers hope will hold the left-hander sidelined for not more than a few month.
“He’s actually pissed off, however there’s nothing we will do about it,” Roberts stated. “I feel his solely focus is to do what we will to get him again as quickly as attainable, and wholesome.”
For now, although, any ideas in regards to the Padres difficult the Dodgers’ NL supremacy should wait.
Their lineup is perhaps extra imposing. Their roster is undoubtedly deeper.
However on Friday, the Dodgers’ latest torment of the Padres continued. Not even a new-look Padres roster may forestall extra of the identical.
This story initially appeared in Los Angeles Times.