The winner of the regular season series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres may very well end up taking home the division crown, as the NL West runs through these two huge spenders. San Diego managed to eke out a win against the still effective Clayton Kershaw on Friday, taking home a 5-2 victory against the future Hall of Famer.
The new-look Padres rode Fernando Tatis Jr, who became the first player to ever hit multiple home runs in the same game off Kershaw twice, to their victory. With their NLCS appearance and offseason spending spree, San Diego's confidence has never been higher in franchise history.
Even though there is a ton of games left to be played, the Padres are already taking a victory lap over the Dodgers. The latest stunt they pulled is sure to get everyone with Dodger blue blood steaming mad.
The Padres put a giant picture of Kershaw crying up on the Jumbotron following their victory on Friday night. This came off less like a witty troll job and more like a poorly conceived attempt at mockery that will be turned on its head the second things go south in San Diego.
The Padres' Clayton Kershaw troll could motivate the Dodgers.
Things have not gone super smooth for the Padres, who are just 18-15 despite all of their spending. Juan Soto was struggling mightily until a week ago. Manny Machado was well below his usual standards after signing his huge extension, and the starting pitching has been a nightmare.
The Dodgers have their own issues, with the bullpen varying between dominance and laughable inconsistency and names like David Peralta and Chris Taylor underperforming in the lineup. Even with all of that, the Dodgers still have a better record than the mighty, invincible Padres.
Padres fans seem to have forgotten that Kershaw has a 2.12 ERA in his career against San Diego. The fact that he has won 13 playoff games in his career and the Padres' franchise as a whole only has 17? It appears to have slipped their collective minds. How convenient that is.
While the Dodgers will always view the Giants as their main rival, the recent energization of the Padres' fanbase has brought this rivalry to the forefront. The Padres may have the advantage if you only looked at 2022 and 2023, but the historical lopsidedness of this beef means the Kershaw jab could come back to haunt them.