For all the San Diego Padres fans willing to die on the hill that their rivalry with the Los Angeles Dodgers is right up there with Yankees-Red Sox ... well, come get your man! Padres ace Joe Musgrove isn't helping his corner with what he had to say after getting swept over the weekend.
Sadly for the Pads, they're 0-5 against the Dodgers ever since Petco Park unleashed the Crying Kershaw meme following a victory over the future Hall of Famer back on May 5. That was a biiig mistake, which Musgrove even agreed with recently in an appearance on "Foul Territory."
Musgrove grew up a Padres fan, so it's even more difficult for him to cope with the current circumstances. The Padres are below .500 and have a putrid 6-17 regular-season record against the Dodgers the past two seasons.
OK, want to include that NLDS win? It's still just 9-18. Not good, no matter how you look at it. They don't hang banners for NLCS appearances, either, so while that playoff triumph over LA certainly exorcised some demons, it didn't provide the panacea for San Diego's woes against their rival.
Understandably, Musgrove is prickly about all of this, but his attempt to deflect from the cold, hard truth really makes this less of a rivalry, despite the recent discourse that's attempted to make it bigger than it is.
Padres' Joe Musgrove is tired of hearing about the Dodgers
When asked about the Padres' lack of success against the Dodgers outside of the 2022 NLDS, here's what he told ESPN's Alden Gonzalez:
"Tired of hearing that s---.- Joe Musgrove via ESPN
I think we, as a group in here, got to stop talking about these guys like they're that unbeatable force. We beat these guys in the playoffs, we beat them in big situations. We're just not playing very well right now.
We feel like we have a better team than them. We're just not playing to our capabilities right now on both sides of the ball.
We're giving up timely hits to their hitters, we're not getting the timely hits on our side. Baseball's not that difficult of a sport. We know what needs to be done -- we're just not doing what we need to do."
Sounds like Musgrove would be the most valuable shift manager at your local excuse factory! Musgrove pretty much disguised that the Padres are bad and not getting it done, while the Dodgers are a good, clutch team with these comments.
The Padres are 20th in MLB in OPS (.699), 26th in runs scored (161), 15th in home runs (45), 22nd in strikeouts (366), 14th in ERA (4.03), 14th in WHIP (1.29) and 21st in walks issued by the pitching staff (147). Conversely, the Dodgers are fifth, fourth, second, 24th, 10th, sixth and first in those categories. Sure, it's a long year and this can shift in a few weeks, but this is a large enough sample size to determine who's playing well and who isn't.
Musgrove's belief the Padres are better is certainly the right mentality to have in order to overcome adversity, but it's simply not the reality. Like the Kershaw meme, Musgrove probably wishes he could take back his "f--- the Dodgers" from the Astros' 2017 postseason run.