The San Diego Padres were a popular pick to overtake the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West last season, yet ended up falling well out of the picture as the San Francisco Giants stormed to a division title behind a franchise-record 107 wins.
The Padres again were projected by some to win the NL West crown in 2022, particularly with Bob Melvin taking over as manager. That hasn’t yet played out in the standings, but expectations were heightened when the Padres acquired Josh Bell, Brandon Drury, Josh Hader and Juan Soto at the trade deadline.
San Diego won three of four from the Colorado Rockies before their new-look lineup faced the Dodgers for a highly-anticipated series at Dodger Stadium. The Padres held just one lead en route to being swept by the Dodgers.
Although the Dodgers sent a proverbial message, Manny Machado brushed aside the notion of the weekend having any significance, per Alden González of ESPN:
“Keep playing baseball,” Machado said, speaking after the Padres’ 4-0 loss at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, when asked what he took away from that series. “It’s plain and simple. Nothing else to it.”
Machado also rebuffed needing to be worried by the Dodgers sweeping the Padres:
“Concerned?” he shot back. “Why would I be concerned? Not at all.”
What gave him that confidence?
“I’m f—ing Manny Machado,” he quipped.
Bell, Drury, Machado and Soto went a combined 6-for-38 (.158) with one double, two RBI, five walks and eight strikeouts in the series. Soto led the group with three walks, while Machado had four of their strikeouts.
Having just gone 14-4 over a stretch without a day off and in the midst of a season-high-tying eight-game winning streak, the Dodgers now lead the Padres by 16 games for first place in the NL West.
L.A. additionally is 8-2 against San Diego this season. They have nine more meetings remaining this year, with six of them coming at Petco Park.
Wil Myers: Padres too worried about Dodgers
After the Padres lost on Saturday, Wil Myers said he felt too much of their attention was on trying to prove themselves against the Dodgers. Myers added he believed the Padres would be improved once getting more time with their new additions.
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