The Los Angeles Dodgers opened up arguably their biggest series of the regular season on Monday night, falling to the San Diego Padres, 7-1, at Petco Park.
The Dodgers still have the best record in baseball, but the Padres are right on their tails and 1.5 games behind in the National League West standings. San Diego is in the midst of an impressive stretch and are on an eight-game winning streak.
As it currently stands, regardless of who wins the division, the two NL West teams would face off in the NL Division Series if they both were to advance from the Wild Card Series round.
It appears L.A. and San Diego are building a bit of a rivalry and the significance of this week’s series for the Padres was easy to see when Trent Grisham hit a solo home run off Clayton Kershaw to tie the game in the sixth inning.
Grisham admired his home run for a bit before flipping his bat and breaking into a home run trot. He then exchanged some words with someone in the Dodgers dugout while rounding third base and before jumping onto home plate like he had just hit a walk-off home run.
In this day and age, bats flips and admiration are becoming more popular amongst the younger generation of players. With such a respected pitcher like Kershaw on the mound though, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was not a fan of Grisham showing him up.
“I don’t mind guys admiring a homer. Certainly it’s a big game, big hit. Really like the player, but I just felt to stay at home plate, certainly against a guy like Clayton who’s got the respect of everyone in the big leagues and what he’s done in this game, I just took exception to that,” Roberts explained.
“I think there’s a certain respect you give a guy if you homer against him.”
The Dodgers have admired a few home runs of their own in recent years, but it is clear that Roberts feels a three-time Cy Young Award winner and future Hall of Famer like Kershaw demands more respect than that.
Kershaw doesn’t mind Grisham admiring home run
Kershaw, on the other hand, expressed a different opinion, albeit with a pause before answering how he felt about the moment.
“I’m not going to worry about their team,” Kershaw answered. “Let him do what he wants.”
Kershaw turned in a solid outing, pitching into the seventh inning, but ultimately the Padres came away with the victory in the series opener.
With still two more games to go at Petco Park, it will be interesting to see if anything comes of this Grisham situation.
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