The Los Angeles Dodgers took care of business in the National League Division Series, sweeping the San Diego Padres in three games that featured tense and exciting moments.
Game 3 was a bit anticlimactic as the Dodgers largely cruised in a 12-3 series clincher. All of the drama came in Game 2 when the Dodgers hung on for a 6-5 victory in what was one of the most entertaining postseason games of all-time.
Tempers flared between the two teams in the seventh inning when Brusdar Graterol entered the game to face Fernando Tatis Jr. with the Dodgers leading 4-3. Tatis hit what looked to be a go-ahead two-run home run, but Cody Bellinger had different ideas as he jumped up and robbed it to end the inning and maintain the lead.
Graterol was so happy with the play his teammate both made that he threw both his glove and cap towards the Dodgers’ dugout in excitement. The Padres, and Manny Machado specifically, took exception with Graterol’s celebration, yelling expletives towards him and the Dodgers.
That caused the Dodgers to shout back, although it never escalated past that. Graterol even faced Machado the following inning and got him to groundout before sharing a laugh as he ran back to the dugout.
After emotions settled, Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer explained he did not have a problem with Graterol’s celebration, via Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:
“The game’s different nowadays,” Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer said. “I think fans want to see more emotion, especially in a playoff series, especially in a rivalry series like this. When you get the best competitors from all over the world on the biggest stage, you’re gonna show a lot of emotion. You’re gonna show a lot of excitement. And nothing got out of hand, as guys were just sticking up for each other, for their team. I didn’t see anything wrong with either Manny’s bat flip or what Graterol did.”
This type of interaction was common between the Dodgers and Padres this season as they had a similar altercation in September when Trent Grisham admired a home run he hit off Clayton Kershaw, which manager Dave Roberts took offense to.
Machado himself emphatically chucked his bat after homering off Kershaw in the sixth inning of Game 2, which made his reaction to Graterol’s celebration a bit hypocritical.
Machado hasn’t publicly spoken on the matter, but it is hard to imagine him feeling differently than Hosmer. In the heat of the moment in a close postseason game when emotions are high, it is understandable that Machado would react in the manner that he did.
But if he is an advocate of letting players show some emotion and excitement, then there is no reason to hold a grudge towards Graterol.
Betts defends Graterol
Mookie Betts hasn’t been a member of the Dodgers for long, but it is clear that he is close with his teammates as he was one of the first ones to come to Graterol’s defense, waving the Padres back to their dugout.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events and more!