Dodgers remind the loaded Padres that they’re still the team to beat


Cody Bellinger takes Luis Garcia and the Padres deep.

Cody Bellinger takes Luis Garcia and the Padres deep.
Image: AP

The Dodgers couldn’t care less about the Padres and the trade deadline.

You couldn’t pay them to even raise an eyebrow.

The Padres could have traded for Juan Soto, Shohei Ohtani, Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, and Babe Ruth, and the Dodgers wouldn’t have batted an eye.

Following San Diego’s deadline acquisitions of Soto, Josh Bell, Brandon Drury, and Josh Hader, people were ready to crown them National League champs. I think San Diego’s mayor, Todd Gloria, was already planning the World Series parade.

But it seems they all forgot one important thing: They still needed to play baseball.

The Dodgers and Padres opened a three-game set this past weekend at Dodger Stadium. All the Padres’ new faces were there. It was supposed to be the unofficial coronation of baseball’s new best team.

ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball telecast even chose to interview Soto and Padres’ owner, Peter Seidler. No one from the team with the best record in baseball. No one from the team who Vin Scully spent 67 years of his career with. It was clearly supposed to be the beginning of the Padres’ run to glory in the NL West.

Well, it wasn’t.

The Dodgers swept the series, outscored the Padres 20-4, and extended their NL West lead to 15.5 games over these second-place Padres.

Dodger pitching had just one earned run the entire series, which came in the 9th inning of Friday night’s 8-1 blowout. It was pure dominance from the first pitch of Friday night’s game until the final one on Sunday night. The Padres didn’t even look like they were in the same league as the Boys in Blue.

On the year, the Dodgers have won 8 of 10 against the Friars, and will see them another nine times before the postseason.

“Just wait until Fernando Tatis is back.”

That seems to be the ongoing excuse from people around the Padres. Well, I’ll give one right back to them.

Just wait until Walker Buehler, Dustin May, Blake Treinen, Clayton Kershaw, Justin Turner, Brusdar Graterol, and Edwin Rios are back.

The rest of the league has to be terrified. What the Dodgers are doing this season is unheard of.

They are 75-33, by far the most loaded team in baseball, and are on pace for 112 wins. Andrew Friedman knew he didn’t need to make any drastic moves this trade deadline — so he didn’t. He knew the team in place was good enough to win a World Series. And he knew they were only going to get better as their guys returned from the IL over the next few weeks.

The MLB record for most wins in a season is 116, accomplished by the 1906 Cubs and 2001 Mariners. We may have to start talking about the 2022 Dodgers potentially setting a new one.

The Dodgers are the best team in the NL West, the National League, and the entire league. And this weekend only confirmed one thing: The Dodgers are San Diego’s Padre.



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