Padres and Dodgers are baseball in 2021

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Illustration: Getty/AP

It’s one thing of a shock that as anticipated because the season sequence between the Padres and Dodgers was earlier than the season began, the seven video games they’ve performed have managed to outweigh that anticipation. They’ve lived as much as the billing and a lot extra. No matter baseball’s issues are on the sector, and there are numerous earlier than we even get to the off-the-field class, MLB can use this rivalry to cowl a few of that up and likewise promote all the things the sport might be.

In fact, because the season rolls on, it’d truly be laborious to keep up this depth. Which is a bizarre factor to say about April video games, as a result of they often don’t look something like this. Then once more, the novelty of the season and the Padres nonetheless having that new automobile scent helps bounce up the meter. Maybe the division lead for the Dodgers might develop, or the Padres might settle in comfortably to the wild-card spot, or each, which is able to take a number of the urgency off of this. It’s laborious for anybody to maintain the depth in the midst of July or August when there’s not all that a lot using on the video games.

It might be straightforward to focus on all of the issues which are mistaken with MLB’s on-field product simply via this sport, in the event you had been a depressing sod. The groups mixed for 32 strikeouts and solely 31 hits. Each groups ran via their complete bench earlier than additional innings even began, which the three-batter rule was presupposed to deal with. The additional-innings gimmick made for some synthetic drama. There have been veiled threats from Dave Roberts and Trevor Bauer after the sport about Fernando Tatis Jr., as baseball can’t ever really extricate itself from its caveman previous. And this isn’t actually a MLB downside, but it surely additionally showcased how Dave Roberts manages most video games like he’s choking on his personal vomit, and presumably another person’s. Good factor the Dodgers have probably the most obscenely gifted roster and depth in years to beat that.

But it surely additionally has Tatis homering once more. It has Dustin Could, the Dodgers fifth starter, blowing the Padres away for 10 Ks over six innings. Cory Seager in some way nonetheless being the understated baseline of the Dodgers, even along with his postseason awards.The Padres’ incapacity to know when a sport is over. If nothing else, the Padres are simply going to be a continuing side-stitch to the Dodgers for some time.

There’s an excessive amount of give attention to all of the issues mistaken with the sport, which ignores that there’s a lot proper with it. Hey, as soon as upon a time the Celtics and Lakers introduced the NBA again from the brink, they usually didn’t play 19 instances a 12 months. That’s awfully bold, admittedly, however baseball must dream large if it’s going to drag itself again from its slide into irrelevancy.



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