May 16, 2021

Decades in the Making, the Dodgers-Padres Rivalry Has Arrived (FanGraphs)


This picture of Mookie Betts looks like something out of a postseason highlight reel. It looks, in fact, very much like a picture of Mookie Betts from last October, when he made a number of game- and series-saving catches en route to the Dodgers’ World Series championship. It isn’t: it’s from April 17, last weekend, when the Padres hosted the Dodgers for a three-game set. The catch Betts was celebrating did, indeed, save the game — but it wasn’t a game that meant the difference between living and dying. It was a game that meant the difference between being 11-2 or 10-3.

Even though it might not have been life-or-death, the first meeting between the Dodgers and Padres since they squared off in the NLDS last year was a wild ride. At no point over the three games did either team have more than a two-run lead during regulation play. There were critical errors and rapidly-changing leads. There were blown saves. There were extra innings and cleared benches. When the smoke cleared and the dust settled, the Dodgers had taken two of three — but none of the three games had felt like a foregone conclusion. Game 1 saw the teams trade runs before the Padres tied it late,…

Read “Decades in the Making, the Dodgers-Padres Rivalry Has Arrived” at FanGraphs